“Kindred Spirits” is Larkin Poe’s newest record consisting of eleven tribute tracks. A well-crafted cover album is difficult to pull off. These are imposing songs. Enthusiasts have strong emotional ties to the originals and their creators are legends. To succeed the reproductions must be unique and spellbinding. The sister duo already proving their prowess, this being their fifth studio record, clearly are not just a cover band. In fact, the translations further demonstrate Rebecca and Megan Lovell’s thoughtfulness as well as inventiveness unpacking and presenting the essence of a diverse range of tunes from the Elvis Presley’s classic “(You’re The) Devil in Disguise” to Post Malone’s “Take What You Want.” Larkin Poe has thrived in creating music that is not only comforting in its familiarity but enticing in its pioneering nature.
“Fly Away” with its accompanying music video captures my current mood. Overwhelmed with anxiety surrounding the looming election, “I wish that I could fly. Into the sky. So very high. Just like a dragonfly. I'd fly above the trees. Over the seas. In all degrees. To anywhere I please. I want to get away. I want to fly away. Yeah, yeah, yeah.” The video images of roaming creatures, tall trees, speeding trains, airplanes, the sun and moon tempt my imagination, while the steel guitar’s distinct, sad shrills strengthens my determination “to get away.” America is really struggling. It’s not as if we haven’t experienced challenging periods before. Neil Young highlights in “Rockin’ In The Free World” the 1980’s plights of homelessness, drug addiction and although not included in Larkin Poe’s version, the severe economic calamities illustrated in the third verse. The tenor is much more subdued in the sister’s rendition. The sorrow held steady in their voices correlating almost too well with our current climate. Why didn’t we listen? “There's a warnin' sign on the road ahead.” Phil Collin’s “In The Air Tonight” is particularly fitting. Again, the pair’s harmonies impeccably play off each other. Their richness in tone feeds the anger I feel towards the laptop lies, pandemic propaganda, tax evasion tales, diversity deceits and foreign relation falsehoods.
A cover song should alter the original, generating something novel while keeping its integrity. Often, they fail miserably. Not in Larkin Poe’s case. The record exceeds expectations. The Lovell’s style of well-placed, lyrical emphasis, soaring vocals and instrumentals defying the norm anchors as well as enhances each of the renowned tracks, creating a new sense of wonderment. The election process, particularly instilling a new president, is somewhat like debuting a cover tune. I am optimistic January will bring a fresh, honest, versatile and solid ‘cover.’ One that mimics but improves upon previous leaders who positively impacted our nation. We are down to single digits. Vote!