Larkin Poe & Thom Hell – The Sound of the Ocean Sound (2013)

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Larkin Poe & Thom Hell

The Sound of the Ocean Sound

Released 2013

Lovell Sisters go to Hell and come back with their finest record to date.

Rebecca and Megan Lovell are still in their early 20’s and performed as the Lovell Sisters between 2005 and 2010; until elder sister Jessica left the trio and the remaining pair re-christened themselves Larkin Poe.

In the last two years they have released 5 long playing EP’s to critical acclaim and an ever growing fan base throughout Europe; although they originate from Georgia USA.

So; that makes THE SOUND OF THE OCEAN SOUND their debut album and; it is staggering in its quality, range and approach to Folk and Americana.

In theory, this is meant to be a collaboration between Larkin Poe and Norwegian singer-songwriter Thom Hell; but he becomes the glue that holds the album together and it would be a shame if the relationship didn’t continue on a more permanent basis. Although the Lovell Sisters shine throughout, whether as singers or as musicians, this is most definitely a Larkin Poe Band album from start to finish with a fuller sound than heard before and I can only put that down to Thom Hell’s inclusion.

All 10 songs come from the pens of Rebecca, Megan and Thom plus a couple of collaborations too, with all three proving that they can write a fine and memorable song on an album that was recorded over two years; and I defy you to see the joins.

I Belong to Love opens the proceedings and is as good, if not better than anything I’ve heard from the Lovell’s and things only get better as song after song soars to heights I’d never imagined that they could achieve.

‘Love’ in all its formats weaves a thread though the whole album; be it straightforward boy meets girl/girl falls in love/boy leaves girl or the intricately clever Missing Home when Hell takes the lead and sounds uncannily like Graham Nash as he ponders if he can keep the girl when she becomes homesick.

PS I Love is just as clever; with Hell and Rebecca alternating verses discussing a long distance relationship that may or may not have a happy ending.

Then; on the beautiful song, Leave the Lovells and Hell combine to harmonise in a pitch perfect manner not heard since CSN&Y were in the ascendancy forty years ago.

Apart from the three wonderful voices; Rebecca’s mandolin and guitar playing weave a golden thread around Megan’s timeless lap-steel and Resophonic guitar to produce music that will take your breath away.

The album finishes with Rebecca and the haunting Widow’s Talk which just might be the finest song you’ll hear all year.

With the addition of Thomas Hell, Larkin Poe finally sound like a ‘complete band’ and can now mount a challenge on their home country; America.

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