Inspired by experiences on the road and propelled by their nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album at this year’s Grammys, sister duo Larkin Poe are tackling their next big step; fifth studio album Self Made Man. Made up of two sisters originally from Georgia, now residing in Nashville, Larkin Poe create bold, infectious music full to the brim with soul. Following up on the successful 2018 Venom & Faith, this eleven track adventure is sure to capture a few hearts.
‘She’s A Self Made Man’ appropriately introduces the album. Steady drums and powerful guitars mimic the vocal melodies and combine to create an enticing rock n’ roll anthem. There’s a strong sense of empowerment built in the track, highlighting the duo’s ability to push themselves and wield the power of music to share their stories.
Continuing the heritage celebration with a vibrating mix of guitars is ‘Holy Ghost Fire’, showing off their multi-instrumental abilities. Layers of melodies and gospel harmonies build further to enhance the choruses. The country blues kick up a notch with ‘Back Down South’. Contagious rhythm and vibrant guitars come together to create an excellent head-bobbing track.
A nostalgic journey is the centre point of ‘Tears Of Blue To Gold’, paired with a summery rhythm of instrumentals. The track provides a contrast to ‘Every Bird That Flies’, which features a stripped back accompaniment to support the central vocals. Each beat and sound is carefully positioned and refined to provide a balance of elements; with a slower pace to enhance a different side to the duo.
‘Scorpion’ is a vibrant and wonderfully diverse track that instantly captivates. An exciting tempo kicks it all off, followed by lifting breakdowns which build into vocally-prominent explorations, standing out from the pack. The interesting chord progressions, particularly evident in the verses, create a mysterious atmosphere, unlike what we’ve previously heard so far in the album. The uplifting jam of ‘Easy Street’ leaves the listener on an upbeat conclusion. Vibrating guitar effects provide a backdrop for additional gospel vocals and a soft ending to this journey.
With bluesy riffs and electrifying solos evident throughout, the album is a strong addition to Larkin Poe’s growing catalogue. The music that has been formed here perfectly embodies their vision as they can fully take the reins over every element. Self Made Man unites a treasury of inspiration with American South roots and some new perspectives; an accomplished next step for the sister duo.