On ‘Kindred Spirits’, Larkin Poe Offers Eleven Covers Ranging From Allman Brothers To Post Malone (ALBUM REVIEW)

The sixth album from Larkin Poe deviates from the band’s signature southern rock sound for a lighter take on the Georgia band’s rootsy music. Kindred Spirits is a cover album with eleven tracks of soft, slow acoustic music that allows sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell to put their unique spin on well-known songs.

Kindred Spirits is a soft, subtle album with sparse instrumentation, usually just two guitars and occasional percussion. The primary appeal of the album is hearing the Lovell sisters rework songs from a different genre, recomposing the music, playing at a different tempo, adding harmonies and slides. Aside from the Allman Brothers’ “Ramblin’ Man,” most of the selections are not the type of songs you’d expect Larkin Poe to cover. Their cover of Post Malone’s “Take What You Want” is one of the album’s best, reworking the pop song as brooding twang. “I feel you crumble in my arms down to your heart of stone,” Rebecca sings, her soulful voice adding depth and emotional resonance beyond what Post Malone and Ozzy Osbourne accomplished with the original.

Similarly, the Lovells take Lenny Kravitz’s bland but fun “Fly Away” and reimagine it as a heartfelt goodbye. The sisters’ vocal harmonies pack more punch to the choruses while Megan’s vibrato-filled dobro lick adds a sense of weariness. When they sing about flying away, it sounds like it’s for good. With the cover of Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World,” the duo scale the upbeat rock song back into a gently strummed folk song, Megan’s swelling lap steel guitar creating rising and falling tension. 

The album does have a few missteps. The “Nights in White Satin” (The Moody Blues) cover is forgettable while their rendition of Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love” doesn’t work, the start-and-stop rhythms sounding dull on acoustic guitars.   

During most of Larkin Poe’s career, the duo has fine-tuned its southern rock sound, full of hook-laden riffing, powerful singing, and hard-charging rhythms. On Kindred Spirits, the duo shows off a softer side, focusing on beautiful vocal harmonies, subtle musical flourishes, and creating gritty, vulnerable performances. Their rendition of Derek & the Dominoes’ “Bell Bottom Blues” adds even more pathos to Eric Clapton’s pleading. “If I could choose a place to die it would be in your arms,” Rebecca sings, strumming on acoustic guitar while Megan glides through distorted lap steel licks.   

While many cover songs are pointless rehashes of what someone else has done before, the best covers take the essence of the original and convey that feeling in a unique way. Larkin Poe excel at that throughout Kindred Spirits, from the breezy reminiscing of Elton John’s “Crocodile Rock” to the haunting accusations of Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight.” Throughout Kindred Spirits, Larkin Poe shows an emotional depth and artistic flexibility that transforms each song into a new creation, sometimes even improving on the original.  


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