Larkin Poe have found their voice. In a genre as storied as American roots and soul, the sister duo are poised to make a mark all their own with the release of their fourth album Venom & Faith, out November 9. Rather than concede to the history of the canon they hold dear or rest on their laurels, Larkin Poe persist and emerge rattling, stomping, and sliding into a modern-day depiction of what roots rock should sound like. Another chapter in an everlasting story.“It’s a celebration of roots American music,” Rebecca says, “as translated by two sisters who are playing the blues in a modern age.Steeped in the traditions of Southern roots music the Georgia-bred, Nashville-based Rebecca and Megan Lovell showcased their mastery in orchestrating, harmonizing and breathing new life into the musical heritage of their upbringing with 2017’s Peach, which was nominated for a Blues Music Award for Best Emerging Artist Album.Recorded and produced entirely by the sisters and their engineer Roger Alan Nichols, Peach featured a mix of original songs and covers like Lead Belly’s “Black Betty.” The making of Peach unlocked a gateway into Rebecca and Megan’s newfound confidence in their art and their history.On Venom & Faith, the sisters once again tackle a majority of the instrumentation on the album. In addition to covering lead vocals and a wide range of musical instruments, Rebecca creates lush musical underpinnings that range from horn sections to hip hop drum elements. In tandem, Megan masterfully skewers the lap steel and twins her voice together with Rebecca’s to create their unique blend of sister harmony. The album’s title, Venom & Faith, is taken from a lyric on “Honey Honey” and, according to the sisters, is intended to conjure a southern gothic image. “The title of our last album, Peach, was an homage to our Georgia-roots. With this album, we wanted a title that would allude to the duality of our art: gritty guitars offset by gentle vocals; musical moments of both tragedy and joy; the sacred and the profane.”Save for two covers, ”Sometimes” by blues legend Bessie Jones and Skip James’ “Hard Time Killing Floor Blues,” the rest of the record’s tracks are Larkin Poe originals. Paired with unique production touches, like organic percussion sounds —the thumping of dresser drawers, the slamming of back doors, and stomping on hardwood floors —Venom & Faith bleeds Lovell.Recorded in Nashville in 2018, in between headline shows, festival dates such as Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza, and a featured guest performer spot on Keith Urban’s GraffitiU world tour, Larkin Poe approached Venom & Faith with fierce independence. From Rebecca’s powerful vocals on “Ain’t Gonna Cry” to Megan’s sultry lap steel on “Good And Gone,” the sisters weave their talents into the fabric of their experience and a picture of the American south. “Blue Ridge Mountains” harkens to the sisters’ hometown, “drinking sweet tea every day,” with stomping percussion and churning riffs. “Mississippi” enlists the slide stylings of friend and seasoned guitar legend Tyler Bryant.Still, the sisters maintain an outlaw mindset in a traditional genre. Venom & Faith redefines what it means to make emotionally resonant music while also maintaining boundary-pushing musicality.Unbound by tawdry embellishments, Larkin Poe infuse pop sensibilities into their sound, blending old-school elements of rock and soul with drum samples, hip-hop production elements, and resonant lyrics like “California king-sized dreams in a twin bed.” Since forming in 2010, Larkin Poe have proven a formidable duo both in and out of the studio. In 2014, producer T-Bone Burnett enlisted Rebecca and Megan for Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes, a project that also saw contributions from Marcus Mumford (Mumford & Sons) Elvis Costello, Jim James (My Morning Jacket), Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes), and Rhiannon Giddens. The sisters have performed at such esteemed festivals as Glastonbury (twice) and Newport Folk Festival; have opened for and been in the backing band of Elvis Costello and Conor Oberst; and supported the likes of Gary Clark Jr. Rebecca and Megan were also members of the all-star backing band for the 2017 MusiCares Person Of The Year tribute honoring Tom Petty (also organized by Burnett) alongside Jakob Dylan, Jackson Browne, Elle King, Lucinda Williams, Gary Clark Jr., Don Henley, and Randy Newman. But on Venom & Faith, the Lovells are on their own, tapping soulful veins from whence a new iteration of Southern-inspired pop soul flowed. “Going into this record, we were feeling more confident in ourselves and our story and our voice,” Megan says. “And having found our voice —we wanted to realize that.”

Goodnight, Texas

Conventional wisdom says the two frontmen of a band shouldn’t live on opposite sides of the United States, but that's never seemed to deter Avi Vinocur and Patrick Dyer Wolf.

Goodnight, Texas is a band whose strength lies in unexpected sweet spots. Drawing their name from Pat and Avi’s onetime geographic midpoint (the real town of Goodnight in the State of Texas, a tiny hamlet east of Amarillo), the four-piece also exists at the center of its songwriters’ contrasting styles — via a 1913 Gibson A mandolin and a 2015 Danelectro, at the crossroads of folk and blues and rock ‘n’ roll, in a place where dry wit and dark truths meet hope and utmost sincerity.

Conductor is GNTX’s third full-length. It’s ambitious, dynamic, and more electrically inclined than 2012’s A Long Life of Living or 2014’s Uncle John Farquhar, carrying the listener from barn-burner to soul-searcher to banjo ballad and back again, all built on a powerful foundation from bassist Scott Griffin Padden and drummers Alex Nash and Kyle Caprista. It’s a record colored by grief, confusion, joy, the weight of the world: in the four years since the band’s last release, they lost Pat’s dad, Avi’s grandfather, and Scott’s mom. Pat and his wife had a baby boy. Alex became a professional baseball umpire. Britain left the EU and Donald Trump is the president of the United States.

But Conductor is, more accurately, a record about turning points — personal, political, musical, global — and their possibilities. A Long Life of Living drew inspiration from the Civil War and Appalachia; Uncle John Farquhar, from family lore, in the midwest in the late 1800s. Conductor wanders through the American Southwest in the early decades of the 20th century. It’s a moment when the United States has claimed the land from sea to shining sea, poised to become the world power, a great furnace of both progress and destruction. Electricity is coming into its own. The world’s population is about to explode. Against a backdrop of desert sunsets from a century ago, these songs exist on a precipice — as do their creators, as does the listener, as do we all.

-Emma Silvers

$22.00 - $99.00

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