Larkin Poe Debuts Sparse, Hard-Hitting 'Honey Honey': Premiere

Larkin Poe
Robbie Klein

Larkin Poe

It took awhile for Larkin Poe to find the sweet spot for "Honey Honey," a track premiering below from the Georgia sister duo's upcoming third studio album Venom & Faith.

"We wrote that one two or three years ago but never found the right dress for it, or the right shoes," Rebecca Lovell tells Billboard. "It was requiring a little bit of extra TLC." With the group producing itself, as it did on 2017's Peach, it had latitude to continue experimenting with programming and sounds, and the tinkering ultimately helped bring "Honey Honey" into better focus.

"I felt like it needed a really strong rhythm section, and I had a folder of one-shots of marching snares and big marching kick drums and metalworks," Rebecca recalls. "It was so exciting to play around and build a section that would complement the song. I love how the start is; We were talking to our engineer as we recorded the song and he was blown away by how spare we wanted it to be, just with an upright bass sound. We stuck to our guns with that and we stumbled on the idea that made the song stick together."

Larkin Poe is equally enthused about the rest of Venom & Faith, which fuses the group's inherent raw and rootsy bass with a variety of textures and techniques -- even using a vintage Roland TR-808 drum machine for the track "Fly Like an Eagle." "Being the kind of band we are we're marrying the old with the new," Rebecca explains. "It's such an obvious amalgamation of current, 21st century sounds but using riffs and song structures that to my mind are more indicative of the blues." Megan adds that, "In the past couple of years we've really gone back to our roots and are exploring more blues music and enjoying how raw and immediate those recordings are, those early 1900s records. They're so stripped back -- just a guitar and voice, sometimes just a voice. We were inspired by that and wanted to bring some of that to our record." Larkin Poe nods to that as well on Venom & Faith covers of Bessie Jones' "Sometimes" and Skip James' "Hard Time Killing Floor Blues."

The Lovells have built an audience from their own hard touring as well as this year's featured guest stint with Keith Urban and opening for Bob Seger, who will be taking them out again on dates of his Travelin' Man: The Final Tour this year and next. And even if Venom & Faith tosses a few new sounds into the mix, the sisters are confident those fans will be stay on board. "We have a fan base that's been super open to our experimentation over the years," Rebecca says. "We want to stay true to those fans' interest and let it all out. There's a big melting pot in what it means to be Larkin Poe; We want to express that on our records as much as possible."