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Album review

Larkin Poe & Thom Hell 

The Sound of the Ocean Sound

added: 20 Feb 2013 // release date: 4 Mar 2013 // label: Edvins Records
reviewer: David Spencer

Larkin Poe & Thom Hell - The Sound of the Ocean Sound - Printable version
The partnership of Larkin Poe and Norwegian Grammy award winner Thom Hell came about after Hell attended one of the girls’ gigs. So inspired by the show was he, that after a few calls they were in the studio. After just a couple of sessions The Sound of The Ocean Sound was recorded. Such synchronicity happens rarely to such delightful effect – but these ten songs are a dreamy collection.

There is a warm glow that arrives like spring sunshine after the torment of winter with the likes of Missing Home (sounding like a seventies west coast classic) and Leave with the vocals of Hell and Rebecca and Megan Lovell dove-tailing superbly. The opening I Belong To Love sets the tone, with a folksy-acoustic sound that resembles Beth Nielsen Chapman in her pomp, while Shoulder To Shoulder’s more sinister feel offers an instant contradiction, with a terrific organ led instrumental solo underpinning a tale of love; “Without you, I am ship that is locked to the land”.

P.S I Love You pushes along to a faster groove, led by Hell’s vocal but is balanced against the Lovell vocals perfectly, in another haunting tale of broken hearts; “I have grown accustomed to thoughts of you in the back of my mind”. The tales of the heart continue with the harsh Leave, which opens with the cutting reflection “She was nice but I never loved her”.

Since the departure of older sister Jessica, Larkin Poe’s sound seems to have grown rockier, with a potential for wider appeal. The arrival of Hell on this collaboration adds richness and variation to the sound, although the folk roots aren’t forgotten on the likes of Tired and Widow's Walk.

The album features six songs written by Larkin Poe, who are displaying a maturity well beyond their years, while Thom hell provides three tracks alongside one co-write between the three of them. There is a guest appearance from percussionist Sola Akingbola of Jamiroquai, who heard a rough mix of the album and was impressed he wanted to feature. He’s unlikely to be the only one impressed!


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4 stars

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