Nine more sleeps. Yeah, you read it right; I’m talking about the release date of Larkin’s debut album, “Set You Free.” What did you think I was on about?
We’ve chatted to Sam Bishop while still in the studio some months ago (here.) We covered their thoughts and longings for this recording; we discussed the crowdfunding aspect, revealed their creative influences and writing practises.
Now we get to hear the results, and I hand it to the Devizes domestic duo, working with Martin Spencer at the Badger Set in Potterne, they’re sounding astoundingly polished and proficient, with a maturity which sets this release as a firm turning point.
The positive up-tempo “Never Too Late” kicks off the all new eight tracks with a catchy guitar riff and chorus of fiddles; it’s fresh but retains the definitive principle of a classic Brit-pop anthem.
Then, when Larkin show us their shadier side with “Solace in the Dark,” a plodding and moodier tune with echoes of The Verve’s Bitter Sweet Symphony, you know this album is going somewhere, somewhere deeply mindful and expressive. However, “Talk” rolls me back to the clear, lighter-sided Simon & Garfunkel influence.
It’s a progressive journey from there, “Final Hour,” being the finest example of their topmost vocal expression with spine-tingling melancholic reverberations, and melodic “For You,” being the foot-tapper which keeps jolting my laptop as I write.
While “Walk Away” continues on the causal buoyancy tone, the last tune, “Where to Run,” gets even more upbeat and blithe, and makes a great finale to a darn fine album. Devizes should be proud of these guys; it has the finger-marks and expressive vocals of a very promising career.
To celebrate this release, shoved in-between Christmas and New Year, on the 30th December, Larkin invite all to hear them perform the album, with promises of some covers slipped in and support band, at Cons Club. Tickets just a fiver will include a 50% off voucher for a CD copy of the album. Doors open at 7.30pm, with the support band starting at 8pm.
“We want this to be a special night,” Sam and Fin say, “Hear the album before anyone else!!” What else are you going to be doing on that date, cabbaged on the sofa stuffing dry turkey sandwiches and watching the Enders Christmas special?
The Larkin lads go on to explain how hard they’ve worked towards this, and when you hear the album you’ll know it’s true.
30th December at the Cons Club: https://www.facebook.com/events/1950236541902178/
Pre-order Set you Free on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/set-you-free/1326890936