“Our aim is to make communicative pop songs, in part influenced by the things we used to hear in the back seats of the car. Like Nestor’s dad was a bit into his synths, my dad was a prog-rocker and Doug’s dad was a big folkie,” the assured frontwoman and guitarist of indie-popsters Sky Larkin states.
Sky Larkin are not traditional pop band
Katie Harkin grew up playing music with drummer Nestor, she returned from studying in London and brought songs she had been writing to Nestor knowing they would work well together and eventually recruited bassist Douglas Adams. In their short career, they have generated excitement in their local scene and further afield having recently completed a national tour with Los Campesinos.
Influences of old are apparent in Sky Larkin’s tracks, but a whip-round collecting current listening from the trio reveals The Murder Of Rosa Luxembourg, Los Campesinos, The Research and The Burial among others on their player. Not traditional playlists for a pop band but Sky Larkin are not traditional pop band. In a time where ‘pop’ is viewed as dirty and illegitimate, it’s heartening to see the trio happy to reclaim the real meaning of it by constructing solid, playfully menacing songs with a message. “Indie-pop nowadays seems to be bands just wanting people to like them. You know, they’re standing there saying, ‘Please like me, look, I play guitar in a band’ – it just sounds cheap and needy,” Katie says. Needy is not a word you could use to describe Sky Larkin – the charm of their music is their measured nonchalance. They have the ability to make it sound like they are not trying to make you like it and of course that is exactly why you do.
Picking the brains of the various groups they have played with, Katie says Broken Social Scene’s Andrew Whiteman gave the best piece of guitar-playing advice. “He said, ‘It’s all in your fingers – it’s not the guitar so don’t spent lots of money on an expensive guitar or expensive pedals.’ It is really all in how you play.” They definitely understand their craft, their instruments and the art of making a song – they concentrate on the sounds they make, not how they look while they make it, and for a band so young, it’s an unusual and refreshing attribute.