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LARKIN GRIMM

Prog Folk • United States


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Larkin Grimm biography
LARKIN GRIMM's story has all the makings of an American folk princess fairy tale; that is, if Hunter S Thompson and Jack Kerouac were writing it as a Tim Burton screenplay. Born to artistic and multi-cultural parents (who were also longtime members of the Holy Order of the MANS religious cult), Grimm was set early to become either another casualty of weirdness and The Struggle (Fringe Edition), or to morph into something unique and darkly vivacious that mainstream society could never hope to spawn or to understand. Fortunately for us she chose the latter.

In addition to the hippy parents and extended cult family of her formative years, Grimm is in the incongruous position of having both corporate America and blue-blood New England aristocracy to thank for paving part of the way for her journey. Grimm's adolescent education came courtesy the Coca-Cola corporation in the form of a boarding-school scholarship for gifted Appalachian children; and another scholarship at the prestigious Yale University followed. She would take a few detours before finally completing her studies there though, including a trek across Alaska; studying the massage arts in Thailand; a stint living among eco-warriors and other tree-hugger types in a Washington commune; and an encounter with a Native American shaman that provided the catalyst for Grimm finding her musical muse among the forest sprites and spirits. Try and top that with the best fantasy novel you can find!

Today Grimm calls Rhode Island home, and has to her credit several studio releases chronicling the evolution of her unique sound. Her latest 'Parplar' demonstrates a level of compositional and technical maturity that bodes well for her future as an American folk treasure.

Musical comparisons are usually imprecise and sometimes border on insulting, but those who find themselves connecting to the likes of Josephine Foster, Buffy Sainte-Marie or Faun Fables will likely embrace Larkin Grimm just as eagerly.

>>Bio from Bob Moore (aka ClemofNazareth)<<

Larkin Grimm official website

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Buy LARKIN GRIMM Music


ParplarParplar
YOUNG GOD 2008
Audio CD$7.06
$1.32 (used)
Soul RetrievalSoul Retrieval
Bad Bitch Records 2012
Audio CD$10.24
$3.75 (used)
Last TreeLast Tree
Secret Eye Records 2006
Audio CD$12.95
$5.74 (used)
HarpoonHarpoon
Secret Eye Records 2005
Audio CD$13.00
$3.00 (used)
Larkin Grimm And Rosolina Mar split seven inch recordingLarkin Grimm And Rosolina Mar split seven inch recording
Wallace
Vinyl$7.98
PARPLAR LP (VINYL ALBUM) - YOUNG GOD 2008PARPLAR LP (VINYL ALBUM) - YOUNG GOD 2008
YOUNG GOD
Vinyl$20.48
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LARKIN GRIMM discography


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LARKIN GRIMM top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 2 ratings
Harpoon
2005
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Last Tree
2006
3.00 | 1 ratings
Parplar
2008

LARKIN GRIMM Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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LARKIN GRIMM Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Time is a Spiral #02
2007

LARKIN GRIMM Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Parplar by GRIMM, LARKIN album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Parplar
Larkin Grimm Prog Folk

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

— First review of this album —
3 stars Third album from our Appalachian Indian Wyrd folk artiste and this is now a great leap forward from the rachitic Harpoon. First off the bat, Grimm has now an army of musical friends dying to help her out. Musically her realm has veered from a cold acid folk (ala ISB) to a much warmer cross of Wyrd folk, hovering Tunng and Cajun music or other brands of Appalachian folk. While the outer shell of her digipak present us reptiles, the inner booklet, through an extended drawing shows us that her shamanic obsessions remain alive, but there is an added European Smurf/forest bjkltroll thing more present through the obvious Tunng influences.

Yes , Larkin has now completely integrated the Wyrd movement , but it doesn't really mean that her music is progressive. Her eclectiism provide a certain array of musical soundscapes where her electronics effects and "birds samples" from her debut album are still around on Parplar as well as the intimate climate ala Beth Gibbons & Rustin" Man, such as on the opening They Were Wrong

Other tracks like Ride That Cyclone drip from Tunng essence, while Blonde And Golden Johns mix the two afore-mentioned realms without much effort. Other tracks like Dominican Rum share very strange lyrics ((I am swallering more estrogens so you won't impregnate me) with semi-Comus-like vocals, but without the wickedness, yet it's clear Larkin also listened to them. Most of the rest of the tracks are within the given often-spooky boundaries, except maybe for Bluegrass/Cajun-ey Fall On Your Knees

Let's not get carried away and recommend Grimm's records to fans of RIO Zeulh fanatics, neo progmetalheads are not likely to appreciate her works as well, but if you're into weird and whacky worlds and eclectic pastoral ambiances and you like Long Live Death, Faun Fables, or Tunng. Hardlyb essential, but worthy of an investigation.

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 Harpoon by GRIMM, LARKIN album cover Studio Album, 2005
2.00 | 2 ratings

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Harpoon
Larkin Grimm Prog Folk

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

2 stars First album from the Amerindian folk singer in a recent flurry of them (Alela Diane and Mariee Sioux come directly to mind) and somewhat of a weird descendant of Buffy Sainte-Marie that has hugged many trees, smoked many plants and ate many mushroom in shamanic rites and play mainly acoustic instruments. Yup, I'm speaking of Wyrd folk in its American pendant

Larkin's debut album is a real quiet affair, mostly her and her guitar with a bunch of effects, sound collage between and during songs. Grimm is a credible folk songwriter or even a folk singer that is not looking for success the way the other two Amerindians (listed above) are. Wyrd Folk often includes so lo-fi artiste, but in Grimm's case, I think it is more a problem of not having a producer guiding her into a better and fuller album. Although her music is also very inconsistent, there is not one track that stands out from the rest of the album and while most songs do sound a bit alike (as well as sounding flat), it's also mainly due to a lack of musical dynamics in the production of the sisc.

While Harpoon depicts a story of fisher up in the polar circle, it appears that she was a tad too ambitious in trying that stunt directly off the bat. Her acid folk is not devoid of quality and her future albums will be of greater interest, but this first shot is best avoided or forgotten, although predictably in another two decade, many music snobs will hail this as a pure gem of the all-too forgotten noughties (read 00's).

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 The Last Tree by GRIMM, LARKIN album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.00 | 1 ratings

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The Last Tree
Larkin Grimm Prog Folk

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

— First review of this album —
3 stars Larkin Grimm discovers something resembling a recognizable sense of rhythm with the opening title track from ‘The Last Tree’, her second studio release; at the same time, she manages to retain plenty of the pagan-like and unpredictable characteristics that make her music such a (worthwhile) challenge to experience. This is another largely solo effort, with Grimm laying down the tracks for about a dozen different instruments including dulcimer, autoharp, bass, flute and various whistles and bells in addition to her acoustic guitar. Kelly Cook (Moev) also strums a bit and adds some flute as well, and Spaztet guitarist George Langford rounds out the instrumentation.

Grimm seems to have found just a little bit of restraint on this record, shifting from the chaotic and often haphazard experimentation that characterized her first album, to something that is much more approachable yet still on the fringes of what passes for art-tinged folk music. Her Appalachian background is more pronounced here, with several tracks (“I Killed Someone, Part 2”, “Link in your Chain”, “Rocky Top”) having a distinct hillbilly-cum-bluegrass feel to them despite her otherwordly vocals and occasional shrieks. Imagine Laurie Anderson teaming with Alison Krauss in a moonshine- oiled jamfest and you’ll have a sense of what large portions of this album sound like.

Elsewhere Grimm comes off as almost normal, blending acoustic guitar and plaintive chanting vocals with eclectic percussion and lots of whistling, most notably on “No Moonlight”, “The Most Excruciating Vibe” and the closing number “The Waterfall”.

Her singer-songwriter persona comes out strong on the lengthy (ten-minute plus) “Little Weeper”, a rambling vocally-intense number with plenty of ranging guitar work that is otherwise almost devoid of sound effects or percussion. This is one of the more staid compositions I’ve ever heard from her, and one I can picture her plucking out on a barstool in front of weak backlighting in a coffeehouse somewhere along the Eastern seaboard. A pleasant number that would almost make one think she has spun a few Pentangle albums somewhere in her colorful past.

This is a decent album, worth listening to mostly because it shows some definite progression in Larkin’s musical sensibilities and a growing sense of comfort in front of the microphone as well as with composition. This fits quite well stylistically between her odd debut “Harpoon” and her most recent offering “Parplar”, in which she makes quantam leaps toward solidifying the quality and depth of her music. I’ll go with three stars this time around, and save the true praise for ‘Parplar’. Recommended for wyrd-folk and experimental indie fans.

peace

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 Harpoon by GRIMM, LARKIN album cover Studio Album, 2005
2.00 | 2 ratings

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Harpoon
Larkin Grimm Prog Folk

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

2 stars Larkin Grimm’s music is exceedingly difficult to get into, and even when (and if) you do, she can be maddeningly inconsistent and unpredictable. The unpredictable part if okay if you are truly a fan of that aspect of progressive music that actually experiments and builds on previous musical and artistic ideas and attempts to fashion something new; Grimm does that in spades, even if the attempts fall flat at times (nothing ventured,…).

But the inconsistent part I think comes from being a bit self-indulgent at times, which again is something that certainly isn’t novel where most true artists and musicians are concerned. On her first album, Grimm gives us a glimpse of both her creative process and her sometimes haphazard artistic tendencies with a series of musical vignettes that often come off feeling like half-finished thoughts, while occasionally coalescing into a relatively cohesive composition that stands on its own.

Grimm’s sound is characterized by decidedly pagan and earthy vocals that are seemingly oblivious to the concepts of melody, rhythm and sometimes even pitch. She is the quintessential musical shaman who weaves chanting, wraithlike shrieks and even guttural sonic blurbs into arrangements that often evoke moody and primitive emotions. “Pigeon Food” is the representative offering on this debut release; brief, eerie and rather primordial in its acoustic, chaotic delivery, Grimm rambles on about – what? Sustenance? Love, relationships, survival? Not sure really, and I don’t suppose it matters; the evocative sounds form their own structure and present more as art than music, which I suspect is what Grimm is all about anyway.

This is a remarkably uneven album, even though most of the songs are similar in terms of composition and sound. Grimm’s words are mostly her own, in that their ultimate meaning (if any) is lost on all but her and presumably her more initiated acquaintances and fans; on “One Hundred Men” she croons “I don’t want to love you; I want to love again and again”. Really? With whom? Is this the confession of a wanton woman or something else altogether? Whatever; the moody strands of acoustic guitar are soothing in a mildly uncomfortable way regardless.

Grimm shows an ever-so-mild thread of earthy, pagan spirituality on this album that will surface even more on her follow-up ‘The Last Tree’, particularly on the creepy “Harpoon Baptism” with its native chanting and witchlike shrieking laughter setting the tone amid otherwise soothing acoustic instrumentation. She then moves effortlessly into the role of storytelling singer-songwriter with the brief confessional “I Killed Someone” and the dusk-embracing “Don’t Come Down, Darkness”; then wanders off into wyrd-folk territory with “Touch Me, Shaping Hands” before shifting to what is probably the most accessible track on the album (relatively-speaking) in “White Water”, and slow, almost dispassionate guitar noodling experiment that peters itself out to close the album.

Larkin’s next two albums show considerable forward-movement in terms of cohesive arrangement, musical discipline and meaningful lyrical composition. This first effort is clearly a sketchbook in which she has jotted down numerous musical ideas and indulged herself in working them out with varying degrees of success. The result will probably be seen by most as either prohibitively inaccessible or nothing more than a tepid sampler of her music. For the most part I agree. But for those who find themselves attracted to her later music, I’d recommend this as a record to discover once you’ve absorbed her more mature works, for the insight into her creative process if for no other reason. Two stars and recommended primarily to serious fans of Grimm’s work.

peace

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