Release Date: Jan 8, 2013
Record label: Vanguard
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Contemporary Singer/Songwriter
Despite busy careers (and lives), the combined members of Living Sisters -- Inara George, Becky Stark, Eleni Mandell, and new member Alex Lilly -- managed a 2013 covers EP that complements Love to Live, their unique 2010 LP. Boasting all the warmth and easy sense of acoustic swing shown earlier, Run for Cover also combines just a little bit of naughty with a little bit of nice in much the same way as Love to Live. There may be nothing as explicit as "Double Knots" (i.e., "my baby ties me up in double knots"), but a version of the languid pop hit "Make Love to Me" certainly approaches the same territory.
The Living Sisters follow up their acclaimed 2010 album Love yo Live with a modest release in this EP of six cover tunes. Retro remains the order of the day as the four singers—Inara George, Becky Stark, Eleni Mandell and new member Alex Lilly—blend doo wop harmonies and country, folk and jazz touches across songs both expected (Patsy Cline’s “A Poor Man’s Roses (Or a Rich Man’s Gold))” and decidedly less so (Funkadelic’s “Can You Get to That?”). Twangy guitar, Greg Leisz’s sighing pedal steel and Don Heffington’s drums provide ambience but it’s the singers’ harmonies that ultimately carry the day.
It’s an inspired idea: Rather than tackle Doris Day’s “Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)” for their new Run for Cover EP, the Living Sisters decided to take on Sly & the Family Stone’s cover of that 1956 smash. The difference between the two is subtle but crucial. Stone eschewed Day’s postwar whitebread pep for a hippie-era, post-civil rights optimism that inflected his loose delivery and laidback interpretation.
You’ve heard that expression that so-and-so could sing the telephone book and make it sound beautiful? That applies to the Living Sisters, the quartet of Los Angeles-based singer-songwriters Inara George (The Bird and the Bee), Becky Stark (Lavender Diamond), Eleni Mandell, and newest member Alex Lilly. “Run for Cover,” a six-song collection of covers that’s the follow-up to their 2010 debut, “Love to Live,” showcases their close, heavenly harmonies but also their interpretive skills. Their charms are distinctly vintage here, from pop standards to country tearjerkers to 1970s funk.