After their 2010’s “Love to Live” debut and last year’s “Run for Cover” EP, The Living Sisters cemented their status as one of my favorite side projects. Initially a trio Inara George (The Bird and The Bee), Becky Stark (Lavender Diamond) and Eleni Mandell, the Sisters have since been joined by Alex Lilly and continue to explore their shared love of nostalgic music.
Latest project “Harmony Is Real: Songs for a Happy Holiday” is a holiday-themed gathering of 12 tunes delivered in four-part vocal harmonies. In addition to putting their spin on Christmas standards like “Silver Bells,” “Jingle Bells” and “Little Drummer Boy,” The Living Sisters all contribute contributions to this first-rate album.
Mandell fares the best with “Kadoka, South Dakots,” “Baby Wants a Basketball,” “Neon Chinese Christmas Eve” and “Hanukkah,” while Stark scores with the title track and “Don’t Go to Sleep.” George delivers “Merry Happy Christmas” and co-wrote personal favorite “Christmas in California” with Lilly, who also adds “Skip the Sugar (Good Girl)” to the proceedings. Happy holidays. (Jeffrey Sisk)