You couldn’t have asked for a more sweetly engaging debut than the Living Sisters' 2010 album, “Love to Live,” a title that embodied the sheer joy the three original members -- Inara George, Eleni Mandell and Becky Stark -- displayed through the blending of their voices.
Thankfully, that recording wasn’t just a one-off side project for the three women, who are otherwise engaged in various indie rock and pop projects around L.A. Now, the trio becomes a quartet with the addition of Alex Lilly, the onetime backup singer for George in the Bird and the Bee who subsequently stepped into the lead spot when she formed Obi Best. The group's sophomore outing, a six-song EP, delves into a handful of favorite songs from the 1950s and '60s pop-country era that’s a big part of the Living Sisters' musical foundation
They apply their winsome harmonies to Jo Stafford’s “Make Love to Me,” turn Doris Day’s “Que Sera Sera” into a twanging and moody Chris Isaak-meets-Cowboy Junkies excursion and bring out both the hope and fear in a scintillating a cappella arrangement of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.”
The real left-field choice is Funkadelic’s “Can You Get to That,” the first single that rolls along with chunky, crackling guitar riffs and primal drumming and becomes a reasonable approximation of a Maguire Sisters session produced by Jack White.
Pop & Hiss offers the exclusive premiere of their everybody-gather-around-the-mike acoustic video for “Can You Get to That” here:
The Living Sisters
“Run for Cover”
3 stars (out of four)
Follow Randy Lewis on Twitter: @RandyLewis2