As tantalizing as the thought might be for any musician to create his or her own evergreen holiday song, it can be a daunting task given the volume of seasonal standards pros have been turning out for decades since Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas.”
L.A.’s female indie pop vocal quartet the Living Sisters offer up a sleigh full on their new holiday album, “Harmony Is Real: Songs for a Happy Holiday,” which is a standout amid the deluge of newly recorded collections that have arrived for 2014.
FOR THE RECORD
An earlier version of this post incorrectly identified the director of the Living Sisters' video for "Skip the Sugar (Good Girl)" as Daiana Feuer. Alex Lilly directed; Feuer was director of photography.
Pop & Hiss is premiering the video for group member Alex Lilly’s “Skip the Sugar (Good Girl),” in which Lilly extols all the wise and healthful decisions she’s made during the previous 12 months in hopes of keeping her name on Santa’s “nice” list.
The video, directed by Lilly, was shot at a friend of the band’s house in Franklin Hills, where Lilly first gets to cavort around a brightly decorated Christmas tree while her band mates Inara George, Eleni Mandell and Becky Stark -- wearing matching platinum blond waist-length wigs -- play the role of sirens beckoning to her from the backyard. A slightly seedy-looking Santa is along for the ride in the low-fi spirit of the whole shoot.
Lilly tells Pop & Hiss she wasn’t intimidated by the vast body of music that seems long ago to have covered every facet of the holidays imaginable.
“In some ways, it's less challenging when there already exists a body of great Christmas songs -- everyone from Frank Sinatra to George Michael to the Waitresses have offered up something fun or wonderful,” she said. “So I thought, ‘Well, what's missing from my Christmas mix? I know. A mid-tempo reggae song about the naughty list!’ Or should I say 'natty' list?
“It was the first time I had ever written a Christmas song, so it went pretty quickly -- beginner's luck,” she said. “The next time might be trickier. There was perspiration but that came during the video shooting. Wigs don't breathe!”
In addition to Lilly's song and three Christmas classics (“Jingle Bells,” “Little Drummer Boy” and “Silver Bells”), the Living Sisters apply their tightly knit harmonies to eight other originals, among them “Baby Wants a Basketball for Christmas,” “Kadoka, South Dakota,” “Neon Chinese Christmas Eve” and the title track.
The quartet has a hometown show lined up later this week with a stop on Saturday, Dec. 6, at the Masonic Lodge at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
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