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THE LIVING SISTERS are a charming harmony group made up of Los Angeles’ own Inara George, Alex Lilly, Eleni Mandell, and Becky Stark. Eleni and Becky conceived of the band in a bar somewhere in Los Angeles in 2005, both of them feeling the need for more harmony in their lives. Becky named the band “The Living Sisters” that same night, and from that moment forward the girls were blood related. In the next few years they asked Inara and Alex to join the family, and the rest is history.
Each lady comes to the table with her own claim to fame. Inara George, as one-half of The Bird and The Bee, has built up a cult following with the group’s love of jazz, pop, and tropicalia. Alex Lilly’s band Obi Best has been charming audiences “with melody lines that hardly sit still, lyrics rich in wordplay, and a sprinkling of sound effects you might hear in a rural backyard.” The New Yorker said “Mandell was weaned on artists like Tom Waits and X, and her dark and sexy songs have been compared to those of everyone from Chan Marshall to Patsy Cline. She has a sometimes smoky, sometimes wistful delivery, and, more often than not, her songs take on love from some new perspective.” And as the frontwoman of Lavender Diamond, Becky Stark’s mix of pop and chamber music has been described by Allmusic as “effortless, timeless-sounding songs.”
But in the end, The Living Sisters are all of that and none of that, a group whose whole is far greater than the sum of its parts. “I love my band, but there’s something about us four singing harmony that is almost like religion,” says Mandell. “It makes me think, ‘Oh yeah. This is why people talk about God,’ because when your voices are resonating together, it’s a very spiritual feeling.”