It’s not exactly like LA-based singer/songwriter Inara George has been in hiding in recent years… Her folk group, The Living Sisters; comprised of herself, Becky Stark, Eleni Mandell, and Alex Lilly; have put out a number of records, and 2015 saw the release of Recreational Love, the fourth full-length by The Bird and the Bee, the synthy, postmodern lounge pop duo she partakes in with Greg Kurstin, arguably her best-known musical output. However, her recently released Dearest Everybody is her first LP album since 2009’s Accidental Experimental.
In addition to sporadic ventures into these other musical projects, George has dedicated the majority of the past nine years to raising her children. However, Dearest Everybody, which was three years in the making, seems more immediately focused on the loss of love, sparked by memories of her five-year-old self at the wake of her father, Lowell George of Little Feat. However, during a recent chat, when I ask her about the biggest inspirations behind the album, she implies that she feels as though the sentiments related to loved ones leaving you and loved ones joining you can often be blurry: “This is about a different kind of love, not a romantic kind of love, but friendship and loved ones left behind and children. Birth is just as big of a kind of thing as love you lost. I mean, they’re always around.”
As far as similarities and differences between Accidental Experimental and Dearest Everybody, George tells me that it has more to do with her current life and lifestyle than anything she’s aiming for sonically: “Some things haven’t changed at all. I feel like it’s kind of a progression. My last release, Accidental Experimental, Van Dyke Parks said sounded like an urban female dilemma, with it being largely inspired by my angst as being a young person and living in the city and the outside world, as opposed to the internal world.”
Friday night Inara George kicked off a short run of headlining dates with a hometown show at the Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever in LA and tonight she kicks off a short run of East Coast dates at Nublu in NYC, which wrap this Friday at our very own Boot & Saddle (before returning toward home for three shows in the Northwest). When I ask her what can be expected of the sets, she seems to want it to remain a bit of a mystery until showtime, leaving me with just a few hints: “The new record has a lot of vocals on it. It’s an all-girl band and we’ll all sing, and I’ll play acoustic guitar.”
The last time I talked to Inara George was in September of 2016, when The Bird and the Bee were preparing to play their first Philly show since early 2009. At the time, she told me that she and Kurstin were currently working on the next “Interpreting the Masters” (a follow-up to 2010’s Interpreting the Masters Volume 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates), so when I ask her what she has planned for the year, I ask her if that’s still in the works and she assures me that it is, but that there are also a handful of other things she’s planning to do in 2018.
“We’re almost done. I think we’ll probably put it out before Christmas. We want to make a Christmas record, but it might not be until we have a number of Christmas songs. But I’m gonna tour a little bit on my solo record as well.”