chicago concert

A Conversation with Inara of The Bird and the Bee

Thursday, October 29, 2015 Pearl

The Bird and the Bee is a duo that's based in Los Angeles. This past summer, the group, consisting of Inara George and Greg Kurstin, released their fourth album following a five-year gap. Their album, titled "Recreational Love", shows the growth and change that the two musicians experienced over the break. I was able to interview Inara George to get to know what it's been like to return to the stage and to put together this new album.

Halfstack Magazine: Your music has a very distinct style. How did you develop your sound?
Inara George: I'm not positive, but I think it comes from a mutual love of certain kinds of music between Greg and myself. When we started it centered more around 1960's music. But it's moved around since then.

HSM: What was the greatest struggle when putting together your newest album?
IG: I wouldn't call it a struggle as much as just a bump in the road. And I'd say it was just time. We didn't have a ton of free time to get together. So the making of the record took a lot longer than we expected. But as all things like that, I think it ended up benefiting us.

HSM: What's your thought process when creating new music?
IG: I think we like to just be open to anything.

HSM: What's the most exciting or rewarding for you as an artist/ musician?
IG: When recording/ writing it's probably when the song comes together. It sometimes feels like a magic trick, especially working with Greg. He's a bit of a magician. And to add to that, playing shows with him holds a lot of magic for me. He's an incredible musician.

HSM: Is there something or someone that has a big influence on you as a musician? What about as a person?
IG: As a musician, I'd say my two collaborators have the biggest influence on me. Greg Kurstin and Mike Andrews. As a person, that's a broader answer, but to be brief probably all my girlfriends. They are the ones who inspire me. And then my husband, of course.

HSM: Do you have a favorite song off of your newest album?
IG: It changes a lot, but right now it's "young and dumb". It's a really fun one to play live.

HSM: How does it feel to release a new album after a 5-year gap? Was there pressure when producing music after so long or did it feel natural to get back into it?
IG: We didn't feel any pressure getting back into it because we never stopped working. Greg and I have had a standing date every Friday for more than 5 years. Of course we miss some Fridays when other things come up. But we do try to carve out the time. And finally releasing the record felt really nice, because we'd been in such a bubble for so long.

HSM: Is there a story behind the album cover?
IG: I had named the record "Recreational Love" before we'd even written the song. And our friend Geoff McFetridge made our cover, which we love so much.

HSM: What do you hope fans and listeners would get out of listening to your new album?
IG: I think our aim is to please. If you get something else from it, that's great, but pleasure is the aim.

"Recreational Love" proves that the duo's chemistry is stronger than ever. The Bird and the Bee will be performing in Chicago on Sunday, November 1st, at Lincoln Hall. Be sure to check out their concert! Tickets are available online. Also, check out Inara's favorite song from the album, "Young and Dumb", as well as my personal favorite, "Los Angeles" below.

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