A Fresh Perspective
Inara George has released her latest album Dearest Everybody which is her first solo work since 2009. She is a singer-songwriter and one half of the indie-pop duo The Bird and the Bee with producer Greg Kurstin. The two have put out seven albums together, with the most recent being 2015’s Recreational Love. On top of all that, she’s a member of the trio The Living Sisters. She’s also made some recent guest appearances on the latest albums from Foo Fighters and the pop duo SUPERFRUIT.
On Dearest Everybody, George addresses the important people in her life through songs. She had been accumulating songs over the span of three years to put on this album. George found herself writing songs for people and giving them away like gifts. It started out with writing for a friend who had lost a child and George wanted a way to honor them. She was inspired to include other people’s perspectives in the songs. The track “Release Me,” for example, takes on her mother’s point of view after her father died. George has said, “It was almost like sitting down and writing them a letter or trying to figure out how to find your way into the song.”
Working with her longtime collaborator Mike Andrews, to whom a song on the album is dedicated, George built up her emotional songs with sweet and delicate productions with strings and acoustic guitar. On some tracks, George’s voice is alone with just a piano or her own background harmonies. The soundtrack these two have created is stirring and cathartic, perfect for the emotional subject matter.
George opens the album with “Young Adult,” a soft reflection on her life after her father passed away. He was Lowell George, the frontman of rock and roll group Little Feat. He was also the impetus for George to create a name for herself outside of his legacy. George sings poignantly in the chorus, “Where is the line between all this joy and all this sorrow?” Her whimsical melodies float through an amusing pop arrangement.
On “Somewhere New” George imagines a character looking to start fresh in a new place. Here she excels with her playful delivery. “Slow Dance” has a folksy rock sound and is one of the more upbeat ones of the album, despite the title.
“House on Valentine” closes out the album with a light-hearted sound but also honest and moving storytelling. It’s a beautiful tune where George’s soft vocals dance over piano and percussion. “I would be a liar if I didn’t say this scares me half to death,” she sings in her conversational style. The production becomes interesting in the latter half of the track with Beatles-esque backward sounds playing over the echoes of George calling “Goodbye.”
Dear Everybody takes on many different perspectives throughout the album but each song is as personal and compelling as the next. It’s well rounded in terms of its musical styles and the lyrics are some of George’s most intimate and touching.