Acclaimed Los Angeles-based indie pop act the bird and the bee — singer/songwriter Inara George and eight-time Grammy Award-winning producer and multi-instrumentalist Greg Kurstin — can trace their origins back to when they met while working on George’s 2005 solo debut All Rise.
Bonding over a mutual love of 80s pop and rock, the duo decided to continue collaborating together in a jazz-influenced electro pop-leaning project. With the release of 2006’s Again and Again and Again and Again EP and 2007’s self-titled, full-length debut, George and Kurstin quickly established a reputation for crafting pop songs with a breezy elegance.
Since the debut album, the bird and the bee have released three albums, as well as two volumes in their Interpreting the Masters series, in which they re-arranged and re-imagined the music of Hall & Oates and Van Halen in their playful and breezy style.
2020’s Christmas album Put Up the Lights was written and recorded remotely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Lifetimes,” is the first bit of new material since the release Put Up the Lights — and interestingly enough the song marks two big occasions for the the duo:
- the first time they were able to work together at Kurstin’s Hollywood-based No Expectations Studio in years
- and the duo celebrating the 15th anniversary of their self-titled debut, released through Blue Note Records
“It was really nice to be back in each other’s company and working on music together. No matter who you are, there’s always something unique that happens when you are able to collaborate with someone in the same space,” the bird and bee’s Inara George says in press notes. “Since the beginning of the bird and the bee, Greg and I have always had a very easy and fun time collaborating. I think it’s what keeps us playing music together. We have a kind of unspoken understanding and such a creative ease. Being back together inspired this song about our first musical collaboration.”
“Lifetimes” is centered around an expansive and elegant arrangement that starts with angular post-punk guitar that slowly builds up to include blown out beats, twinkling keys, fluttering synths, a dreamy Bossa nova and jazz-like bridge, and an anthemic coda. While telling the tale of the duo’s first collaboration together, the song is also a meditation on the passing of time, and a celebration of a deep and abiding friendship rooted in an unusual understanding of the other.
Directed by Simona Mehandzhieva and Norbert Garab, the recently released animated video for “Lifetimes” follows the song’s story as a swooning platonic love story and a sort of Vulcan mind-meld between two very different yet oddly similar people.