Music has been a bonding factor for sisters Liv and Anita Cazzola since they were children and they are broadening that lifelong bond with every new musical venture.
“The band name is growing in meaning because both of our partners are in the band as well,” said Anita. “It’s kind of this growing family thing going on. We are very connected with each other and that helps us in our writing and in our survival as a band.
People have said we are like one living breathing organism moving on the stage together, which is kind of cool.”
Their new album, Honey Suite, features 10 songs composed by the sisters and performed by 10 additional musicians all of whom will be joining them on stage tonight at Royal City Church on Quebec Street for the record and tour launch.
“We will be performing the full album with all 12 people tonight,” said Liv. “It is the biggest thing we have done to date.”
The sisters were born and raised in Guelph by their parents Ed and Mirella Cazzola.
“Our parents still live in the house we grew up in, in the Ward,” said Liv. “They built a house next door to my mom’s parents just down the hundred steps from here. We are very Italian.”
They began performing together when Liv was 12 and Anita was 10.
“That was the first time we tried to sing something together,” said Liv. “One of the first songs was Everything I Do I Do It For You.”
They started The Lifers four years ago when they entered and won a battle of the bands competition at Ryerson University.
“We thought of the name because of a song I had written around the same time and the chorus is ‘Oh, I’m a lifer’,” said Liv. “We thought it was kind of applicable for us because, not only are we stuck with each other for life but we are choosing to play music together as a life passion that we share.”
They produced an EP in 2014 and their first full-length album, Out and In, in 2016. The name for the new album, recorded at Wildlife Sanctuary Sound, near Dornoch, Ontario, is a play on words that reflects a variety of meanings.
“When you say the word sweet you think of sugary sweet, which is a comforting taste,” said Liv. “Suite, as in a hotel suite, is an example of a place like home. Suite is also a term used for a type of musical composition and was used in Medieval times to describe a group of people that would be there to support the royal family. So we kind of think of this suite of collaborators as being this really solid unit like that.”
The honey reference has meaning as well.
“Bees work together to create something nutritious and vital for their lives and provide healthy food for humans too,” said Liv. “Another thing we thought was special about the bee analogy is that a lot of our current efforts with the Lifers have to do with female empowerment and bees are almost all female.”
Singer songwriter Annie Sumi is opening the show tonight and will be joining Liv, Anita and Lifer cellist Jill Sauerteig on a two month Sisterhood of Sound tour that will take them across the northern US, Eastern Canada, Quebec, Ontario and Europe.
The tour was funded by an Ontario Arts Council grant and the album was financed through a crowd-funding campaign and band savings.
Artwork for the album and the stage design for this evening’s show, was created by Anita who is in her final year of art college.“I am almost done my schooling at OCAD University where I am studying sculpture and installation and minoring in textiles,” she said. “It has been an exhausting year because this album is big. It was a lot of work. It is a huge project that means so much to both of us. I feel so lucky to be able to do what I love.”