Meet The Lifers, Liv and Anita Cazzola, harmonic vocalists of the Toronto-based band. Since their move from Guelph to Toronto, the folk duo are making their name known one ballad at a time. With a new single, Home for the Weekend, currently on their first cross Canada tour, these sisters are ones to keep an eye on. They describe their sound as folksy and story-like, but say the real charm heard in their unique voices, harmonies, and lyrics really come together thanks to a sisterhood bond.
“Rich harmonies are what you get when the harmonies of two sisters get together, our voices jive well,” Anita said. “Sisters jive well.”
Across their two EP’s, The Live Sessions, and Set the Sails, no two tracks are the same. There are undertones of blues, indie, and pop, creating a different feel to every song. The chemistry between the two emphasizes the tone and emotion and keeps a cohesive sound among the diversity. The sister’s catching stage presence and song writing abilities coupled with a solid sound is what makes their music so gripping, smart and soulful. The years of passion put into their music is heard throughout all of their EP’s and their spellbinding live performances.
Their sound was established early on. They grew up around the large “hippie” community of their hometown and were raised by musicians. Music was always apart of their lives thanks to their parents cover band. Being exposed to their parent’s band practices was where they got the first glimpse of their own sound.
“Our parents had band practice in the basement every Friday,” Anita said. “We’d be dancing around and singing with our mom, which is where our harmony really came from.”
“We’d always sing her parts in the song, which were all harmony, so that’s where we were really introduced to harmony,” Liv.
From their story-based lyrics to perfectly in sync voices, it’s clear that these sisters have a charm of their own. But what makes these girls stand out is the chemistry that only two sisters creating something they both love can have.
“We like to try to bring a story to everything, whether it’s personal or drawing from inspiration around us, ”Anita said.
Drawing inspiration from real life experiences is also how their name came about. In the midst of life and change, Liv wrote a song called Lifers. She claims the there was no real thought to the name, but explains the meaning.
“We started thinking about that word, and how it can be shed in a negative light. We are always going to be sisters, we are always going to be playing music together, whether we make a career out of it or do it part time, we’re always going to play,” said Liv.
Though there may not have been extensive thought behind the name, they have come across some unexpected controversy surrounding it. People have interoperated the name from the Prolife vs Prochoice stance, but the sisters insist they are in no way trying to make political statement, but simply associate the meaning to something positive. Positivity is a common theme heard in their music. Their soft voices balance perfectly with their sweet melodies. You can’t help but feel everything in the song when you listen to them, which is exactly what the sisters hope for. The importance of the lyrics are more than just something pretty, they’re stories to provoke emotion.
“Lyrics drive emotion, which makes the harmony emphasized,” Liv said.
“—And lyrics and harmony makes people feel something,” Anita finished. “The best compliment is when people say ‘this makes me so happy.'[With our songs] sometimes the subject matter night not be very happy, but the way we go about telling it tends to be upbeat, so even if it’s not something happy, say it’s something melancholy, we just to make people feel something.”
The two don’t only synchronize in music, but in what they add to their creation of The Lifers. The two juggle their music careers with living in the city and being full time students. Liv is currently studying an honours double major in business and popular music at Western. Formally studying at Ryerson for interior design, Anita will now being studying at OCAD in the fall. So far, both use what they’ve learned from their drastically different studies to aid the band from all sides.
“I’m a very visual artist,” Anita explained. “I do all of the web design and album covers and Liv takes care of the business aspect,”
“It’s a good trade off,” Liv added. “We get along well as siblings. It’s great that you can have this experience with your sibling, we’ve gone through a lot of crazy times and fun times together,”
With their new single and according to Liv a “glimmer” of more music to come in the future, we can look forward to the band on the rise, The Lifers.
You can catch The Lifers this Saturday, April 18h at the Tennessee and on Song-Talk Radio on the 21nd. As well as, keep up with their songs, videos, and the latest news on the newly designed site here.