CocoRosie was dreamt up in 2003 when sisters Bianca and Sierra Casady randomly met up in Paris after not seeing each other for years. There, they spent hours locked in a bathroom creating the origins of what has become an eclectic folk, opera hip-hop cocktail. For something considered “experimental,” their music is surprisingly easy to get into, and it only gets better the more you listen. The fact that these women are so genuinely strange is definitely part of the allure.
Their latest album, Grey Gardens, was released this May. It manages to keep the strange experimental sounds such as those from noisemakers and child’s toys yet sounds much more polished than previous albums. Bianca told us that the overarching theme of their live shows this tour is “bedtime, bedroom, lovespells, dreams and past lives.”
A recent live performance in New Orleans was nothing short of jaw-dropping. They performed with their favorite New Orleans trans musician, Sissy Nobby, of whom Bianca says, “We love him right now.”
I was actually shocked to see that they didn’t use any type of vocal effects; that’s just what they sound like. Sierra’s professional opera training is evident; her voice is crystal clear and almost dream-like and Bianca’s high pitched gangster squeal was legit. Both girls performed in haunting, mystical costumes, much like those worn in their latest video, “Lemonade,” which is amazingly beautiful and very fairy-tale-esque.
In an interview with The New Gay this June, Bianca called “Lemonade” “the most literal, autobiographical song” on the new record. In fact, Grey Oceans in its entirety sounds more mellowed out and introspective than past albums.
Unlike another familiar sister duo, only one half of CocoRosie is queer — Bianca. In a 2008 interview with AfterEllen.com, she said that she doesn’t understand why the media is so frequently surprised that she’s gay, as she often performs in drag. In general, CocoRosie is visually known for adorning beards and whimsical, dreamlike attire. Bianca explained this concept:
“We started to fashion ourselves after elemental beings — fairies and gnomes; sort of a post-human kind of style where gender roles don’t apply in the same way necessarily; where facial hair isn’t explanatory of one’s gender. It’s more of an adornment or just sort of evident that we’re turning more and more to nature and becoming more a part of the landscape.”
Are you a a CocoRosie fan?