CocoRosie is the potently poetic music-based project of American cross-disciplinary performance artists Sierra and Bianca Casady. They sing eye-opening accounts of unsayable things, yet their music ultimately celebrates a spiritual freedom attainable in the purely natural world. Their songs blend a myriad of styles and references, from hip-hop and reggae through to folk and opera, shaping the most painful of experiences into memorable and evocative pop songs. Taken as a whole, CocoRosie’s music is an ongoing psychologically intimate dialogue between the siblings. Each sister has her own persona and vocal delivery; Bianca delivers hard-hitting truths in a childlike voice whilst Sierra responds in pure open tones, playing a range of instruments including the harp, flute, piano, and guitar. Combining folk, electronic, lo-fi, and globe-trotting musical elements into a unique and often poignant sound.
In their first ten years as CocoRosie, the sisters have released four albums: Grey Oceans (2010), The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn (2007), Noah’s Ark (2005), and their first album “La maison de mon rêve” (2004) – each one inspiring controversy and debate in equal amounts to praise, such is their fearlessness and willingness to take risks with their art. This strong creative vision runs through every aspect of their work – from videos to live performance utilizing theatrical costumes and make up which they create alongside each new body of songs.
Finding expression for their ideas in other disciplines beyond the traditional musical parameters is paramount to the sisters – and often a source of inspiration for their songwriting. In addition to their album tours and festival performances worldwide, Sierra has arranged and performed operas in collaboration with the likes of the Symphony Orchestra of Amsterdam, The ICA in London and The Sydney Opera House. Bianca has had exhibitions in both alternative and established fine art venues all around the world. She’s hosted informal fashion shows, artist salons, book clubs, and taught and given poetry readings.
CocoRosie now introduce their fifth album, Tales Of A GrassWidow, produced in collaboration with Icelandic composer Valgeir Sigurðsson and enriched by a whole host of guest performances. It’s a brave record, synthesizing electronic and organic sound to convey a futuristic, back-to-nature feeling. The sisters boldly tackle topics most wouldn’t dare including child abuse, drawing parallels between the treatment of children, especially girls, as disposable and the destruction of the earth’s resources.
“Grey Oceans by CocoRosie shows us a sliver of a secret ocean of high waves we wish to be part of in our dreams. CocoRosie is the shower we need now in the musical desert. “God Has a Voice She Speaks Through Me” … What a line!”
“Balancing beauty and pain, charm and repulsion, the aural and the visual – is a wholly comprehensive one and certainly is refreshing.”
Chris Mode in walkerart magazine
Grey Oceans is the Casady sister’s subtlest, most cohesive statement. (And it is a statement, something we need more of these days.)... It may seem downcast in a way, but like all of their work, it’s uplifting even when discussing tears, lost relations, a fear of sharks, these grey (and increasingly black) oceans... It’s for singing with a flashlight under a blanket. I’ve always found CocoRosie’s work honest and bravely naked — some of the most emotionally bare music you’ll hear….They give a lot of themselves (...) This album’s no different — a strange mix of strength and fragility. Also, their ear for melody is crystalline, their compositions so weirdly fathomless. It’s hard listening to the title track without getting goosebumps.
Brandon Stosuy in Stereogum