CocoRosie is a Brooklyn based duo, two sisters, Bianca and Sierra Cassady. They became quite a hit in New York, as they managed to win a series of good reviews in their short creative career, becoming the unburdened underground stars of an upcoming, fresh, neo-folk musical trend. In the last few years this type of music has gained wider recognition on the other side of the Atlantic, with musicians like Devendra Banhart, Iron & Wine, Jack Rose, Entrance, Joanna Newson, Sufjan Stevens, and many others. They come from a segment of young musicians who alienate themselves completely from current musical trends, 'pre-produced' creations, and the dictates of contemporary technology. They create an exaggerated emotional and open sound confession, which could have just as easily have been made in the first years of the twentieth century, which has since been hidden from curious eyes in a dark and dusty attic. The two ladies are in love with the archaic, romantic and fabulous world of acoustics and ballads, and their music is far from academic; they have a self-taught approach to experiment, not bound to a particular time and place, existing in its own small world, possessed by dream-like, fantastic characters and a fragile, intimate sound patch-work.
From a very young age they lived a separated, hard and hedonistic, nomadic lifestyle; freedom, transition and the ability to enjoy the moment were all important parts of their upbringing. Bianca, the younger of the two sisters, became enthusiastic about music in her childhood, and had an unpretentious approach toward writing love poems, while Sierra chose a more solid approach. For some years she studied to become an opera singer in Rome, New York and Paris. She dropped out because of the underlying academic tone, the restrictions of tradition, the exclusiveness of the community, and the narrow view the experts held regarding the role of the composer. It was in Paris that the two sisters were reunited after many years and began their creative journey together. The smell of Paris oozes from every pore of their only album La Maison De Mon Reve, published earlier this year by Touch & Go, an exception for them, as this is the first time they have placed such sweet-sounding music in their much more rock-coloured catalogue.
This first album is fascinating merely because they reject any kind of modern technology and are not limited to any specific genre. The focal points of their interest are gospel, folk, neo-classical music, piano minimalism, and the pre-war sound of country blues, yet all these remain only the basis on which CocoRosie build their intimate confession, which could be found in the musical archives of Alan Lommax or Harry Smith. CocoRosie are all too aware of the fact that less can be more, since their castles in the clouds are founded on DIY ideology and minimal equipment, rarely exceeding means such as guitar, vocals reminiscent of Billie Holiday and Bessie Smith, piano and body sounds, type-writer, jewellery and home-made toys, regularly used for rhythmic groundwork.