Bianca and Sierra Casady
This is a special KRUD follow-up to a post that I had written about CocoRosie back in April. I know it’s been a few months since the release of their most recent album, Noah’s Ark (in fact, it was released on my birthday, September 13), but I knew that I had to write about it eventually because I enjoy the album and the band so much.
The thing about my experiences with CocoRosie is that when I sit outside of myself and see me listening to their music I am in complete and utter confusion as to why I like it. I grew up listening to top 40 hits, rock ‘n roll, hip hop, and a lot of other mainstream stuff. In fact, I don’t even think that it was until I reached legal drinking age (I’m 23 right now) that I started to realize that there are bands who don’t strictly follow mainstream compositional formats who make incredible music.
CocoRosie is one of those bands. They tease your preconceptions of what music should be with their enchantingly strange arrangements of animal sounds, toy instruments, ambient noise, and various other elements. Over top of this, the Casady sisters add their own hauntingly sweet brand of vocal delivery that never fails to charm.
Their first album, La Maison de Mon Rêve, proved to be an unexpected hit in the world of experimental music. The Casady sisters didn’t even intend for it to be publicly released. They just created it for fun and made a few CD’s for their friends. Somehow they ended up in the hands of Touch & Go Records and CocoRosie became a smash hit in the indie scene. Audiences really loved their sweet, homemade experimental musical delights. But unlike La Maison de Mon Rêve, Noah’s Ark wasn’t created in the bathtub of Sierra Casady’s Parisian apartment. Instead, it was created on the road at a variety of locations. According to themilkfactory, Noah’s Ark was created in their mother’s barn in the French region of Camargue, their home in Brooklyn, a hotel while on the road, and a studio in Paris among other locations. This information isn’t all that surprising considering that all of the tracks have a very unique sound. They still have that unmistakable CocoRosie quality, but each song also has an identity of its own. For example, “South 2nd” sounds more like it was birthed in the French countrysides whereas “Noah’s Ark” sounds more like experimental electronica. And whereas “Bear Hide and Buffalo” sounds purely like an experiment in composing music with ambient noise, “Armageddon” is a dark song with strong gospel influences.
Keeping with the standard set by La Maison de Mon Rêve, CocoRosie provides listeners with quirky and often times disturbing or depressing lyrics. Take for example the lyrics from “Tekno Love Song”:
I fell in love with a bad bad man
Ever since I met him I’ve been sad sad sad
I’m a jail bird to your music
I’m a criminal in your prayer
I watch you in your sleep even when you’re not there
Rainbows wept color all over the streets
When you went away maybe one day we’ll meet
Lip stick I’d wear for one million years
Just to stop your eyes from falling them tears
When I listen to that song and follow along with the lyrics, I feel like I did when describing my initial impression of CocoRosie while listening to “By Your Side.” I originally described my feelings in my first post about the band: “I was in a state of emotional conflict as I listened to it. The song was very beautiful, very sad, and very weird all at once. I wasnâ€™t sure whether I should have smiled, cried, or just looked confused, but I wanted to do all three.” Now that I have listened to a fair amount of CocoRosie’s music I’m not quite as confused, so all that’s left for me to do is smile and cry.
Buy Noah’s Ark by CocoRosie
CocoRosie – South 2nd
CocoRosie – Noah’s Ark
CocoRosie – Armageddon