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Music with Dark, Youthful Curiosity


It was not a surprise to see a mass of neon-haired, glitter-clad beings, or dreadlocked creatures with flowers in their hair dispersed among the typical Denver show-goer at The Gothic Theatre to see CocoRosie on March 25.

Haunted seems like a concise description of these musical virtuosos. CocoRosie is a group initiated by two sisters, Bianca (Coco) and Sierra (Rosie) Casady, who have an immense talent—and a peculiar one at that. CocoRosie holds a lot of nostalgia for most of their fans. The sisters have been creating and performing music for over a decade.

As the lights in the Gothic began to dim to an aptly neon pink and purple glow, the Casady sisters entered with predictably eccentric costumes—one could expect nothing but. Sierra donned a neon pink ankle-length skirt with black polka dots, paired with an ostensibly hand-decorated wife beater. Bianca seemed to be wearing the ruffled pink and black polka dot top to go with the aforementioned skirt, pairing it instead with boxing shorts and harlequin tights.

The sisters were accompanied by their equally-talented trumpeter and pianist, Takuya Nakamura, and human beat boxer, known only as TEZ, who are, ironically, possibly the most normal-looking people in the theater.

The group took no haste in starting off their set with “Heartache City” off their newest album with the same name. Sierra, an operatically-trained vocalist, sang softly and seductively into the microphone, sitting at a piano, introducing Bianca’s rap-like bars in her signature youthful yet raspy voice.

Their performance was stripped down compared to their album, relying only on TEZ as their electronic beats and baby toys to create their usual electronica sound; their performance was simple and had an air of intimacy. Sierra’s vintage, cinematic star quality added to her energy and her performance, while Bianca seemed like a vision from the future.

The bond between the Casady sisters is clear and powerful. As they leapt into perhaps one of their most beloved tracks, “Werewolf,” it was truly heartening to see a group of musicians brazenly relishing their own music as much as their audience.

CocoRosie forges a world where jejune purity and the treachery of knowledge exist simultaneously: a place where innocence remains intact despite the fact that, as adults, that infantile quality has been buried. The lyrics take to the darker side, which touches on the decisive balance of the groups composition, pairing the dark with the light, a Lolita-esque curiosity about the world’s shadowy corners, yet still retaining the guileless gleam of an innocent intensity.

The intrigue of CocoRosie is not only their offstage peculiarity, but the balance of their onstage performance: a rather put-together mess. Perhaps it is the garish costumes, the childlike energy and Bianca’s distinctively infantile voice, but these two women have an uncanny ability to make their audience feel the simplicity of being a child again.

—Sarai Nissan

Above: The Casady sisters flaunt wild costumes and simple music.

photo: Sarai Nissan • CU Denver Sentry

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