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CocoRosie Comes to Northampton

As I entered the dimly lit clubroom with Amanda Bennett ’10 at my side, I could see that Shira E. had already begun the opening act.  Throngs of local high school and college students sporting skinny jeans and edgy t-shirts constituted the crowd at Pearl Street Nightclub.  Like these students, I had sacrificed my precious Thursday night, traditionally dedicated to schoolwork, to see one of my favorite up-and-coming indie bands, CocoRosie, play in Northampton.  Students wore Native American headdresses and gesticulated their excitement and anticipation as Shira E. left the stage and the MC announced that CocoRosie was up next.

Amanda and I watched as stagehands set up a harp, two microphones, and a drum set enclosed within an old-fashioned baby’s crib.  The crowd pulsated with energy and that certain euphoria that can only be found among fervent fans attending their favorite band’s concert.

Suddenly, images were projected on a large screen.  The moving projections set the tone for the band-mysterious, disturbing, and eerily exquisite.  Shortly after the projection of images, a hush fell over the crowd-like the calm before a storm.  When Bianca (Coco) and Sierra (Rosie) Casady, two sisters who initiated the band in Paris, France, came onto the stage, the crowd went wild.

With projections of ocean waves washing in and out in the background, Coco and Rosie each stepped up to the microphone.  Their unconventional attire, composed of flowing blouses, leggings, and corseted tops, perfectly complemented their music, which is often dubbed “freak folk.”

The voices of the two sisters harmonized with an unusual beauty, Bianca with a unique, melancholy sound and Sierra with rich, operatic vocals.  Accompanying the duo were an extraordinary beatboxer, bassist, and synth player.

Using children’s toys and exotic instruments to back their vocals,  CocoRosie’s bizarre melodies are hypnotic and otherworldly.  Critics have likened the duos songs to “falling down a rabbit hole… and skipping your way through Wonderland sipping mushroom tea as you cross paths with werewolves, unicorns, and rainbow warriors and other amazing creatures.” That sums it up nicely.

Seeing them perform live adhered to this description as well.  The show was capped off by raging applause from the crowd, and smiles and air-kisses from Sierra and Bianca.  Watching CocoRosie leave the stage was like waking up from a dream, but with the band’s recent release of their fourth album, “Gray Oceans,” it is safe to say that we can remain under their spell.

Source: Daily Hampshire Gazette

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