CocoRosie: „Guided by an inner force“

CocoRosie (Photo: Ginger Dunnill) 

The sisters Sierra Rose “Rosie” and Bianca Leilani “Coco” Casady formed CocoRosie in 2003 – means the band exists now for already 20 years. In this period they released seven albums so far, kicking it of with „La Maison de Mon Rêve“ (released on the legendary Touch and Go label) and followed up by little diamonds like „Grey Oceans“ (on Sub Pop) and „ Tales of a GrassWidow“ (on City Slang), but to be honest with you guys, there is no CocoRosie album that does not shine bright to us. And good news, the sisters are about to release a new album named „Elevator Angels“ later on this year. 

Lennart Brauwers interviewed Rosie and Coco for kaput, their answers are always coming in as CocoRosie.


First of all, I’d like to say congrats to 20 years of CocoRosie! To celebrate this anniversary, you played a few unplugged shows these past days, for example one at HAU Hebbel am Ufer in Berlin. 
This is interesting to me because I wouldn’t normally associate the word unplugged with the theatricalness that CocoRosie is known for. Would you agree with that?

CocoRosie: That was the whole idea, to boil our songs down to their essence, some which had never been in such a bare state, even in their conception.

How did you choose the songs for these shows and for the recently released EP „Elevator Angels“, for which you also revisited some of your older work in a beautiful way?

We chose the songs that lended themselves well to piano and voice. We also leaned towards our “greatest hits” or, most popular songs as a lot of our impetus was to give something to our fans specifically which isn’t generally the way we roll.

How did it feel to revisit these songs, especially in regards to the collaboration with the pianist Gael Rakotondrabe?

It was quite easeful and luxurious all around. Gael is a jewel of a musician, it was a deep pleasure to come back to that collaboration.

I’d like to go back to the beginning of your career, because your debut “La maison de mon rêve“ turns 20 this year. While I was relistening to that album, I noticed that you had your specific and unique sound right away. Did that happen organically or did you set out any rules / reference points while making those songs? Was it like „We definitely don’t wanna listen like that, so let’s make it sound like this“?

It was completely organic. I don’t feel like thinking was part of it. We were guided by an inner force.

Did you feel that your were part of any scene back then? Did you see similarities between your own art and the musical approach of other artists who were coming up during that time?

Sometimes we describe it like sharing a springtime of being born. Devendra’s first record definitely opened a door. Simultaneously we were consuming a lot of early nineties hip hop and Sierra was studying classical voice.
We had the beautiful luck of encountering Anhoni early on and we became soul sisters. When we came back to New York, after making our first record in Paris, there was a little scene that we somehow slipped into. Dave Sitek from TV on the Radio had a role in getting us signed, and we have been deep mates ever since. So, yes, there was a kind of scene of sorts that we skirted the edges of.

When I listen to your debut now, it sounds quite influential to me. Do your hear your own work in the music of younger artists?

Not really, but we have been told so. We don’t listen to much new music or music at all.

Can you tell us anything about your upcoming 8th studio album? Will it be a continuation of the sound of the „Elevator Angels“ project?

It’s trashy and sexy and dark and pretty upbeat, nothing like “Elevator Angles”.

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