With their strange combination of instruments, fantasy lyrics and weird fashion CocoRosie seem hell bent on obscurity.
So there were some doubts about bringing a band so deliberately quirky ― for Saturday’s show in Seoul they wore oversized white shorts, fluorescent beards and jeweled veils ― to a country hostile to alternative music.
But the skeptics were proved wrong. After all, the Cassady sisters’ talent confounds their image. The odd combination of Sierra’s classically trained voice and Bianca’s rhythmic vocals ― backed with recorder, harp and children’s toys amongst others ― works to surprisingly catchy effect.
This knack for playground rhythms and simple tunes can occasionally make CocoRosie sound a bit sparse. But there was rich backing from a pianist, a percussionist and beatboxer Tez, who also warmed up for the band by working his way through a series of hip hop classics.
While occasional interludes sounded contrived ― always a risk when genres are mixed ― these were few and brief. The rest of the time, the tunes won out ― stand outs being “Werewolf,” and “The Moon Asked the Crow.” A rendition of “Lemonade” showed what CocoRosie do best, switching effortlessly between bristling synthesizers and childlike simplicity.
If any worries remained about the success of this gig, CocoRosie seemed unaware of them, beaming as they ran between instruments. The pat-a-cake during the chorus of “Hopscotch” was performed behind the harp, making it seem more for their own benefit than for the crowd.
But this was not a band neglecting their audience ― the crowd came to see a pair lost in their music, maybe even a little self-indulgently.
By the time Bianca asked how the audience was feeling, it was obvious.
By Paul Kerry (firstname.lastname@example.org)