CULTURE

From bathroom sessions to international following

The story of CocoRosie, a musical duet formed by two previously estranged sisters who return to Athens for a show at the Gagarin Club tonight following an intriguing gig last summer, reads like legend. The siblings, Bianca Leilani Casady and Sierra Rose Casady – nicknamed Coco and Rosie respectively by their mother, a drifting teacher and artist who roamed around the USA – lost contact during their early teens. But an unanticipated transatlantic reunion in 2000 instantly produced a compulsive urge for musical creativity, now making major waves on the indie circuit. On three albums to date, the duo has innovatively fused styles as diverse as folk, hip-hop and electronica with plenty of toy instruments included for a surreal mix of dark undercurrents and playful sounds. Sierra, the older of the two siblings, had moved into a tiny Paris apartment as a 20-year-old in 2000 to pursue a career as an opera singer, studying at the Paris Conservatory. The move came after years in the wilderness. While in her teens, Sierra was thrown out of her mother’s home, and her father, a traveling teacher who was involved in shamanism and the Peyote religion, sent Sierra to boarding school. She changed schools frequently and lost contact with the younger Bianca. In 2003, three years after her older sister had moved to Paris, Bianca, growing restless, left her apartment in Brooklyn, New York to travel the world. Around this time, Bianca unexpectedly turned up at her sister’s tiny Parisian flat. The pair immediately began working on making music together and recording inside Sierra’s bathroom, the flat’s most isolated and acoustic space. Within months, the sisters had completed two projects, a hip-hop album that was not released, and what turned out to be the CocoRosie debut album, «La Maison de Mon Reve.» Originally intended for distribution among friends, the lo-fi recording was released in 2004 by Touch and Go Records, a respected Chicago-based indie label. CocoRosie released a follow-up album a year later, «Noah’s Ark,» with cameo appearances from current indie greats Devendra Banhart and Antony of Antony and the Johnsons. One year ago, the duo released a third album, «The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn.» Though clean-sounding and focused, it is the act’s most bizarre work to date. The hip-hop influence is heavy here. «Well… it wasn’t my intention but I grew up, like, kind of on the road, and I have what has sometimes been deemed a wonderful habit, and at other times been deemed a horrible habit, which is, I really need to keep moving. Completely. I’ve got better about it since we’ve been touring. I’ve really wanted to settle down for some time now,» Sierra told indie music e-magazine incendiarymag.com, when asked about her bohemian lifestyle. Most recently, the sisters were believed to have moved back to Paris after sharing an apartment in Brooklyn.