Bianca and Sierra Casady can and often do make beautiful music, but they don’t make it easy for anyone to love them. First, there are the publicity photos in which the sisters appear dressed in bizarre getups — elaborate, awful makeup (most recently involving penciled-on beards and mustaches), mullets, and mismatched outfits that are part hippie chick, part Renaissance Faire, part hooker, part escaped mental patient. Often in these photos the sisters appear to be puckering up to kiss each other. And let’s not forget the album covers, including the Bianca-designed Noah’s Ark — cited by Pitchfork as one of the ugliest album covers of all time — depicting a ménage-a-trois of unicorns, one of which is vomiting.
Then there is the music. Sierra trained as an opera singer in Paris, and CocoRosie’s music always sounds meticulously arranged. But, again, the Casady sisters aren’t interested in just being pretty. “Rainbowarriors” could be a club hit — complete with rapping — except that there are all these irritating sound effects going off throughout the song. In “Lemonade,” one sister sings like a 1930s movie star and the other squeaks and croaks like Joanna Newsom’s evil twin.
In fact, CocoRosie often comes across as a weirder, more international version of that famous forest nymph of Nevada City. It can’t be easy to be the strangest act in a scene that includes Newsom, Devendra Banhart, and Antony and the Johnsons, but CocoRosie pulls it off with ease. Still, if you can make it past all the distractions, CocoRosie can offer great delights.
- Thursday, July 1, 2010, 9 p.m.
- Belly Up, 143 South Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach