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Tales of a Grasswidow (Bonus Track Version)

CocoRosie

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Album Review

Over the years, CocoRosie slowly drifted away from their lo-fi roots and toward sounds that emphasize the sophistication of their songs. On Tales of a GrassWidow, Sierra and Bianca Casady polish away some of the more grating edges of their previous album, Grey Oceans, but these songs aren't all sweetness and light: "After the Afterlife" begins the album with deceptive delicacy before synths take the track in a darker and more mysterious direction. Indeed, this is some of CocoRosie's most electronic-based music, in large part because the Casadys worked with producer Valgeir Sigurðsson, whose Scandinavian folktronic flair brings out the similarities in the sisters' music to Björk and Múm. Like those artists, CocoRosie make music that sounds ancient and futuristic at the same time, and the way they contrast and juxtapose those elements are vital to Tales of a GrassWidow's wounded but lovely songs. There is a lot of grief in this album, particularly on "Child Bride," where Bianca whispers trepidation-filled lyrics as Sierra wails in the distance, or on "Gravediggress," a rueful duet between a young girl (Bianca) and an old woman (Sierra) who may or may not be the same person. Songs such as these, as well as the surprisingly eldritch "Harmless Monster," where Bianca seems to murmur "I was an angel/Someone's sweet thing" from deep inside a haunted house, showcase not just CocoRosie's increasingly refined sounds but also the more nuanced ways they express their feminism. Despite GrassWidow's overall somber tone — which is exemplified beautifully on "Broken Chariot"'s mournful shakuhachi flutes — the Casadys do allow some hard-earned respites on tracks like the harp-driven "Roots of My Hair" and the equally eerie and catchy "Villain," which proves that the duo can write a pop song (granted, a pop song with harpsichord and violin breaks) when they wish to. Tales of a GrassWidow may not be as overtly challenging as Grey Oceans, but it offers some of CocoRosie's most focused, accomplished songs yet.

Customer Reviews

Tomorrow

Really hope they get big! But at the same time I think that could alter their music and I like being in a small community that loves/ knows cocrosie.

Thanks CocoRosie

I Fell asleep listening to this. I had the trippiest dream ever! I love this band because the more you listen the better it gets. You just hear so much more once their songs are embedded in your mind. Great album!

BILL!

If you Love cocorosie You'll defently like this!

Biography

Formed: 2003 in Paris, France

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The luminously lovely indie folk-tronic duo CocoRosie consists of the Casady sisters, vocalist/guitarist/harpist Sierra and vocalist/percussionist Bianca. Both sisters had an early love of music that they pursued as they grew up, albeit in different ways: Sierra began operatic vocal training while she was in high school, while Bianca sang and wrote songs but kept them to herself. That is, until she reconnected with Sierra, who joined Bianca at her Paris apartment, and they started playing and recording...
Full bio