Genre-bending. Revolutionary. Provocative. Fearless. Mustaches.
These words are the first of many that pop into my head when I hear the name “CocoRosie.” CocoRosie, music duo formed by sisters Sierra and Bianca Casady, is known for its boundary-pushing and groundbreaking music. The Casady sisters have broken every rule in the book since they hit the scene in 2007. It is almost impossible to put CocoRosie into a genre because they have essentially created their own genre. They definitely do not adhere to any standards of popular music being put out today. Their lyrics are revolutionary, as are the controversial subjects they write about: Sex, religion, gender-roles, politics. These sisters aren’t just revolutionizing the world of music, however. They have taken the world of radical feminism by storm, and are slowing down for no man. Instead of using music to convey the hackneyed and age-old manifestation of love or hearbreak, CocoRosie takes artistic expression to a world beyond the comprehension of “songwriters” like, say, Taylor Swift. Sierra and Bianca set the stage to portray their deeply-set and unabashed feminist sentiments through their songs, lyrics, theatrical performances, and thought-provoking imagery. The Green Room notes that CocoRosie’s genre-skewing music “is the idea of feminism as a restructuring force—that in order for more accurate perceptions about gender to be widespread, powerful institutions that oppress women must be reorganized or removed.” Religion is a major component of the Casady sister’s campaign. Bianca discusses the concept of a male god with The Stranger as the “root of so many of our troubles and misconceptions about women and men.” In Bianca’s eyes, the idea of a gender hierarchy within the realm of spirituality is what truly deters humanity from progressing away from a patriarchal society. The recent publication of Girls Against God (G.A.G.) is actively injecting these ideas into the parched veins of society. With the help of co-creator and artist, Anne Sherwood Pundyk, Casady has boldly enlisted artwork as a means of drastically illustrating the reinvention of “traditional, male-defined religions and other patriarchal institutions.” As an avid listener of their music, what I personally find so incredibly fascinating of this music group is their innovative lyrics. I am a firm believer that music reaches people in more ways than commonly thought. For instance, the first song I heard by CocoRosie, “Werewolf” has a single line in the first verse that allows the listener so much insight in so few words:
Broken sundown, fatherless showdown
Gun hip, swollen lip, bottle sip, yeah I suck dick
Loose grip on gravity falls, sky blinding crumbling walls.
In approximately 23 words, CocoRosie effectively transported me to a world difficult to imagine, and very far out of my comfort zone. They write with no holds barred, no filters, no restraints. That’s what their music is: a limitless, boundless, platform for expression. Some might find the words of their songs explicit, unorthodox, or offensive. I hear one thing when I listen to CocoRosie’s songwriting: honesty. This is only fitting because my perception holds that the root of feminism is honesty. Being a feminist is having the strength to be honest with others, with society, and ultimately, yourself. Feminism needs to be in a position in this world to empower people to be honest about the condition our society is in. That is what CocoRosie does for music listeners everywhere: they empower them to be honest. I invite you to listen to more of their inspiring music here BECAUSE THEY ARE THE CATS PAJAMAS.