7inch Sunday: Coco Rosie – We Are On Fire

7inch Sunday is a segment devoted entirely to 7” vinyl and the all-encompassing experience surrounding it. Although most publications cover major releases, the vinyl single is often overlooked and given nothing more than a half-hearted nod of acknowledgement. This weekly feature is a hub for 7” reviews, exploring the B-sides and rarities of artists that may often go unnoticed.

Each Sunday I will review 7” vinyl from artists who venture this extra mile to hold their singles high above the sea of digital releases. I hope to embody the spirit of vinyl while sharing some fantastic music with you, the reader. Let’s get started.

I first came across CocoRosie while listening through fringe hip hop artist Busdriver’s most recent effort, Beaus$Eros. One nugget from the record’s complex and demanding list is “Electric Blue,” the only song featuring musicians other than Regan Farquhar himself. Featured alongside rapper Mike Ladd and Joelle Phuong Minh Le, CocoRosie bring their freak folk to this fringe slow jam.

Working as a duo for roughly ten years, CocoRosie is comprised of sisters Sierra and Bianca Casady. Initially with Touch and Go Records, the group found their niche while pushing genre boundaries on their debut La maison de mon rêve.

This garnered the attention of Sub Pop, who offered them a deal and released the most recent record, Grey Oceans, in 2010. Two years have now passed, and CocoRosie are back with a pinch of new material. We Are On Fire features an A-side of the same name and “Tearz For Animals” as the B-side.

Placing heavy emphasis on visuals in their work, CocoRosie is best understood when both video and audio come together. After spinning “We Are On Fire” on vinyl, listen to the song in conjunction with the Emma Freeman-directed video. The macabre collage of choreography fills the gaps between Bianca’s oddly infectious vocals. Intriguing sampling and mysterious lyrics provide each listen with something new, and throwing in the art house short film only adds to the evolving dynamic.

“Tearz For Animals” brings the record down a notch from the rowdy “We Are On Fire.” Featuring frequent collaborator Antony Hegarty (of Antony and the Johnsons fame), the track is a back-and-forth between the two until they join together for the flagship mantra: “Do you have love for humankind?” Although a simple line, it breaks the fourth wall, addressing the listener directly with a startlingly relevant question. However, like an experimental lullaby, the somber number doesn’t demand an answer, but instead eases along gently until the final notes.

While many freak folk groups deconstruct their sound and rebuild from the ground up for the sake of remaining fresh, CocoRosie have carved their path without unnecessary style-butchering. This newest single (and accompanying video below) preludes a full-length of similar, consistent impact, once again securing these sisters near the forefront of their genre.

Check back next week for a look at Yola Fatoush’s debut self-titled!

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