A Timely Bit of Ageless Pop

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Monday's Pick

  • Song: "Free to Stay"
  • Artist: Smoosh
  • CD: Free to Stay
  • Genre: Pop-Rock

Smoosh first entered the public consciousness two years ago, while opening for the likes of Pearl Jam and Death Cab for Cutie. The duo's 2004 debut, She Like Electric — released when its members, Asya and Chloe, were 12 and 10, respectively — shows a keen sense of pop melody and a willingness to explore the possibilities of a sound built on just drums, keyboards and vocals.

Smoosh's Chloe and Asya are 12 and 14, but theirs is no kiddie novelty act.

Smoosh's Chloe and Asya are 12 and 14, but theirs is no kiddie novelty act. Ryan Schierling hide caption

toggle caption Ryan Schierling

Asya's voice, in particular, sounds mature beyond her years: Her sultry delivery encompasses everything from full-blown belting to, on occasion, tongue-in-cheek rapping. Asya and Chloe's sparse, eclectic pop sound has roots in schoolhouse rhymes, indie rock and modern hip-hop — in an alternative universe, they'd be MTV stars.

"Free to Stay" has all the makings of a left-field radio hit, including a smooth R&B rhythm and a hook that's an instant earworm. On paper, it's easy to see Smoosh's youth as a gimmick, but "Free to Stay" is appealing and infectious enough to chase away the doubts in a span of less than three minutes.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

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