NPR logo A Timely Bit of Ageless Pop

A Timely Bit of Ageless Pop

Free to Stay

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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. Ryan Schierling hide caption

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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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