After the swelter lifted off New York City, a cool rush of air blew in from the West last night, and with it came the freshest kids on the left side of the Mason Dixon: Seattle’s own Smoosh graced Spin headquarters with their drum kit and keyboards and proceeded to rock SPINhouse Live No. 11. The collective “awww” that rang throughout the crowd in Spin’s basement upon seeing the golden locked Asya and Chloe was soon replaced with cries of “Yeah!” and “Smooooooooosh!” as the girls stomped through their boisterous set.
“We like to play live better because it has a bigger sound,” Smoosh singer/keyboardist Asya, 13, told SPIN.com earlier in the day. It’s clear from the band’s performance that Asya and her sister Chloe, 11, the drummer, shine in front of an audience. Smoosh kicked off their performance with the first four songs off their debut album, She Like Electric. The crowd particularly enjoyed the girls’ rap anthem, “Rad.” “Uh huh, uh huh, yo, yo,” Asya chanted, and all the onlookers thought the song’s title was especially apt.
“We’re gonna play some new songs now,” Asya told the audience. Smoosh then launched into a series of piano driven melodies that built on the signature baby-Tori Amos sound that they nearly perfected on She Like Electric. Added to the live mix on the new songs were backing vocals from Chloe. Asya said about Smoosh’s second album, “It’s definitely longer and more complex…the songs are mostly piano, not as rock-y.”
In the audience was a special Smoosh supporter who might have been clandestine to most — except for the fact that his mug graces the Sept. cover of Spin. Death Cab for Cutie drummer Jason McGerr has been a mentor to the girls since they became a band (he teaches at the Seattle Drum School of Music), and he even helped out as an impromptu drum tech at SPINhouse, helping the girls set up and break down their stage.
The crowd groaned when Asya told us they were on their last song. After a short pow wow with Chloe, the sister act decided they’d give the audience what they wanted: an encore. The perfectly poised tweens easily rocked their way through two more songs, one old (the delicate “Make it Through”), and one new. When they walked off stage, they left in their quiet wake a room full of shocked and impressed grown-ups. “I think they’re cooler than me,” one twenty-something girl was overheard gasping. It’s true: Smoosh is cooler than most, and they can’t even drive yet.
Click the links in the right column for streaming video from Smoosh’s SPINhouse Live!