Smoosh are an American indie pop duo, consisting of two sisters, singer/keyboardist Asya (born February 2), 1992 and drummer Chloe (born March 5, 1994). At the time of their first album, She Like Electric, released on September 21, 2004, Asya was 12 years old and Chloe was 10. All of their songs are originals, written by them. They live in Seattle, Washington with their father, Mike, a medical researcher, their mother, Maria, a pediatrician of Swedish descent, their two younger sisters, Maia (born 1997), who does the artwork on Smoosh’s CD covers, and Scout, and two pets.
They are, to some extent, proteges of Chloe’s drum teacher, Jason McGerr, now the drummer of Death Cab for Cutie. Smoosh got started in 2000, when the family was at a Seattle music store, The Trading Musician, standing in line waiting for Mike’s violin, which he wanted to take up, to be strung. Chloe wandered into the drum section of the store, where she met Jason McGerr, who offered to give Chloe lessons at the Seattle Drum School if she bought a $600 drum set. She bought the drum set, and, when McGerr learned that Asya had been playing the piano and writing songs since she was very young, he offered to help them both.
Neither of the girls reads music. Asya had had some formal piano training earlier but soon quit because it was “boring”.
Critics have generally compared their sound to that of Tori Amos and PJ Harvey, and have been almost uniformly impressed with the quality of the material coming from such young writers and performers. They have warmed up for many leading Pacific Northwest bands including Death Cab for Cutie, Sleater-Kinney, and the Presidents of the United States of America, as well as for other indie acts such as Cat Power, Nada Surf, Sufjan Stevens and The Go! Team.
Smoosh’s next album, titled free to stay, is scheduled to come out June 6, 2006 and will be released on Barsuk Records. It will feature as its third track of 12 “Free to Stay,” an early song that was on the girls’ first CD, Tomato Mistakes, which for a long time was mailed free of charge to anyone who wanted it. Smoosh’s former label was Pattern 25.
Even at 10, Chloe was not the youngest-ever girl drummer in a Seattle-based band. Rachel Trachtenburg of the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players (originally of Seattle, later of New York City), has been performing on drums in the band fronted by her father, Jason Trachtenburg since the age of 6 and recording since the age of 8. Unlike Rachel, however, Chloe does all of the drum work on her band’s recordings (longtime Seattle musician Mike Mussberger did the bulk of the drum work on the first Trachtenburgs’ first album) and is a full contributing member of the songwriting team.