Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound Engineering by Patrick Stolley
There is that old creed about how kids say the darnedest things, a la the Bill Cosby and Art Linkletter television program soaking with cute aplomb, fits of giggling and embarrassed expressions made by little, snot-nosed children. Forget about what they say. Let's talk about what they make, what they create, what they think about from dawn til dusk when the a-dults are plowing through the grind, trying to keep everyone off their backs, make a little bank and get back home to a meal and a beer. Even further, let's forget for a minute what they make and feel and just concentrate on something that got me thinking today.
As my young daughter/drool machine jabbered, laughed and scuttled around the floor, an old friend of our family said, "Enjoy it now. You don't have anything to worry about. You can just be happy." Basically, what she said to my daughter, who can't really grasp meaning in any such comments is, "Listen kid, it gets worse. You won't be happy forever." Be it just blunt truth or not, or pessimistic overture, it's unpleasant to think that those words will sink in and carry a so true, so true recognition sometime in the future. It's not supposed to be for a great long while though that you're supposed to be able to differentiate different valuations of good and bad. As children, there's just good or bad.
Smoosh, the Seattle band of sisters, now three-strong - whose talents would never be considered just modest, seem to have begun living in that gray area between the transition, when the promise of everlasting smooth sailing is starting to give way to issues of muddying the waters and difficulty. They're not to the point where the wrinkle and laugh lines on their faces are getting deeper, the crow's feet haven't started growing at the corners of their eyes and their blood pressure isn't a bother. They're too busy always jumping on trampolines, sliding Ring-Pops onto their ring fingers and writing sophisticated (oh, yes, sophisticated) pop music that belies their combined age of 39 amongst the three of them - Chloe, Asya and Maia.
The music that they are making may seem light, but it's fraught with the kinds of concerns that become real in a hurry. Their lives, in the early parts of their teenage years are starting to really be stirred up by the intangibles and tangibles. Friends have tendencies to be flimsy and two-sided at their age, the parents - even when they're your managers, tour managers and best friends - become more parents than friends and countless other emotions are erupting and causing lyrical commotion.
The words that Asya's now writing - as heard in "Great Skies" and "Promises" - are progressing more into a stage where their disjointed, unbalanced meanings are exactly their meanings. Asya said of "Great Skies" that the words don't make much sense yet and that she hopes that her lyrics on the forthcoming record that they've begun working on are more meaningful and can be more universally understood. It's going to be hard to do that. These are the years when nothing makes sense. They've done such a tremendous job of making sense out of everything to this point, wondering and wondering and climbing into their developing personalities to provide vivid portraits of the never simple maturation process, that it will be exciting to hear them try to keep finding answers. If touring the world with Pearl Jam, Deerhoof and Bloc Party like they have been helps that process, so be it.