Smoosh (Chaos Chaos)
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Smoosh (Chaos Chaos)

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Band Pop Rock




"Nylon Magazine -- Chaos Chaos, Band Crush"

Sometimes we wish we had a giant indie rock family tree, where we could follow bands as they form, expand, break-up, and spin-off. That way we would have known the instant Smoosh morphed into Chaos Chaos. You'll remember Chloe and Asy Saavedra, who formed Smoosh when they were still kids. They released three albums, played big festivals like Lollapalooza, and toured with the likes of Death Cab For Cutie and Cat Power. But like most things, they grew up and grew out of things, and decided not too long ago to become Chaos Chaos. With the help of fans--via Kickstarter--they largely self-funded their upcoming EP S (out October 16), and it's clear that this duo is evolving. Take "My Hands," their first single which we've got available today: Instead of angst-y indie-rock, its got an electro-edge. We spoke with Chloe about the making of the song--and then got our hands on a copy (check it out below), so you can listen to it, too.

What was the process of writing "My Hands" like?
The process of writing "My Hands" was pretty strange and not very ideal. We were in a situation in our lives where we had no studio--this is a death-like situation for us--so Asy was writing songs on her own (since I couldn't play drums). Sometimes limitation is a gift because you are forced to get out of what's comfortable to accomplish something. And that brought us to something interesting: an all-electronic song. Once we got in a rehearsal studio, Asy and I finished the song. Since it was so different than the music we usually wrote, we decided to go all out with it. Our inspiration for the song was Timbaland; we studied a song he did with Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake. This process led to a lot of laughing and making fun of each other (because at one point we were rapping to the song). The end result was the most mainstream pop we've ever wrote. We did the same with the lyrics; we decided not to dig deep into the psychology of the lyrics, like we did with the other songs, but to keep them light and naive while trying to keep it personal at the same time.

At what part in the process of recording the new EP did this song come?
This EP was all over the place, geographically and in time. "My Hands" was written a couple years ago, put on hold (in our logic chamber of secrets) and then revived right before we got into the recording studio. We thought all the songs should have the same vibe, in the sense that we wrote them at the same time. This was weird, because all the songs were written at different time and in different places, but then were all molded together because we tweaked and changed them to suit the things we were going through when we recorded them. Since time is a constant thing, change is also a constant thing--and no song is ever the same the next time you play it. We wanted to embrace that, and allow the songs to change and evolve as they wanted.

What makes it a Chaos Chaos song?
This EP is the only Chaos Chaos song, and what really makes all these songs fit together and represent us is that they are chaotic, moody, all over the place, and contained at the same time. They are contained in little lines and codes in your computer. FYI, they will not be contained when we play them live. Chaos Chaos really doesn't have any rules (we don't really follow the 'you must know the rules to break 'em' thing either). We don't know the rules and ways to make music, because we learned on our own, and that's how we've always done it. Even when we were eight and 10, we were two white girls rapping to our own "indie pop" songs. We don't know anything, but we allow ourselves to figure out as much as possible about whatever it is we are interested in. We aren't barred in by any preexisting rules we wrote music by; we are trying everything and enjoying the adventure.

What's the song about?
Let me tell you something about my hands: they're filthy. I don't wash them. No, I'm kidding! This song is about the will people have to conquer in small ways. The lyrics are very hypocritical and stubborn, they're about how annoyed this girl is with this guy who thinks he's all that, and thinks he "owns everybody," when really the lyrics portray how the girl wants to do the same thing. She is guilty of the same crime as him, but is oblivious to this.

When's the ideal time to listen to "My Hands"?
It's the most party-like song we've written together. The best place would be ideally in concert, or blasting in a concrete jungle. Or when you are on your way to meet someone--we wanted it to be a natural energy booster. Starting with the hands, and then getting the blood flowing to the whole body.

Describe the song in one sentence:
The usual human suspect: stubborn, oblivious, hypocritical--and wanting to party despite the problems!

Describe Chaos Chaos in one sentence:
Chaos Chaos is a giant amoeba with attitude. - Rebecca Willa Davis

"Lucky Magazine -- 34 Stylish Music Girls You Don't Know...Yet"

Asy and Chloe of Chaos Chaos
Sound: Touring as the former pre-teen Smoosh, Asy and Chloe (who were 12 and 10 when they started!) have shared the stage with Pearl Jam, Death Cab for Cutie, Jimmy Eat World, Nada Surf and Sufjan Stevens among others. The search for a fresh start led them to start Chaos Chaos, an electro-pop infused Indie rock duo.
Style: Like in their music, Asy and Chloe aren’t afraid to take risks when it comes to style, pairing a costumey schoolgirl dresses with cowboy boots or a grungey black pieces with a biker-worthy leather vests. - Gabrielle Hurwitz

"New Sounds From Young Fresh Fellows, Asya & Chloe (of Smoosh), & Good To Die Records, July 25th 2012"

Chloe and Asya, formerly of sister indie pop group Smoosh, have just announced their new project Chaos Chaos, and have an EP in the works with aims to get it funded through Kickstarter (and they've already surpassed their goal). Asya, of course, has been busy working with Dave Einmo in Daydream Vacation, but the creative bond forged early on with her sister compelled the new venture. Here's what the pair have to say about it:

We feel that it's time for a change. We won't be touring or playing any more shows as Smoosh, but...we're so excited to get our new music out to you guys. This is an adventure for us, we are trying to embody this idea of going all-out with everything, including our everyday lives. We're changing ourselves--like the giant amoeba that is a 'chaos chaos'. In the Physics sense, this new name applies to us because our lives have been disordered. There is an amoeba at the core of our music, where the form is always changing, moving in different directions. The process has been so much fun and quite an adventure. - Gwendolyn Elliott

"Free to Stay, smoosh, 2006"

There really is no need to mention the age of Smoosh members (and sisters) Asya and Chloe, because that might then depreciate their music, make what they've created in their sophomore release seem quaint or cute. And that wouldn't be fair, because Free to Stay has as much panache, maturity, and great poppy hooks as anything else out there. Smoosh's drum-keyboard combo is the perfect setting for their lightly thoughtful songs about life as they know and see it, and it's clear that the sisters are really only making music because it's what they love to do. Their songs aren't particularly complicated, though drummer Chloe manages to bring in the occasional funky beat to work behind singer/keyboardist Asya's straightforward melodies, but it's their simplicity and lack of pretense that's so refreshing to hear and what makes Free to Stay so listenable. The title cut is light and catchy with plenty of classically inspired piano arpeggios, while the aptly named "Rock Song" is slightly darker, with heavier keys that bring almost a dance-punk feel to Asya's calls of "try to find me again but you don't know how." The best thing about the band, though, better than their catchy riffs and unabashed enthusiasm, is that they don't overdo it, or try to cover topics that are too adult. Asya sticks to relatively simple ideas about finding one's self, uncertainty, and falseness; things that smart, confident teenagers who are also rather aware and perceptive to what's going on around them think of, but she never takes herself too seriously. It's the perfect amount of insight without seeming forced, overly precocious, or cutesy, with enough substance to make it actually worth listening to, a balance that even bands twice their age can't always attain. Yes, Asya does sound like the 14-year-old girl she is, and yes, sometimes you wonder if Chloe needs to be doing her homework, but when the music's this fun, does it really matter? ~ Marisa Brown, All Music Guide - Billboard

"Free to Stay, smoosh, 2006"

Please, please, please: No mistaking precocious sister act Smoosh for notorious twin duo Prussian Blue. It's easy enough-- what, with both pairs resembling Hanson minus its manliest member. But neo-Nazis these girls aren't. Where 13-year-olds Lynx and Lamb allude to Rudolph Hess as a "man of peace" and wear tees emblazoned with matching Hitler smileys, Smoosh-- similarly blonde sisters Chloe and Asya, 12 and 14 respectively-- eschew white supremacist agendas to instead preach the gospel of nothing in particular: They write 100% of their songs, and their subject matter spans a spectrum of puppy love, vicarious insecurity, and purposely vague pop-song claptrap.
Pre-teen at the time of their much-buzzed-about 2004 debut She Like Electric, Smoosh were rooted on by, among others, Cat Power, Eddie Vedder, and Chloe's drum teacher Jason McGerr of Death Cab for Cutie. The live show is reportedly a thing of pure joy: Here's where leggy blonde fountains of youth show up men and moody singer-songwriting chicks two and three times older. Chloe and Asya are in music-- they've said in countless interviews-- for the sheer fun of it, and the sincerity shows.

Asya's roughly the age of Hilary Duff-circa-"Lizzie McGuire"-- old enough to have her heart shattered by Aaron Carter, too old to croon Kidz Bop Modest Mouse covers. She Like Electric is a grab bag of styles and ultimately missteps (e.g., Asya rapping), but bull's-eyes include supremely catchy indie pop ditties pertaining to boy hairdos like "But Now I Know". Free To Stay, for the most part-- and most successfully-- sticks to inlaid heartachey piano strains transmitting delight and distress, in that order.

There are shortcomings: "Rock Song" and "Organ Talk" are as irksome as She Like Electric's more exasperating trial-errors; Asya frequently gets carried away with "ohhhhs" and "whoaaas." Free to Stay's main difficulty is that songs aren't packaged like they should be. Catchy as they are (or aspire to be), they still don't stick-- unfurling sometimes sloppily out of perfect pop shells.

When Smoosh are good, though, they're really good. Even the second time around, Asya's voice surprises. It's tremulous and poignant as usual, if a little deeper nowadays. On slowed-down sad song "Waiting for Something", Asya sounds sweet, even near tears, sighing, "I don't know why I do these things/ I always regret them/ In the end." This both is and isn't kid stuff: Whatever lyrical deficiencies exist aren't just pardonable, they're more valuable than "Alright already we'll all float on OK"-- that is to say, grown-up turns of phrase from the mouths of babes. And even if the girls are parroting adult themes, at least they're the ones doing the parroting.
— Rachel Khong, June 21, 2006
- Pitchfork


Chaos Chaos EP 2012

(as Smoosh)
Withershins, 2010
Free to Stay, Barsuk Records, 2006
She Like Electric, Pattern25 Records, 2004



Chaos Chaos is Asy and Chloe (formerly of Smoosh). We feel that it’s time for a change. Right now we are finishing up an EP’s worth of songs that will be released October 16th. We won’t be touring or playing any more shows as Smoosh, but have kept the Smoosh website and Facebook so that we can still communicate with you all about our past music. We’re so excited to begin this new project. We are calling it a ‘project’ because it is an experiment —we are trying to embody this idea of going all out with everything, including our everyday lives. We’re changing ourselves —like the giant amoeba that is a ‘chaos chaos’. Haha. There’s been an amoeba at the core of our music, where the form is always changing, moving in different directions. We can’t wait to continue doing this project. The process has already been so much fun and quite an adventure.

Imagine a giant amoeba. If you can’t do that just imagine a giant blob. That’s what music is right now. Something that is always there and always changing –and it can be turned into anything.

Chloe: Percussion makes you feel a song rather than just hear it. Percussion drives. It can drive someone to kill, to dance, to make love, to take risks, or to free themselves.
Percussion for the people! On a typical New York day you’ll hear music and percussion over 50 times. You can’t get away from it, actually. Or maybe that’s just New York. A day without music would be dull and depressing. With all this different music surrounding YOU, what you take from it is unique and individual. Music is personal, but also shared –it’s this huge never-ending cycle.

Asy: I kind of feel like I am 65 right now, though I also feel 12. I’ve been working on my songwriting for 14 years now, but I approach songwriting like a kid looking for an adventure. Because of this combination my songwriting is a collision of patience and impulse.

This is a really interesting time for me. Recently, I became restless. Had an early midlife crisis… I absolutely needed to experience more and take more risks (in songwriting and in other parts of my life). I decided to become my own student of music, listening to many different genres and styles and taking bits of things as I went, eventually blending them into a giant smoothie that I poured into my songs. I let myself be honest, which was hard because that meant entering an uncomfortable place, where a light was shined on everything (even unspeakable things).

Right now I like to write music the way I live life—like a risk junkie. I’ve somehow convinced myself to keep getting uncomfortable. I think this should be the year of discomfort—for everybody—because when you challenge yourself to do something that’s risky or a little uncomfortable you won’t ever regret it. Well. Maybe sometimes you would. BUT, that risk will push you to a new place in your life—a place that’s meaningful and chaotic in a good way. For me this place is the amoeba place, —the always changing, always full of possibilities place.
-Asy and Chloe