The team of teenage sisters must have their classmates really jealous—in 2002, while 8 and 10 years old, they made “She Like Electric,” a collection of child-pop songs that charm and disturb at the same time, both because of the girls’ ages. Four years later, they are 12 and 14, and while this is still quite alarming, they have progressed musically in unbelievable ways, and “Free to Stay,” the duo’s debut on Seattle label Barsuk, impresses from start to finish. With just keyboard, drums and vocals, the sisters enlist the help of Death Cab for Cutie’s Jason McGerr as producer, and the results are sweet, mysterious and deliriously enjoyable. Using different effects on the keyboards, no song sounds the same—they even throw in some Sam Coomes-like distortion—and sister Asya’s vocal delivery ranges from ice-cream-truck-innocence to pissed-off teenage gore. Although the ballad “Waiting for Something” uses the same dreaded chord progression of The Cranberries’ “Zombie” and Smashing Pumpkins’ “Disarm,” “Free to Stay” is a different kind of indie pop, without any hidden agendas or anything to prove. (Tom Lynch)
Smoosh plays August 5 at Schubas, 3159 North Southport, (773)525-2508, at 7pm, presumably because of curfew. $10.