Echosmith have always been a quiet storm. Their signature single “Cool Kids” off of their 2013 debut album Talking Dreams was a sleeper hit, not charting until a year after its initial release. After a four-year long slumber, the Sierota sibling trio shake you awake with a seven-track teaser EP foreshadowing the 2018 release of their sophomore effort Inside a Dream.
The ‘80s throwback style has been dominating the pop scene for a while now, popularized by the danceability and catchiness of the likes of Walk the Moon on their hit earworm “Shut Up And Dance” and Paramore on their new album After Laughter. Echosmith is no exception.
The group’s Inside a Dream EP is a polished, shimmering cohesive collection of ‘80s infused pop, with fuzzy synths and decadent vocal harmonies galore. Frontwoman Sydney Sierota’s breathy, floaty vocals paint a dreamy picture on an atmospheric canvas. Like any good pop writer, the Sierota siblings are not ones to forego a good hook, found notably in the bright and funky “18” and dynamic single “Get Into My Car.”
The songwriting on Inside a Dream EP borders on the juvenile and is largely unintelligible from the band’s 2013 debut Talking Dreams. It seems that the band is still plagued by a certain naïveté that often afflicts young artists, with shaky songwriting and immature themes. Leading single “Goodbye” has more emotionally complex lyrics than other material but it’s devoid of any passion to push them forward, and closing track “Dear World” is almost eye-roll-inducing considering how painfully vague it is for a ballad about the state of our world today.
This being said, it’s worth noting that the trio are extremely young (Noah, Sydney, and Graham are a spritely 21, 20, and 18 years old, respectively) and aren’t quite seasoned professionals yet. However, a lot does change in four years, especially when a band is young and experiencing newfound fame and success just as Echosmith is. Oldest Sierota brother and lead guitarist Jamie left the band in late 2016, contributing to the band’s overall shift towards a poppier sound. Overall, the Inside a Dream EP is the soundtrack to Echosmith’s bold new transitional phase, but there’s now growth with some growing pains.
Nevertheless, it is incredibly impressive that a band this young has already been able to establish an identity as the shining heroes of alt-pop so early on in their career. Echosmith has a long way to go in refining their sound, but there’s no doubt they’ll get there.
Notable Tracks: “18” | “Get Into My Car” | “Hungry”