Indie pop sensation Echosmith will reach new heights in 2020 with the debut of a fresh new album, Lonely Generation, their first full-length release in almost 7 years. The band started out as a few teenage siblings from Southern California who first came together to make music in 2009 before booking festivals and touring the United States. Despite their sudden leap into fame with the release of “Cool Kids” in 2014 and the Top 40 placement of their album “Talking Dreams,” they’ve managed to stay humble and grateful in the face of the spotlight.
Band members Sydney, Graham, and Noah have been obsessed with rock music of the 70’s and 80’s since they were kids, so it comes as no surprise that they ventured on to create their own sound, which has garnered a huge and loyal fan base. Building their record label, Echosmith Music, has given them complete power over their songs which makes for an exciting future.
To learn more about the band’s history, inspiration, hopes for the new album and upcoming tour, read our exclusive interview and check out the photos shot by Indira Cesarine in New York City.
We understand your father is a music producer, having worked with Seal and Zedd. Did you grow up in a musical home? Was this what you guys wanted to do since kids?
Our home was super musical! Instruments were pretty much our toys and we got to play with whatever we wanted. We also grew up in the church, so singing and playing there was the perfect place to get comfortable in front of a crowd but also see how powerful music can be. There was nothing I wanted to do more than music and I’ve been singing since before I can remember.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
We grew up listening to a lot of 80’s New Wave, but two of our all-time favorite bands (and influences) are The Killers and Coldplay.
It sounds like a dream to work as a family unit. Explain the dynamics of working with your parents and siblings. Are there ever any downsides to it?’
It really is so special that we get to do this as a family. We grew up being best friends, so it just feels natural to be creating music together too. Of course, we have days where we get annoyed with each other or fight but because we’re family, we move on and get over things really fast. The fact that we can also be so real and honest with each other is a bonus because a lot of bands fall apart due to miscommunication.
You own the JV record label called Echosmith Music LLC. Can you describe the process of owning your own label and the freedoms that come with it?
Having our own label has been so exciting and empowering. As artists, it’s so rare to be in charge of your entire career- the music, the single choices, the videos, the aesthetic, the photoshoots, the release dates, and more. We feel so lucky to be able to do this with our sophomore album since this album feels so close to home. We got to make the record that we wanted to make, and we got to decide when it was ready and done. Being involved in all the little and big decisions is a lot more work but so worth it in the end. We’ve gotten to feel so much more ownership with what we do and that’s the best feeling.
How would you describe your sound in 3 words?
Fun. Honest. Spicy.
What is the main message you’re trying to express with your new Single “Lonely Generation”?
We want to open up the conversation about how we’re all spending our time and how it makes us feel. We wrote the song with the emotions that come with heavy phone and social media use in mind. Our relationship with technology is so confusing, and there’s so much pressure that comes with it. How many of us feel better about life and ourselves after we finish scrolling? I find it so hard to remember to be in the moment, put my phone away, and try not to compare my day/life with someone else’s highlight reel. I hope we can all be more intentional with how we spend our time and try to remember how important it is to invest in real, meaningful relationships.
The music video takes place in a desert as well as an 80s aerobics class. Can you explain the inspiration behind the Lonely Generation music video?
That video was so fun to create for so many reasons. We made a music video for all twelve songs on the album, and this one serves as a teaser for every video. It gets the main message across, which is: no matter what situation we’re in, no matter how fun or crazy it might be, we can be so distracted by our phones and miss out on all of it.
And the next video that’s coming out is for our song “Shut Up And Kiss Me.” This is probably one of my favorite videos out of them all… The video shows my husband and me on a first date and he is completely clueless that I’m into him and want to finally have that first kiss. There were so many almost-perfectly-romantic settings that should have made for the perfect first kiss, but every time, he gets distracted and never gets the hint. It was really fun to make because it shows how fun and exciting the beginning stages of love are, but also shows that I am a HUGE fan of communication and not playing games.
Two members of the band (Noah and Sydney) are married – how do you balance the demanding musician schedule with family life? And how has marriage made you guys evolve musically as well as personally?
Being married is so fun! Of course, it isn’t the easiest thing in the world to align schedules and set aside time for real life. We’re lucky enough to have spouses that are understanding and can also remind us to prioritize what’s really important. Family is obviously such a huge part of what we do, so we do what it takes to connect with our spouses while we’re on the road or spending long days in the studio. Being married has also been the biggest inspiration for me. So many songs have come out of getting married and learning about this new life phase. A lot of songs on the album were actually written right before and after getting married, and they wouldn’t exist otherwise.
“Cool Kids” – your most known song, has garnered a quarter of a billion Spotify streams. Were you expecting that sort of blow-out success? How have you evolved musically since its release?
We never expected “Cool Kids” to do what it did. We are beyond grateful that this song and the message in it has gotten to reach so many people, and help others through hard times. Our dream from the beginning was to make music with a purpose and to give people hope, and that song has done exactly that. It was so fun to be touring non-stop while “Cool Kids” was blowing up because we got to watch it grow in front of our eyes. More and more people started to sing along and then we started playing bigger shows and festivals. It was insane.
I was only 16 when our first album came out and now I’m 22, so we’ve all gotten to really grow up and our music has grown up with us. We want to stay true to why people liked us in the first place, but we also think it’s so important to evolve musically and lyrically to keep it exciting. Our new album does exactly that.
Your sophomore album, Lonely Generation, will release on January 10th – what can we look forward to with the new album?
I am so excited for everyone to hear Lonely Generation. We spent so much time on it and really made sure that every little keyboard sound and lyric you hear felt right. Even though it was a little scary, I got to be more vulnerable than ever with the lyrics and I’m so glad I did that. I wanted to be honest about how I was feeling and what I was going through, the good and the bad, because if I went through it, someone else is bound to go through something similar, and it’s so important to know that you’re not alone.
Any new directions or songs you are particularly excited about?
We got to put a really intimate song on the album called “Follow You” and it actually was a song that I wrote and recorded in the middle of the night as a surprise for my now-husband for our first dance at our wedding. It’s so raw and personal and I can’t wait for everyone to hear it.
You have a tour lined up for next year. Any cities you’re excited to see or special plans for the tour?
We’ve been to most of these cities many times, so it will be fun to revisit my favorite places. We always love finding local food wherever we go, so I’m excited to eat my way through the tour. Musically though, we’re in the middle of planning out the show and it’s gonna be such a fun show with a lot of really cool, new elements.
How do you guys manage touring as a family? Is it strictly work or is it like a family vacation? How do you prepare to go on the road?
We definitely blend the two. Being on tour is so much work and has a lot of early mornings and late nights, but when we’re done working, or have a day off, we go explore the city we’re in and make sure to do something fun, so we don’t get burned out.
We do a LOT of rehearsing and working out so that we are physically and mentally prepared for the tour. We also make sure to bring video games, books, card games, and other “hobbies” with us for long drives or spare time.
What else can we look forward to from Echosmith in 2020?
We’re gonna be promoting this album like crazy next year. We’re working on planning out the rest of the year after we finish tour in March. Our primary focus is to play as many shows as we can. We want to reach as many people as possible with this album because it feels so near and dear to our hearts.
Check out their latest music video for new track “Diamonds” below:
Photography by Indira Cesarine
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