A family comes of age together as does a band, weathering life’s trials and triumphs as a unit. Comprised of three siblings, multiplatinum Southern California trio Echosmith —Sydney Sierota [lead vocals], Noah Sierota [vocals, bass], and Graham Sierota [drums]—transpose their collective growth into vibrant, vulnerable, and vital alternative pop anthems upheld by lush guitars and analog synths. Their personal songcraft blossoms to its fullest potential on the group’s 2019 second full-length and first independent offering, Lonely Generation.
“We are a band, but we’re family first, which is a special and rare gift,” says Noah. “We get to learn and evolve together. The album is about trying to care for each other, grow, and experience joy and heartache in the internet age. It’s like a diary. You’re meant to hear every instrument being played. We pushed ourselves to try new things and reflect our experiences in a fresh way. From the beginning, our music has been a discovery and continued coming-of-age story. The new record is a completion of that. We’re showing a piece of who we are that we’ve never shown before.”
“We were just honest about happiness, love, and even being truly broken,” adds Sydney. “We’re growing up in our own ways. We’re siblings and close friends, but we have our own lives too. We bring all of those things into the record. There are a lot of different flavors to it. We got to be really vulnerable for the first time.”
An unbelievable journey empowered them to do so. Within a few years, Echosmith cemented themselves as an inescapable presence throughout popular music and culture. Streamed over 1 billion times by 2019, they earned a triple platinum single with “Cool Kids” and a double-platinum single with “Bright” as their 2016 full-length debut, Talking Dreams, went gold.
They headlined countless shows, toured alongside twenty one pilots and Pentatonix, performed on major TV shows including The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, TODAY, and The Late Late Show with James Corden, and received praise from the likes of Billboard, Vulture, Variety, Elle, Rolling Stone, Teen Vogue, and Nylon. They have collaborated with Timbaland, for King & Country, and Audien and Sydney has even graced the stage for a viral duet with Taylor Swift.
The group formed their own JV record label called Echosmith Music LLC in 2018 with a deal with Warner/ADA. Over the course of the year, they embraced the freedom of having such independence. “We took advantage of having a completely blank slate,” shares Noah. “We created something that’s just about us. We didn’t realize how much fun it would be or how important it was for us as musicians. We started fresh. I don’t think we’ve ever been more excited about any of our music.”
The album was made in their home studio in Los Angeles and produced by Jeffery David (Seal, Zedd, For King and Country) who also happens to be their father. The musicians went “back to the roots of Echosmith,” as Sydney says. They incorporated vintage synthesizers and upright piano into a framework threaded together by inventive guitar work. The three-piece devoted nearly a year to assembling what would become Lonely Generation. In between, they went through numerous changes. “I got married at the beginning, and Sydney got married near the end of making the album,” says Noah. “Our lives had changed forever. We’ve seen so much in the past year.”
Fittingly, they introduce Lonely Generation with the lead single and title track. Acoustic guitar and whistling bristles against the hook—“We’re the lonely generation”—before a glistening neon beat struts to the foreground. Meanwhile, the track details the impact of our era’s smartphone addiction with a sunny chant. “It came out of a really interesting conversation about social media and how addicted we are to our phones,” reveals Sydney. “Conceptually, it felt really important. We always have a message in our music. For how connected we are, we end up feeling lonelier. Our generation needs to acknowledge it’s a problem and be more intentional in daily life.”
Elsewhere, “Cracked” treads from a ticking sample and robust bass line into a reminder “our insecurities are actually great and there’s beauty in being different.” Then, there’s “Everyone Cries.” Soft piano resounds between Sydney’s breathless delivery about “how it’s okay to cry.” On the other end of the spectrum, a swell of keyboards gives way to the upbeat and energetic “Shut Up and Kiss Me,” delivering a danceable command. “Diamonds” shines with handclaps and delicate strumming. “It carries a lot of weight,” explains Noah. “It came from feeling left out by life. It’s easy to forget you’re a one-in-a-million individual who’s special and important. We’re not just laying this out for fans, but for the band as well. Each of us has a beauty no one else does.”
Meanwhile, “Follow You” holds a very deep significance for the frontwoman. The acoustic love letter to her husband actually played during the first dance at her 2019 wedding. “Two weeks before I got married, we did a show in Japan,” she recalls. “I was very jetlagged afterwards. Months prior, I told myself I wanted to do something special for my husband-to-be. I came up with the idea on Christmas day and recorded it as a voice memo while driving to San Diego to see his family. I surprised him by playing it for our first dance. It was such a beautiful moment. I’m so happy the band was down to put it on the album.”
In the end, Echosmith craft an uplifting soundtrack to coming-of-age on Lonely Generation. “We want to give people hope through our music,” concludes Noah. “It’s a wonderful thing to know you’re not alone. That’s our message.”
“If somebody feels better after hearing the record, that’s amazing,” Sydney leaves off. “Echosmith is a huge part of my life. It’s an outlet. It’s a bonding experience for all of us as a family. It’s like therapy. It helps all of us go through life better. This is a safe place we’re welcoming everyone else into.”