By MIKE CHAIKEN
By the time, summer washed into fall, “Cool Kids” by Echosmith was everywhere.
Whether it was top 40 radio or on VH1, where the Southern California group was tapped as the “You Oughta Know” artist for October, the group had ingrained itself on the listening public with the catchy tune and its poignant message.
Echosmith— which is made up of the Sierota siblings Jamie (vocals/guitar), Sydney (vocals/keyboard), Noah (vocals/bass), and Graham (drums)— will be promoting its latest album, “Talking Dreams” and the single “Cool Kids” this Friday at 96.5 FM’s All Star Christmas concert at the Oakdale in Wallingford. Echosmith is on the bill with Train, Daughtry, Ingrid Michaelson, and Matt Nathanson.
Although “Cool Kids” became one of “THE” singles of 2014, as Noah explained it in a phone interview from Dallas, the song was not an instant smash.
The song may have begun to garner traction this summer, but Noah said Echosmith initially released “Cool Kids” last year.
The fact that song picked up steam and became a hit after all those months had passed is “amazing,” said Noah.
“It’s been a very gradual slow burn,” said Noah.
Even before it was recorded, said Noah, the song was a slow burn for Echosmith itself. The track took about six months to write. Noah said Echosmith always liked the idea of the song and they found it fun to sing. But the song took some time as they tweaked verses and other elements on the track before they settled into the version that the public got to hear.
Once the song wormed its way into the public’s consciousness, “Cool Kids” connected to many people because of its message about peer pressure.
“I wish that I could be like the cool kids, ‘Cause all the cool kids, they seem to fit in,” sings Sydney in the song.
Noah said the song’s message is one that everyone can relate to because everyone wants to fit in.
Although the message of “Cool Kids” is one that resonates with most people, Noah said Echosmith had not expected such a strong reaction to the song once it became a hit.
“We didn’t realize the power of the song,” said Noah. “When you write songs, you write for yourself. You’re surprised when your words mean something to someone else.”
With “Cool Kids” giving their career a big boost, Echosmith has been able to experience “some amazing things,” said Noah.
For instance the band has been able to perform overseas.
For Noah, the most exciting place he has been to with Echosmith is Manila, Philippines. The band was booked to play a festival in the city, which already had turned a couple of Echosmith’s songs into big hits.
“That was something I never thought I’d get to do,” said Noah.
“The fans were fantastic,” said Noah of the Manila show. “It was really cool. It’s amazing to the response.”
The members of Echosmith are all siblings and Noah agrees that the blood relation between members does add to the chemistry of the band.
First of all, because their voices are similar due to a shared genetic code, the harmonies blend nicely together, explained Noah.
Additionally, Noah said, Jamie, Graham, and he all learned to play their instruments by practicing . So each learned how to play his instrument based on how the other two played. “That’s really important for a musician.”
Listening to Echosmith, you definitely hear a bit of a 1980s new wave influence. And Noah said that’s to be expected. Their parents introduced the members of Echosmith to groups such as The Cure, U2, New Order, Joy Division and the Police.
“I’m a huge Sting guy (lead singer of the Police) because I play the bass,” said Noah.
The band also looks to more contemporary acts for influences such as Coldplay, The Bravery, The Strokes, and The Killers.
Before they started to climb up the pop charts, Echosmith cut its teeth on playing two different rounds of Warped Tours.
“The first year, no one knew who we were,” said Noah. The group members would go out after their performance and talk to every kid. “We went out and worked,” said Noah “That’s where we built our fan base.”
Warped also taught Echosmith how to use their stage show to win over a crowd that might not necessarily be sympathetic to their sound. Warped tends to have a much more metal bent, said Noah, “We had to draw those kids in.”
As for what else is in store for Echosmith beyond the All-Star Christmas show at the Oakdale, Noah said they are looking at more opportunities to headline. And they want more chances to play across the globe.
Echosmith opens for Train, Daughtry, Matt Nathanson, and Ingrid Michaelson on Friday, Dec. 12 at 7 p.m.
For more information about Echosmith, go to Echosmith.com
By MIKE CHAIKEN