A funny thing happened when the members of pop trio Echosmith went online earlier this year: They kept hearing clips of their 2013 hit “Cool Kids” on TikTok and Instagram. It felt like deja vu all over again.
According to bassist/keyboardist Noah Sierota, the reappearance of their hit was just the reassurance they needed to get back on the road post-COVID. The trio of siblings Noah, Graham and Sydney Sierota hits the Paradise tomorrow.
“I think a lot of people in the music industry were feeling the same anxiety– ‘Is anybody going to care?’,” Noah said. “So to have this song explode again kind of grounded us, it told us that people still care about these messages and these stories.” They were so jazzed that they recorded a new version, now called “Cool Kids (Our Version),” which updates the lyric with a new bridge– “I thought I wanted to be cool like somebody else, but ten years later I’m just a picture on the shelf.” Adds Noah, “When we wrote the song it came from a different stage of life; when you’re 16 you’re thinking about high school. Now I might have those same feelings about the music industry, or when I go to the grocery store.”
Los Angeles area natives, all of the Sierotas were still teenagers when the song first hit (eldest brother Jamie left the band afterward to raise his son). Growing up in a musical family they learned the fundamentals of songwriting at a young age. “If you think the first album sounds good, you should hear the songs I wrote at age nine– believe me, they’re nothing like that,” Noah says. “We’re adults now and I think our music has a more unique thing happening. We’ve gotten more proficient and come to understand how songwriting works.” But he says there was no downside to having a big hit at a young age. “Hey, we get to work in the music industry– to me that’s a real privilege and I don’t know what we did to deserve it. ‘Cool Kids’ was life-changing for us, and it became a big cultural moment — I really do connect to that song. But at the same time, we’re also pretty excited about the music that we’re making now.”
Their latest online single, “Hang Around,” evinces their trademark mix of moody British pop with classic California harmonies. Their current live show takes the mix further, including covers of both Berlin’s’ techno-pop hit “Take My Breath Away” and Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.” Says Noah, “That’s exactly what you’d hear if you went into my Apple Music playlist. I’m a big believer in any kind of artform looking back to the past,”
Intentionally or not, songs like “Cool Kids” and the newer “Lonely Generation” have made Echosmith a flagship band for sensitive misfits. “A lot of fans that we meet do tell us their stories about being outsiders and the challenges they’ve faced in life; whether it’s health problems or deep insecurities that they’ve experienced. They find that our music brings them peace through those experiences, and that’s humbling to me. I love it that people don’t come to Echosmith shows trying to look their hottest or be the coolest. They can just come and be their beautiful selves.”