“So, what’s it like to be the ‘cool kids’ now?”
This question, according to Sydney Sierota, the lead vocalist of Echosmith, is her pet peeve. It’s in reference to Echosmith’s hit track “Cool Kids,” which rocketed up the charts last year, shooting the L.A.-based band of four siblings to unexpected fame.
“I just hate that because it’s not the message of the song,” Sydney, 17, says. “I always turn it around and talk about what the song means.”
“What the song means,” which is most succinctly summarized as “be yourself,” is somewhat of a defining refrain for Echosmith—both because they are very young and earnest, and also because they truly do believe the message is an important one for their generation.
Jamie, the band’s guitarist and the oldest of the siblings, puts it this way: “People today try to make their lives look a lot cooler online; they edit their selfies to not even look like them. It’s a lot easier to cover up who you are, and to act like you’re somebody else. On the flip side, there are some people who are way too transparent on social media and share every detail of their lives when it’s not really the place for that, in my opinion. So I think ‘Cool Kids’ is funny, timing-wise, because a lot of fans hearing the song are going through that kind of stuff. There’s a balance that people are still figuring out, and we’re figuring it out with them.”
Noah, the 19-year-old bassist, agrees. “Our aim is to write for and connect with people our ages. I mean, Graham is 15 and Jamie is 21… So we really want all of our interactions—whether onstage, or on social media, or talking after a show with fans—to have a hopeful and joyful mindset.”
Recently, at a show at New York’s Webster Hall, this mindset was set into motion when the band stopped the performance midway through and turned on the overhead lights to take a selfie with the audience. An adoring multitude of teens and tweens were illuminated as they all bunched happily together for Sydney’s Instagram shot. Call it the Echosmith ethos: the post-cool cool. A cool that cares.
Here, the band shares the playlist they can’t get enough of now.