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No mere echo: Echosmith rises on pop music charts

Toluca Lake musical quartet has an effortless flair for the pop genre.

November 22, 2013|By Jonny Whiteside
  • Echosmith, a band of Sierota siblings with Graham, Sydney, Jamie and Noah at Warner Bros. Records in Burbank on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013.
Echosmith, a band of Sierota siblings with Graham, Sydney,… (Tim Berger / Staff…)

So much of today's pop music targeting the youth demographic is dominated by manufactured stars and lip-syncing singing groups that it often comes off as utterly flavorless and predictable, but the teenage Toluca Lake siblings of musical quartet Echosmith are unquestionably the exception which proves the rule.

Pop music isn't rocket science; simplicity and honesty are the order of the form, yet its commercial arbiters seldom seem to manage either. Echosmith, comprised of Jamie, Noah, Graham and Sydney Sierota, effortlessly wield these tools of the trade, creating accessible yet elegantly contoured songs like “March into the Sun” and “Cool Kids.” Richly melodic, chronically catchy, these kids' compositions employ equal measures of musical dynamics and understated simplicity.

“We grew up and live in Toluca Lake and we've been playing and singing most of our lives,” said 17-year-old Sydney. “We grew up around music, there was always someone playing music in our house, our dad is a music producer, songwriter and musician and his having a studio in the house made it a lot easier for us.”

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“We started the band about six years ago, playing covers, just random stuff — at our first show we did a Cure song, we did a Rage Against the Machine song. We did everything, middle schools, elementary schools, benefits, county fairs all over the place. We played at a Chick-fil-A once — I mean, who would even imagine a band could play at place like that?”

With half a dozen years of experience, the youthful foursome (ages range from 14 to 20) has developed formidable skill, and it is finally starting to pay off. Last month, the bands' debut album “Talking Dreams” entered the Billboard Heatseekers Chart at No. 3, and their “Cool Kids” is currently one of the 10 most-shared songs on Spotify and was recently an iTunes Single of the Week.

Quality songwriting can never be counterfeited, and the siblings have developed an effective modus operandi: “The songwriting is equal and collaborative,” Sydney says. “It never starts the same way. Like Graham will come up with a melody and we all just take it from there; we work together very well that way. It's always different. We have influences — we grab from everything — but we make it like us, our own music.”

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