The Contagious Joy of Echosmith on Inside a Dream Tour

There’s just something about watching someone do something they truly love that’s genuinely rewarding. It brings a smile to your face and fills your heart. It’s familiar and it can even instill you with confidence about yourself and your own aspirations. That’s the feeling I got watching Echosmith on stage at Old National Center in Indianapolis last week.

Even without a promised new full-length, Echosmith has managed to maintain the steam they generated in late 2013 with single “Cool Kids” and the success of their debut, Talking Dreams.  Last year’s promised new album turned into an EP titled Inside a Dream, which may have been one of the most overlooked releases of 2017, harnessing the band’s charm with the introduction of well-executed synth-pop.

Echosmith

With those new dance beats now in their arsenal, Echosmith’s live performance has morphed into a therapeutic party of excitement and release. As the band took the stage to “18” from their recent EP, singer Sydney Sierota’s smile lit up the room. The band, consisting of siblings Sydney, Noah, and Graham, parted with their eldest brother Jamie in 2016 when he stepped away to care for his newborn. In his absence, the band has carried on without losing a step on stage.

Despite their early success, it’s these unheeded new tracks that steal the show in the band’s live performance. Yes, it’s easy for onlookers to sing along to Talking Dreams tracks like “Let’s Love’, “Terminal”, and “Bright”, but fresh performances of “Future Me”, “Get Into My Car”, and “Hungry” breathe excitement into the crowd. The best moment of the night includes a stirring performance of “Goodbye”, complete with exploding balls of confetti that rain down on the bouncing congregation.

Echosmith

The tracks on Inside a Dream succeed in tackling the frustrations of youth, regret, and heartbreak while operating atop sparkling synth sounds akin to 1989 or the latest release from PVRIS. It’s a juxtaposition that harkens to the band’s early days while providing a look at what it means to say goodbye to your innocence.

All of this is what makes the smile on Sydney’s face as she sings such a joy to watch. At one point during the evening, she asks the crowd who came to the concert alone and invites those nearby to put arms around their shoulders and sway to the song. It’s a communal experience, which makes sense, because Echosmith has continued to so confidently convey what it means to grow up. Does it hurt at times? Of course. But there’s something to be said for finding comfort in those that journey alongside you.

by Kiel Hauck

kiel_hauckKiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.

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Vinyl Spotlight: Echosmith – Acoustic Dreams

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Every so often, our resident vinyl lover, Kiel Hauck, takes the time to talk about a recent vinyl release and gives a breakdown about everything from packaging to sound quality. Here’s his latest installment.

Echosmith, the indie pop outfit hailing from Chino, California, exploded onto the scene in 2014 thanks to the massive success of their hit single “Cool Kids”. During their whirlwind summer, the band released a collection of acoustic tracks titled Acoustic Dreams that flew largely under the radar. For Record Store Day 2015, the band released that EP on vinyl for the first time.

Comprised of Sierota siblings Sydney, Graham, Noah and Jamie, Echosmith has the perfect combination of melody and pop to translate well on acoustic recordings. Acoustic Dreams was an unexpected Record Store Day treat that we picked up and haven’t been able to stop spinning. Let’s take a look at how the release stacks up.

Packaging and Presentation

Unfortunately, this record falls short when it comes to packaging goodies. Acoustic Dreams consists of a single sleeve with a front cover that resembles last year’s commercial release of Talking Dreams. What’s unfortunate is that the original cover for the album was a beautiful mixture of color that got nixed when the band broke big. Some re-imagining of that dream-like artwork would have been fun to see on this special release, but alas, the final product is pretty simple.

The record itself is pressed on white vinyl and spins at 45 RPM. While it’s nothing special, the white vinyl does add a bit of appeal. Some extra artwork or an insert would have helped this release immensely from a presentation standpoint and the lack of a digital download card is rather disappointing as well.

Sound and Quality

The best part about Acoustic Dreams is that these songs are fantastic. The simple acoustic nature of the songs lends well to a vinyl release and the tracks sound great. A broken down version of “Cool Kids” features a violin and an extra dash of emotion in Sydney’s vocals, making it even more pleasing than the original version. “Talking Dreams” features wonderful harmonies from Sydney, Noah and Jamie. This new version has a throwback feel that makes it sound as though it belongs in a different time.

Likewise, new track “Terminal” has an old pop feel to it. The gentle guitar strumming gives way to an eclectic mix of sounds during the song’s chorus, including powerful drumming from Graham. Each song on the EP pays homage to its original while taking on its own unique personality.

Overall, Acoustic Dreams is a great collection of songs, but the label did the band no favors with the release’s lack of extras. Maybe so many special releases on Record Store Day have made me greedy, but I feel as though any insert at all would have added to the experience of this record. Regardless, it’s a fun release for fans of the band and there are still some copies out there for purchase.

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kiel_hauckKiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.