Echosmith Keepin’ it Punk
BY: Jean Fitz
With the exception of The Summer Set with their female drummer Jess Bowen, there is a typical equation for pop-punk/pop-rock bands: otherwise all-male bands with a female lead singer, who has big eyes and a phenomenally wide vocal range that predominantly focuses on the alto side of the scale. (She typically dyes her hair and can pull off skater dresses and chucks.)
Cool, ya know, female empowerment… sick guitar riffs, bangin’ drums, and sexy voices… but seriously how many more bands of this mold is there even room for?
It’s so fucking typical, but think Paramore. Haley Williams made cartoonish hair popular among young punks, influencing quite a number of these bands of the like: We Are the In Crowd, Hey Monday, Versaemerge, Tonight Alive, the Dollyrots (bonus if you remember the song, “Because I’m Awesome”), Flyleaf, Halestorm, and Echosmith.
It’s awesome that there are so many bands with a female who is an amazingly talented singer and lyricist, as well as tambourine-shaker, but it’s drastically cliché. At least Echosmith slightly veers from that pattern that makes music fans wonder if every girl that can sing thinks she is Haley Williams (or Joan Jett.)
Echosmith is the Sierota family: a band of brothers Graham, 14, Noah, 17, and Jamie, 20, backing their sister Sydney, 16. Some weird cross between Paramore, the Jonas Brothers, and Fleetwood Mac that mixes an upbeat tempo, decent guitar, and light/simple lyrics with family values and an attitude that blurs the line between cute and careless.
Over the summer, Echosmith released a music video for their song “Cool Kids”. The lyrics are best summarized in that it’s almost like they want to be hardcore emo kids, but they go with something more along the lines of, “I wish I was more popular like those cool kids” rather than “fuck those kids, I’m so unpopular I could die.” Though their attitude is much more consistent with their mini-genre of pop-punk-rock boys-with-girl-lead-singer, it does not fit at all with bands like Paramore. Even with these clichés in mind, I adore Echosmith.
Their sound is better than Paramore, who has recently become much too pop/mainstream for their reputation. Though this is good for Paramore’s record sales and, I guess, it’s almost like Paramore has veered more towards mainstream. This in a business sense is great, but in a “sell your soul” kind of way it is bogus. I find that Sydney and her brothers are overall stronger with more potential by way of talent than Paramore and company. Sydney and her brothers have a lot of talent for such young people and with practice, time, and experienced musicians to help, I think that we will be seeing a lot more than pointless music videos with mediocre acting/lip-syncing from Echosmith.
…Until then, they are seemingly just another group of guys with a cutesy, slightly hardcore female singer.