The first month of the first year of the new decade is just starting, and the New Wave/Indie Pop music world is already showing promise. New albums under the genre scheduled for release this year are led by Echosmith’s sophomore offering.
Formed in 2009, in Chino, California, United States, and currently consisting of the siblings Sydney (Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Keyboards), Noah (Bass, Backing Vocals, Synthesizer), and Graham Sierota (Drums, Percussion), Echosmith released its debut album, Talking Dreams, in 2013. After seven years of touring, recording, and some members’ engaging in other projects, Echosmith comes out fresh and reinvigorated this year with a brand-new album. Scheduled to be released on January 10, 2020, Echosmith’s follow-up, Lonely Generation, is sure to excite New Wave and Indie Pop enthusiasts with its technicolor sound and style.
Marking the band’s first release via their newly formed Echosmith Music label, they teamed up with Jeffery David (Seal, Zedd) to handle the production. Putting together 12 new songs, it opens with the title-track, exuding a shiny Blondie (“Heart of Glass”) sensibility–alluring, bright, and summery with its glaze of Reggae guitar strums and glassy keyboard flourishes. The mood then slows down with the starry “Diamonds,” whose beat is still enough to cause the strobe lights to flicker on the bodies on the dance floor. Another relaxing track follows next in the form of the staccato piano-led “Cracked.”
The album’s carrier single, “Shut Up and Kiss Me,” takes the listener on a breezy and soulful ride; it will fit smoothly onto a playlist that includes Nelly Furtado’s “Explode,” Donna Lewis’s “I Could Be the One,” and Metric’s “Gimme Sympathy.” The ensuing “Stuck Inside a Roller Coaster” is another highlight–catchy, melodic, textured, and slightly progressive.
Echosmith then turns sentimental with the melodrama of “Last Forever,” which vibes off similar sonic sentiments of Spice Girls’ “2 Become 1,” Roxette’s “Vulnerable,” and Annie Lennox’s version of “No More I Love You’s.” An even more heartrending ballad follows next–“Everyone Cries,” showcasing an effective, beautiful female-male vocal interplay by Sydney and Noah.
“Scared to Be Alone” rails its jagged rhythm quite coolly, ensuring that the listener gets to lock into the overall groove of Lonely Generation. The ambience then picks up pace with the pastoral predisposition of “Lost Somebody,” which may remind the initiated of Wilson Phillips’s “Release Me.” And then Echosmith bursts with its shards of Pop Rock with the guitar-heavy “Love You Better,” further cementing its stylistic affinity with Roxette (“She’s Got the Look”).
Near the end of set, the Sierota siblings then treat their audience with an acoustic-oriented affair–the slow, sad sway of “Follow Me–and then finally wrap up their latest offering with its saddest tune–“I Don’t Wanna Lose My Love”–a perfect closer.
Echosmith may be a part of the new generation of New Wave/Synthpop messengers; but the trio is among the old-soul tunesmiths in the real sense of the word, echoing sounds culled from decades ago and transforming them into modern aural artifacts easily digestible by both the old and the young generations of the genre’s connoisseurs. Definitely not only for the lost and lonely but also for the soft and only, Cryptic Rock gives Lonely Generation 4 out of 5 stars.