Get ready, people, because Echosmith are back with their second album, Lonely Generation, and it’s filled with bops! The LP dropped on Friday, January 10, and fans cannot stop listening to it.
J-14 got a chance to sit down and talk to Sydney Sierota from the group (which also consists of her siblings Noah and Graham Sierota) exclusively about their new tunes, and she spilled a lot of tea! She also opened up about their upcoming tour, which fans will not want to miss.
J-14: Tell us about your new album Lonely Generation!
Sydney Sierota: This album is something I’m so excited to finally have out in the world. It feels so much more personal than anything we’ve ever done and I just feel so proud of what it turned out to be. The songs and the videos we created — every piece of this album all goes together and it feels like they all fit so well together. We are so excited that our sophomore album is finally here after years of working on it and years of perfecting it and making sure we all felt passionate about each and every part and each and every song. It was such a good process to go through and it really helped us grow so much as people and also as a band.
J-14: What’s the album about? What’s one message you hope to deliver with it?
Sydney: We really tried to stretch ourselves and be really open. I wanted to make sure that we were really real with our lyrics and let our fans know, ‘Hey, you’re not alone. Whatever you’re going through, it’s OK because we all go through it.’ I think just knowing that you’re not alone is such a helpful piece in moving forward and knowing that you can get through something. It was really hard but we tried to be honest about all of our feelings — the good, the bad, the in between — so that whoever is listening, they know that they’re a little less alone in the world.
J-14: Is it nerve-wracking releasing something so personal to you?
Sydney: Oh, 100 percent. I second guessed it a million times in writing sessions and even when we were finalizing the album. I was like, ‘Well, should we put this lyric on there? Because it’s really personal. It makes me sound too weak or too vulnerable.’ But being vulnerable is not weak, and I just had to keep reminding myself that it’s actually a really brave and strong thing to do to be vulnerable with a lot of complete strangers. Even though it’s a really scary thing to do, I think it’s so necessary as artists to be real about every part of life, not just the good, the awesome and the special parts of it.
It does feel a little scary to think about all these people getting to hear it, but it’s also a really exciting thing as well because we’re going to get to know each other so much better — us and our fans — by talking about some of the hard stuff. So I am happy that we did it and I’m really relieved now that it’s out because there was a lot of anticipation there. It’s definitely a scary thing to be so vulnerable, but it was a really good thing for me to practice because I need to remember to be more vulnerable with the people in my real life as well.
J-14: What’s your writing process like?
Sydney: It’s a very collaborative process. There were some days where I felt so unbelievably inspired and I had so many ideas. And then there were days where I was so tired and didn’t feel that inspired because I didn’t get enough sleep or that’s just how that day went. That’s just how creative things work, they change day to day. But luckily, that day might have been a day when Noah was feeling very inspired.
We all worked together to make the album, and it’s a really nice thing to have collaborators because we can all kind of get there together and make sure that we all stand behind each and every song, even if it’s something that’s more of my story, or something that’s more of Noah’s story. Of course, as the lead singer, I’m the one saying these words, so it’s really important for me to really feel really connected with each and every song, even if it started with somebody else’s idea. It’s a really nice blend of being open to anybody else’s ideas but also just making it our own and making sure we all can relate to it in our own way. It’s a really nice way of doing it because you can help each other out when one of you is feeling less inspired or just not in a great mood that day.
J-14: What’s your favorite song off the album and why?
Sydney: It’s really hard to choose, but I would probably say “Follow You.” That one was actually my version of a wedding gift for my husband. I wrote it two weeks before we got married. I wanted to surprise him with a song. I didn’t know what to get him at first, so I was like, ‘I’ll write him a song.’ I had just got back from Japan and I was so jet lagged so I stayed up all night and I wrote and recorded the song from like 1 A.M. to 6 A.M. in our home studio. I remember going to sleep and when I woke up, my dad had heard it and he was like, ‘What did you just create? This is amazing.’
I got to surprise my husband with it for our first dance — I had it playing for our first dance instead of the song that we chose, and that was the first time he got to hear it. It was such a special moment for us and it’s such a personal song for me. Even the vocal is the original vocal that I recorded at like 2 A.M. as I was writing it, so it’s a very personal song. I was a little hesitant to put on the album because it felt so at home for me, but that’s also what pushed me to want to have it on there so that people could really feel what I was feeling two weeks leading up to my most favorite day in the entire world.
J-14: Tell us about your newest single, “Diamonds.” What’s that song about?
Sydney: “Diamonds” is one of the songs that we got to play with lyrically. We got to pair a more serious message with a happy and fun sounding song, so it kind of takes listeners by surprise and is something that they don’t necessarily expect. The verses are really just talking about this girl who feels so alone and so conflicted in her life and with what she wants and what she doesn’t want. She feels bored with life and feels like every day is just another day and that she has nothing to feel excited about. She doesn’t really see herself for who she really is, so we’re kind of saying that she is a diamond in the sea of pearls. She is so special and all of us really are, even if we don’t see that in ourselves, that is the truth.
The song is all about kind of acknowledging that and realizing that about yourself because one of the most valuable things you can do is see yourself as someone important and special that has a place in the world. That’s really what we’re talking about in that song and I think a lot of us can relate to it. Of course, I can. A lot of days I’m singing about myself when I’m singing that song. There’s plenty of days where I’m like, ‘I am that girl.’ And then there’s days where I’m like, ‘Wow, I feel like I’m on the other end of the spectrum today.’ So it just shows how up and down life can be but everyone has been there before. It’s really important to know we’ve all been there, but we can all get to the other place as well.
J-14: What was it like filming the music video? Any behind-the-scenes secrets or stories you can share?
Sydney: We wanted to do an old western-styled video so bad, and that song just fit so perfectly with it. Our director was just so fun and he created all of the outfits — it was so fun to play dress up. We were laughing so much throughout the entire day. We were making up stupid western names for each other, and laughing at each other and pretending like we were actually in that world for a second. It’s such a timed piece and the way that our director created the entire scene made it feel so real. We were literally outside of a barn with horses in the background and it was just such a funny experience. It was a great time and we all had to work hard to put on serious faces when we were actually shooting because we couldn’t hold it together. There were a lot of laugh attacks during that but it turned out to be such a great music video. So it was such a nice blend of ‘Oh this is super fun’ but it also turned out really great, so we were really happy with it.
J-14: Do you guys ever fight or argue? If so, about what?
Sydney: Yeah, we definitely have our moments where we get on each other’s nerves or we’ll fight about something so dumb. When you fight with family, you can be so honest with each other. For us, we spend so much time together because obviously we’re in a band and we do a lot of work together, but we’re also best friends. We hang out a lot outside of the band as well, so sometimes we’ll get sick of each other but we can always be honest about it. We’ll be like, ‘Hey, everyones been talking too much can we just not talk for like five minutes.’ We can be real with each other like that, which a lot of bands don’t have. I think that’s actually so key to being a band that functions very well together. It’s important to be honest, even if that leads to a couple minor fights.
We usually can figure it out pretty fast, even if it’s a fight over something totally stupid like someone ate someone else’s chips. We can be like, ‘This is dumb, let’s get over it,’ and we can be better in like two minutes. We’ve gotten pretty good at being able to fight and get over it because, you know, you have to go play a show and you don’t want to be mad at each other when you’re doing it.
J-14: We know you have a tour coming up, what’s your favorite part about hitting the road?
Sydney: I love getting to watch the songs, especially the new ones, come to life in a totally different way when you’re on tour. We’ll be playing a lot of these songs for the first time and playing them in front of real life people instead of just listening to it in a studio — it’s a totally different experience. I love seeing how fans react to different parts of songs and getting to really experiment with that is really fun. We love getting to have so many different elements going on during our live show and we love to take people on a journey with us through different emotions.
We also like to have moments where it’s really personal and where it feels like it’s just you and I sitting in a room even though I’m technically performing on a stage. I’m so excited to sing a song where it’s just me and a guitar, and feel like there’s nobody else existing in the world other than me and the audience. We’re working on the setlist right now so I’m excited to see how we blend the older songs with the new ones. We’re going to have so much fun. I’m really excited to play all these new songs and see people react in real time.
J-14: What are three things you always have to bring on tour with you?
Sydney: I bring my own pillow because the pillows they provide on tour buses… you just don’t want to sleep with them. You don’t know how many people have slept on those pillows. So I bring my own pillow and my own blanket from home so it kind of feels like I’m in my own bed, even though it’s way tinier and you’re sleeping next to a million other people. I like to make my bunk feel like home.
I also bring lots of candles. There’s 12 people living on a bus sometimes, so it’s nice to have a little pumpkin spice going on when there’s a lot of people in the same room. The third thing is probably a light up makeup mirror so that I can do my makeup anywhere. Even if I have the worst possible lighting, this light up mirror will make me actually feel decent about myself. Those are my must-haves.
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