Echosmith evolves from last release

The combination of emo and electro 80s dance doesn’t seem like it would work, but American band Echosmith has made it their niche. Their hit “Cool Kids,” which reached number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 from their debut 2013 album “Talking Dreams,” perfectly combined the two.

“Inside A Dream,” an EP released in September, is the first release since their debut album. It hones in on their niche, with electronic beats under airy lyrics.

“Inside A Dream” feels older, and it should as it’s been four years since their last album, where we can hear lead singer Sydney Sierota lamenting about not being one of the popular kids in school. This maturity goes deep even into the producing and mixing, which feels clean and modern.

The electro dance undertones are a key aspect to the band, and they definitely make this EP impressive. In fact, I think “Inside A Dream” feels like an announcement of the group leaning more heavily into the electro 80s dance rather than the emo.

Even the difference in album art is evidence of their growth. I think it definitely is a good move.

My favorite songs off the album are “Lessons” and “Dear World.” “Dear World” made my top two because it is the most unusual on the album, as it goes back to Echosmith’s original sound of acoustic and emo. Sierota has a beautiful voice, and it really shines on acoustic tracks. While this doesn’t fit their new sound, I think it was an important addition to the EP.

“Lessons” makes my top songs because as the first track on the EP, it has an important role to play to set the stage, especially on an album that shifts the group’s sound. It executes its role beautifully with a catchy, toe-tapping chorus and haunting vocals.

“Inside A Dream” is only 7 tracks long, but it feels like equal amount of clout has been put into each one. This EP was released to get Echosmith back on our radar and remind us that they are a talented group. I wasn’t a fan of “Cool Kids” and I definitely wasn’t wondering when they would release their next album. It also didn’t help that when they performed at Case Western Reserve University at the Fall Concert in 2014, they called us “Case College,” and I guess I held a bit of grudge.

This EP made me reevaluate the group and where they fit in the spectrum of their genre. I choose quality over quantity, and with every track of “Inside A Dream” Echosmith delivers a message that they are all grown up and are better than before.

Record: “Inside A Dream”

Artist: Echosmith

Release: Sept. 29

Rating: 4/5 stars