When Sydney Sierota stepped into the recording studio for the first time to sing with her siblings in the pop band Echosmith, she was in her early teens.
Now 21, Sierota—who performs with her brothers Noah (vocals/bass) and Graham (drums)—has more to say. It will be revealed when Echosmith releases a new full-length album later this year.
“I was 14 or 15 when we wrote and recorded the first record,” she says about 2013 album Talking Dreams, which spawned the hits “Cool Kids” and “Bright.” “Fourteen or 15 is very different than 21. Most of your development happens then. I feel like a different person, in a way.
“I have a lot of the same qualities. I haven’t changed. I’m older and more mature, but I know what’s important. We have more to talk about now. We don’t have to sing about what we hope happens in the future—we want to be in love, we want to have a relationship. It’s real and tangible now and deeper. Lyrically, it’s changed a lot because, as people, we’ve changed a lot.”
To tide fans over, Echosmith released the Inside a Dream EP in September and now they’re on the road, coming to the Marquee Theatre on May 9.
“I feel like it’s been forever since we’ve been on the road,” she says enthusiastically. “We’re so excited to be back. We love playing live so much.”
One look at their social media accounts and it’s easy to feel the excitement. They’re filled with photos of the group huddling before shows, meeting fans and having fun backstage.
“We use a lot of capital letters and exclamation points to show our excitement,” she says with a giggle.
The set, lighting, props and keyboardist are new, but there’s another difference fans will see with the live show. Her guitarist/brother Jamie is no longer in Echosmith.
“When he found out his wife was pregnant, he decided to take a break from touring,” she says.
“Once the baby was born, he decided to leave the band and stay at home and focus on family. The baby is 2 now. We were super sad about him leaving, but we supported him through it. We love him and we love the baby so much. It’s hard to leave that little guy. I’m really close to my nephew.”
Jamie’s departure, Sierota admits, changed the songwriting dynamic.
“He led a lot of the charge, especially musically,” she says. “There are so many guitar lines in the first record. There are still a lot; almost every song is guitar driven.
“The process has been interesting, challenging and frustrating. What do you replace him with? But any challenge is going to help you grow. It tested us, but I think it’s a good test.”
Sierota describes the first show with a fill-in guitarist as “weird.” She had to get used to seeing someone else on stage.
“It’s an interesting dynamic when that person isn’t your brother,” she adds. “It’s not as comfortable. You literally don’t know them yet. With family, it was comfortable.
“I could say, ‘Your hair looks crazy,’ or ‘Maybe trying playing that a different way.’ I can say that to someone else, but it’s different. It’s not as comfortable, but you have to adjust, obviously. What else are we going to do? Not have a guitar player?”
Nevertheless, she’s having fun on the tour.
“The keyboardist takes a little weight off me,” says Sierota, whose grandfather lives in the Valley. “I don’t have to play keyboard for every single song. We’re going to have confetti, which we’ve never had before, and a full light show. It just feels more exciting and dynamic. I love all the other tours we’ve done, but this one is more creative.”
Echosmith w/The Score and Jena Rose, Marquee Theatre, 730 N. Mill Avenue, Tempe, 480.829.0607, luckymanonline.com, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 9, $24-$50.