After delaying their anticipated sophomore LP -- which was expected in late 2017 -- American pop trio Echosmith instead released the EP Inside a Dream. Issued as an appetizer to tide over their fans, the seven-song release is an interesting, though not entirely surprising, departure from the early, more guitar-based style found on their debut, Talking Dreams. Here, the Sierota siblings -- Sydney, Noah, and Graham -- push synth pop to the fore, creating a blend that sounds like 1989-era Taylor Swift fronting the 2017 incarnations of PVRIS or MisterWives. Setting the tone, opener "Lessons" is awash in synths with on-the-nose lyrics alluding to '80s favorites by Fleetwood Mac and Eurythmics. "Get into My Car" and "18" crank up the 1989 tribute, sounding so similar to that album's sweeter moments that they could be B-sides. Highlights include the vibrant "Future Me" and the ethereal cool of "Goodbye," which includes the best kiss-off lyric on the album ("When you finally find yourself/Tell him I said goodbye!"). As a preview of potential things to come, Inside a Dream offers just the right amount to satisfy and to build anticipation for a full-length effort that should mark a new and refreshing direction for the group.
AllMusic Review by Neil Z. Yeung