Artists of the Week: Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros
Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros are an eleven-piece American band formed by dance-punkers Ima Robot’s frontman Alex Ebert pretty much in the vein of Southern California musical communities that spread their counterculture activities and attitudes throughout the sixties and early seventies.
Their debut, 2009’s Up from Below, was definitely a 60’s sound record filled with love and peace anthems, vocal harmonies, hooky choruses, horns and handclaps that reminded not only classic acts such as Bob Marley, The Doors or The Incredible String Band but also contemporary revival peers like The Polyphonic Spree and Devendra Banhart. Their blazing live shows, several TV appearances and the (unfinished) 12-part feature-length musical called SALVO! attracted a lot of attention to the release of their sophomore effort, 2012’s Here, an album that deepen their inspired (and often hilarious) mixture of soul, reggae and Americana that felt no shame in showing its rather obvious Jesus Christ Superstar influences.
In the wake of popularity earned via the Grammy Awarded music film Big Easy Express (that documents their 2012 Railroad Revival Tour with Mumford & Sons and Old Crow Medicine Show), Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros recently released their third, self-titled album, a Beatles heavy-influenced record in which they replace their trademark theatrical style for a more concise, but still full-energized, approach to their always colorful and enjoyable song craft and performance.
João Pedro da Costa is a web studies scholar and a music fan.