If you sought comparisons for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros self-titled album, you would hear the soulfulness of The Supremes’ ‘Where Did Our Love Go’, the raw exuberant pop of The Beatles ‘Yellow Submarine’ and the psychedelic echoes of Jefferson Airplane’s ‘Surrealistic Pillow’. But at its roots, the album shows a band evolved and hopeful for the future.
Some tracks from the July 2013 release were originally recorded as the bookend piece to their sophomore album, Here, but in their last year of touring, this collection of songs was reimagined, taking on their own shape. They are upbeat, boisterous and passionate, with gospel chorus harmonies, raw, wailing vocals, and deep-in-the-pocket rhythms. “Better Days” mirrors perfectly the feelings of a country emerging from several years of tough times as the light of hope begins to peak through. It may be their most earnest work yet.
Each release by this incredibly talented family of 10+ seems different and transformed from the last, while still maintaining the principles they arrived with—community, exploration and self-relevance. Frontman Alex Ebert, who produced this new album himself, shared, “these songs mean everything to me. It’s the rawest, most liberated, most rambunctious stuff we’ve done.”
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros formed in 2007 after singer Alex Ebert met fellow singer Jade Castrinos outside of Little Pedro’s in downtown Los Angeles. In 2009 the 10-member troupe released their debut album, Up From Below, which featured the hit “Home” as well as fan favorites “40 Day Dream” and “Janglin”. The band has spent the past few years touring the world while winning over audiences at festivals like Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Leeds, Austin City Limits and more. Their follow up album, Here, was released in May 2012 and featured the tracks “Man On Fire” and “That’s What’s Up.” The album debuted at #1 on the Independent Music Chart and #5 on Billboard Top 200 Chart the week after its release. Relix Magazine hailed it as “an album full of undeniable folk-rock hooks, gospel overtones, infectious lyrics, orchestral swells and a whole lot of love.” Entertainment Weekly declared, “…they’ve got so much heart, they can crush hipster irony with one squeeze of the accordion.” The album was listed at number seven on Rolling Stone’s “Best Albums of 2012″ List.