Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes

Up From Below

One can imagine the dozen or so members of this LA band (lead by Ima
Robot’s Alex Ebert) meeting at some chill key party in the hills. All
the men are bearded, tan, shirtless. All the women are hot in that
come-hither hippy kind of way. After hours engaged in some fantastic
unself-conscious orgy, the gang passing around a couple of post-coital
jays, it suddenly occurs to someone it might be fun to, like, jam?

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes’ look isn’t far from that
dream, but this is not to say their debut EP is sexual, or slipshod. On
Up From Below, they make oversized co-ed cathartic choral
sing-alongs that call to mind the Arcade Fire and the Polyphonic Spree.
Indeed, these three songs are as infectious as either of those bands’
most exuberant, ebullient efforts. And with a Southland attitude
updating their more northerly predecessors’ take on group-living-style
anthemic indie rock, it’s the perfect summer soundtrack — for a
lounging-poolside-at-your-Laurel-Canyon-home-circa-1968 kind of

There’s more than the specter of Phil Spector in the wall-of-sound
toe-tappers “40 Day Dream” and “Janglin,” and certain undeniable
throw-back qualities that will be traced to Sixties- and Seventies-era
folk rock/psychedelia. What’s refreshing is that the music doesn’t seem
aware of this reference. It just sorta hangs there, spread out on the
couch like a contented houseguest. The soupy-thick songs are
overpopulated with vocal ticks. Hoots, whistles, “yeah-yeahs” and
“oo-ahs” are dispensed amid soaring strings, brass flourishes, and
snare hits that slap and crash like the sea. It’s a chorus of happy
hippies stomping and laughing, singing, one love/one touch/carries
, like they mean it. You almost believe it does. (Community
Music/Fairfax Recordings)

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