By Devin Duckworth | May 27th, 2012
Since 2009’s release of Up From Below, the indie folk genre hasn’t been the same for me. And now we have an album that is clear in its devices. A record that is so primitively anthemic with wonderfully sung duos and charming temperaments that it’s hard to imagine what the music world would be like without it.
Almost three years later, we are dutifully graced with Here, a flourished sophomore release and the first of two albums Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros will issue in 2012. Alex Ebert, the music genius behind Edward Sharpe, recently told an interviewer from the Washington Post that he had no interest in the Zeros being the equivalent of “the 60s ride at Disneyland.” While some might say that their Americana authenticity grows equivalent to the length of Ebert’s beard, others believe that their illustrative music will stay pertinent for ages to come.
Starting with “Man on Fire,” we are slowly brought back to familiar territory with desert-like surroundings, country-inspired ballads and atmospheric vocals. The permeating instrumentals corresponding with Ebert and Jade’s harmonies sweep us from underneath and carry us into an inspired spiritual dance circle that I’m sure requires you to take off your shoes and let the sun (or moon) take hold of your body.
“Home” (from Up From Below) gets a clear-cut part deux in the emblematic “That’s What’s Up.” Just like “Home,” Ebert and his lovely Jade are given another opportunity to sing to each other with endearing sentimental verses; it may or may not resonate with audiences the way the ubiquitous “Home” has, but it’s an enchanter and possibly one of the best songs on the album with a strong first impression and bright vocals harmonizing.
Jade gets another fine vocal showcase in “Fiya Wata,” while Ebert finds peace in a higher being in “I Don’t Wanna Pray,” with retro-inspired ramshackle and fast-paced acoustics.
“Mayla” is a feel-good jam that endures lovely melodic balance and bursting instrumentals beyond what we heard in “Brother,” but doesn’t quite compare to the effortless spirituality in “Om Nashi Me”; it kind of meanders somewhere in between.
“Dear Believer” has a sort of “Rocky Raccoon” aesthetic to it without being so obvious while “Child” carries a mild melody of sorts with tales of sirens and a “come hither” approach.
Currently on the road in the U.S., the band will play the Wakarusa Festival in Ozark, Arkansas before heading overseas for UK dates. Here was recorded in Bogalusa, L.A. and Ojai, CA and will be released to its entirety on May 29 via Community Music.