Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros is a large band with an even larger sound. The band line up includes ten extremely talented vocalists and musicians that back up the rustic leading vocals of Alexander Ebert. The “Zeros” have proven to be one of the one of the most authentic groups not only because of the large number of people and the large array of instruments; but because of the messages behind the songs that they create.
On July 15, the group’s third album, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, became available to the world online. I can say that the album is different from the previous two albums in a few ways; however, the album still delivers the unique Edward Sharpe sound that we fell in love with when we first heard the group’s hit song ‘Home’.
The album takes off on an extremely positive note with ‘Better Days’ – a song where Alex Ebert sings that he has seen “better days written on your face” and sends messages on how powerful love truly can be. Inspiring messages can be found throughout the course of the song, as well as the album.
It is easy to hear the large variety of instruments on the album, and what I feel makes certain songs – such as ‘If I Were Free’ – a great listen is the ever present call and answer technique used by Alex and the backup vocals of the rest of the group. ‘If I Were Free’ is a thought-provoking song that not only challenges but invites the listener to take into account the various ways that we still live in captivity. I don’t mean that we are living in a time of physical chains, but a mental state of captivity. The song states how “unfree” we truly are because we allow certain emotions such as fear to rule our lives; however, if we were free “we’d be free of the terror of the graves and fear masquerading as the brave”.
The main theme behind Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros is love; there is no denying that with lyrics such as “If we sing together love will sing along; two voices carry farther than one”. Alexander Ebert and the Zeros have managed to keep a very warm and mellow sound from the first album Up From Below, and have managed to keep the sound strong on the third album.
The songs on the latest album are very relatable and can be applied to anyone’s life who has seen hard times, or anyone who is in need of some uplifting. Not only do the Zero’s provide their audience with motivation through their circumstances; but they remain extremely honest in their songs. What I personally love about the album is the fact that the messages behind the lyrics aren’t fabricated or cliché, but is accepting of the fact that life is hard.
‘Life Is Hard’ is the sixth song on the album and the classical indie feel of the song can grasp the attention of almost anyone. Alexander takes the lead on this song and is blatantly honest with us all; “But if the truth is to be told, let us not leave out any part”. He invites us all to celebrate because life is hard. Bet you have never thought of that; why complain when things get hard? Why not celebrate?
Alexander also tells us not to fear the admission that life is hard, which relates back to the song ‘If I Were Free’; we shelter ourselves in fear and create these walls that make everything seem much worse than they actually are.
Before I give away too much about the album, I just want to urge you to pick up the album on CD or on vinyl. I promise you that the magnetic sound of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros can turn any gloomy day into a day filled with happiness and an unexplainable amount of joy.
For more on Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes, visit edwardsharpeandthemagneticzeros.com.