Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Album review - Up From Below, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros deliver an enjoyable debut album and all without the help of anyone named Edward Sharpe.

The merry band of 10 or 12 — in a recent interview the band couldn’t make their minds up, bring together a choir of different instruments and voices to produce a veritable love-in of hippy folk-rock.

Alex Ebert, formerly of Ima Robot formed the band a couple of years ago and it appears he hasn’t had to look far to find inspiration for songs. His girlfriend Jade is also in the band and their apparently perfect and therefore slightly nauseating love for each other is all over songs ‘Home’, ‘I Come In Please’ and, well, ‘Jade’, in which he claims “Jade is the girl of the hour” over and over again…I get it, he likes her.

The sound in parts is as retro as their album cover and you may find yourself checking that you haven’t inadvertently switched onto something by The Mamas & The Papas or The Beatles.

But there is evidence of more forward-looking songs — ‘Brother’ for instance has hints of KOL and Fleet Foxes. In fact there are elements and influences from a whole range of bands which have all come together in this album to make it, well, brilliant quite frankly.

From the lilting anthem ‘40 Day Dream’ (above), which so over-brimming with joy it could have been purpose-built for a raucous summer festival crowd who with cider in hand would happily chant the chorus “it’s a magical mystery kind, must be a lie iiiiie.”

‘Home’ is another standout track albeit so unashamedly country it makes you want to don dungarees and take up the banjo, while ‘Om Nashi Me’ provides a few minutes of psychedelic quiet.

Personally I'm inspired to either; invent a time machine and go back to the '60s (quite keen on that idea already to be honest) or rent a big truck and drive around the southern states with ‘Up From Below’ blaring, or both. It certainly keeps me smiling through a dreary British winter. 9/10

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