After their successful debut album Up From Below in 2009, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros are back this summer with Here, the first of two albums to be released in 2012.
A feeling of transcendental happiness: that is the effect most people will be left with during a live performance of the LA indie-folk band; The kind that makes you want to close your eyes, smile, and dance barefoot. When you witness such powerful energy between band members onstage, you know that it takes more than just talent to make such raw magic happen. This energy is all the more important when there happen to be a dozen band members on the stage in question, resulting in the impression of “a community singalong,” as described by The New York Times.
Entering a conversation about spirituality, their sophomore album is composed of calmer tunes, somewhere between Devendra Banhart and Beirut. On the opening track “Man On Fire,” lead singer Alex Ebert chants his ambitious wish to have “the whole damn world to come dance with me.” The new age ensemble band will be on tour in Europe this summer, and singer Jade Castrinos, who is much more present on the new album than on the precedent, answered our questions about their new album and tour.
ELLE: How would you describe your new album?
Here reminds me of sunshine and rain and rainbows. To my recollection, there is no overall theme to Here. If there were one, I think it would be life itself.
ELLE: Why did you decide to release two separate records in six months time, rather than one double album?
I think that Here picks up where the first album left off, and that the next record is hand in hand with Here.
ELLE: How are they different from Up From Below?
Since Up From Below came out, we have been on the road a lot. We have also been writing and recording a ton and will continue to do so this next year.
ELLE: What’s you usual songwriting process?
Each song is its own experience, especially when writing. Sometimes the song will already be written and the band will add different light and color to it. Or sometimes it’s a seed of a song and everyone will give water and sunshine to it and it will bloom on the spot.
ELLE: You released your first album in 2009, what have you been up to over the past years?
Since Up From Below came out, we have been on the road quite a lot…
ELLE: Are you excited to be back on tour again?
We are all really excited to be touring again. Especially to be playing all these new songs. Each night a new breath of life is given to each song and little nuances are born into the songs that weren’t there when we began.
ELLE: Do you all travel together when you are on tour?
We all travel together.
ELLE: What is the most challenging aspect about being such a large band?
The only consistent challenge is being punctual. I’m working on it!
ELLE: … and the best?
The best thing about it is the music, and the love it takes to make the music.