Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros avoids cliches with sweetly eclectic sound

Mark Lopez

“Home, let me come home. Home is whenever I’m with you.”

The sweet lyrics and whimsical sounds of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ latest hit “Home” wax nostalgic in the style of a Johnny and June Carter Cash duet.

And though the band is best known for “Home,” which was recently included on the “Cyrus” soundtrack, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros have much more up their sleeve than retro-folk music. Part of the eclecticism found in Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ music comes from the sheer number of band members. With 10 permanent musicians and six other come-and-go members in a single band, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros are able to swing from genre to genre with ease. At once psychedelic folk and pure rock ‘n’ roll, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros have been climbing the ladder to success since the California-based band formed in 2005.

Alex Ebert (also of Ima Robot) started the group based on his alter ego, Edward Sharpe, who was sent to earth to help mankind. Once Ebert attracted other musicians to his dream group, they set out on the road in a converted school bus, playing shows for fans who wanted to feel the purity of music that is unique in its ability to avoid the cliches of modern, trendy independent music.

What also makes Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros unique is their stated intent to connect with each and every audience they perform for. And for a band with growing popularity, this commitment to connections on a personal level becomes increasingly admirable, often ending with Ebert in the arms of his audience during live performances.

“I went into the crowd {and] everyone was singing. You could almost feel their hearts,” Ebert said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.

Though this 6-year-old band has only two releases to date, including the LP Up From Below and the EP Here Comes, its slow ascent to popularity doesn’t seem to point toward a lack in momentum. In fact, in the past year Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros have not only been included in a movie soundtrack but also made their network television debut on “Late Show with David Letterman.”

With every step the band takes, it seems to prove that a fresh approach to rock ‘n’ roll can be a real contender in the indie scene.