Listen to this song by Californian multi-membered collective Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros. It’s their song from 2009’s Up From Below album, “Home”, sort of a Johnny Cash/June Carter duet, as interpreted through an orchestral pop lens, and packed full of charm.
The band was conceived by principal songwriter Alex Ebert, who in addition to having been in power pop band Ima Robot, also imagined the figure of Edward Sharpe when he embarked on a solo career. The idea for the character was centered around Sharpe as a being sent to earth to save humanity, but caught blindside by love on the way.
The character was a central figure in a novel Ebert was working on, and eventually spilled over into this new musical project. So, shades of Ziggy Stardust, The Man Who Fell To Earth, and the aforementioned Johnny Cash, then. Perhaps a dash of Polyphonic Spree can be thrown in there, too, just because the band includes eleven members, and sometimes more with supplementary players.
One such member is guitarist and vocalist Jade Castrinos, the other half of the duet here, which gives the song a vintage feel of a country song that features the compelling push-pull of two voices, including some spoken-word dialogue that really creates an immediate chemistry.
Also, this song is just plain sweet, a perfect breath of fresh air with a tone of innocence that really makes it stand out. It’s a straight up, old-fashioned love song in an era when it seems to be uncool to tell someone how much you love them in a pop song without adding a layer of something in between – loving someone “like a love song”, for instance.
The song itself has made an impact internationally, and on the Billboard alternative charts. The band has performed it, and other songs off of the debut at festivals all over the world. It’s been heard on TV shows from Gossip Girl, to Ugly Betty, to Community.
The follow up to Up From Below is expected this year.
For more information about Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, and listen to more of their music, check out the Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros Facebook page.