After a three-year break, everyone’s favorite free-spirited 12-member indie-folk band Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros released their sophomore album, Here, this week.
It’s a decidedly more…low-key album than its predecessor, 2009’s Up From Above, which was filled with boisterous folk-rock songs with jangly rhythms and gorgeous melodies.
Instead, Here is a much more subdued affair – its opening track, Man on Fire, sounds almost Fleet Foxes-like. Only one desire that’s left in me/I want the whole damn world to dance with me, sings Alex Ebert to a pleasant, whimsical folk background. Before long, keys and backup vocals kick in, giving the song its foot-stomping (but still restrained) beat.
Here sounds very inspired by Cat Stevens, and some of the songs feature almost hymn-like qualities: it’s apparent that the group decided to create music that lends itself to be compared to some of the most celebrated folk music of the 1960s and 1970s – just listen to I Don’t Wanna Pray to see what we’re talking about.
The album only has nine songs, but if you’re into what this band is about – light, airy indie-folk designed to have you smile while you listen – then you’ll probably appreciate it. The album isn’t leaps and bounds away from the style displayed on Up From Above, but it’s also definitely not “more of the same”.
The band hasn’t announced any Los Angeles-area gigs for the near future (having just played here a few months back), but stay tuned to hear about any as they’re announced.