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Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros: August 2009's Artist to Watch

They're a big outfit as most indie bands go, but the 13-piece Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros have created quite a buzz in L.A. and in the indie world. Making excellent '60s-style folk rock that could just be called revivalist, with their convert school/tour bus, their back porch acoustics, and their almost communal air, this is one band not to miss.

ES and the MZ are a relatively young group, coming together in 2007 under Ima Robot frontman Alex Ebert. With obvious influences like Polyphonic Spree and Bob Marley, their subsequent sound is big and embracing. They're a modern indie band, but they're also authentic '60s and '70s pop with more than a little psychedelia, bluegrass, and good old southern rock sprinkled throughout.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros released their debut EP in May 2009, the buzz-building Here Comes. They just put out their official full-length, Up From Below, in the middle of July. Critics are calling it "lush," "big and windy," and "a lived-in blast from folk rock's past." Ebert's rough voice combined with eclectic instrumentals and a bright, utopian feel are making Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros one of the rising names of 2009 music. They're currently touring the states, but in mid-August they're heading off for a slew of European shows. Then it's back to the states in the fall, with stops in Denver and California.

Recent Release: Up From Below
Release Date: July 14, 2009
Label: Vagrant Records