We’re not sure what to intuit by the folk-rock collective
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ album announcement or album cover. In both places, “Edward Sharpe and” is rendered in strike-through type, so we imagine that the mythical frontman, invented in 2008 by singer-songwriter Alex Ebert, was perhaps left behind in a truck stop near Fort Stockton, Texas, when the band made its 1,896-mile move from Los Angeles to New Orleans. No need to send a search party, though; the Magnetic Zeros sound focused as ever on the early returns from their fourth album “PersonA,” due April 15 via Community Music.
“We had long been a social experiment first, musicians second,” frontman Ebert says in the album announcement. “Over time, though, we were emerging, by virtue of hours spent, into a group of musicians who could really play together.” The 10-member band — Ebert, along with Nico Aglietti, Stewart Cole, Josh Collazo, Seth Ford-Young, Christian Letts, Orpheo McCord, Mark Noseworthy, Crash Richard and Mitchell Yoshida — made their first album since 2013 as a unit in their new New Orleans headquarters, an “approach [that] was a far cry from the ramshackle, come-one-come-all production audible on recordings of their previous albums,” they say.
The concise single “No Love Like Yours” has the sing-along infectiousness of the Magnetic Zeros’ early hit “Home,” and “Free Stuff” sounds like a wink at certain other folkies who came along in the Zeros’ wake — “a letting go’s of singing hey’s and ho’s,” is the footnote on the funny, DIY video for that new song. If this indeed is the album on which Ebert buries the “PersonA” Edward Sharpe, then long live the Magnetic Zeros.
||| Stream: “No Love Like Yours”
||| Also: Watch the video for “Free Stuff”
||| Live: Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros play Coachella on April 17 and 24.
||| Previously: “Hot Coals”