Time has certainly passed since 2009. That year, my choice for top album of the year went surprisingly to “Up from below”, the first release of an almost unknown band from Los Angeles, California, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros. Although this meant putting this album above some of my all time favorites (Fanfarlo’s “Reservoir”, The Antlers “Hospice”) it somehow made sense at that time. After I saw them live at the Unitarian Church, I knew it just had to be that way. The energy I saw on stage that night was enough to make up my mind. Some might think I was wrong, I for one still don’t know.
Three years have passed and the LA band is about to release their second album at the end of the month. The album entitled “Here” can be listened for free at NPR Music and trust me, I have listened to it roughly ten times so far…I guess looking for that click I found 3 years ago.
The band undoubtedly remains fun, their music is distilled into pure joy that most likely will infect you from the get go, especially if you are discovering them for the first time.
“Here”, however, appears not to be “Up from Below” and though their music remains fresh, joyful and young, it seems as if this eclectic band has evolved little since our first encounter. “Here” is a strong album, don’t get me wrong and most likely will make my list for the year. Songs like the opening track “Man on Fire”, “Mayla”, “Dear Believer” and “Child” are simply too good to be ignored. The album talks about friendship, love, brotherhood, deception, and the energy put on stage by the 11-member band led by Alex Ebert and Jade Castrinos remains unchanged and worth noting.
I leave you with two links, the first to their recent concert at the World Café Live, plus the link to NPR Music where you can listen to “Here” in its entirety. Also, a clip from their recent performance in Boston playing “Dear Believer” my favorite song of this album and another from their performance with David Letterman playing “Man of Fire”.
“Dear Believer” - Boston
“Man of Fire” David Letterman’s appearance