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Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

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Edward Sharpe & Magnetic Zeros poster by Land Land

Equipped with infectious melodies, catchy sing-a-longs and a free-spirited frontman, Los Angeles-based ensemble Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros have gained fans all over the world. With two critically acclaimed albums and a widespread reputation for energetic performances, the gang of lively musicians bring their folksy spirit to the Austin City Limits stage for their debut performance on the show.

“Edward Sharpe” is the alter ego of leader Alex Ebert, who form the band in 2007 with a group of 11 musicians. He conjured the concept while writing a book whose title character bears the name of his band, a character Ebert claims “was sent down to Earth to kinda heal and save mankind…but he kept getting distracted by girls and falling in love.” Influenced by communal musical communities from the ’60s and early ’70s, the band spent the summer of 2009 touring in an old Greyhound bus, performing their first show at the Marfa Film Festival accompanied by the release of their first LP, Up From Below. The album’s throwback to Woodstock-influenced melodies and multi-part choruses captured the attention of listeners and propelled them towards immense popularity with the anthem “Home.”

Here, the band’s highly anticipated follow-up release hit the shelves earlier in 2012 and debuted on the Billboard charts at number five. Centered around themes of free love and religious conviction, the album emanates a humble charm with roots-inspired rock melodies and a low-key ambiance. Rolling Stone writes the album “has a post-Altamont, let’s-be-mellow-around-the-campfire vibe minus that era’s sense of spiritual depletion.” The Washington Post adds that the album delivers “a welter of feel-good jams with an indeterminate spirituality baked in,” while NPR notes that it “documents sweet songs that search, seek and ultimately revel in the best of what they find.”

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