Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

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Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
ESMZ Press Photo 2015-2.jpg
Background information
Origin Los Angeles, California, United States
Genres Indie folk, psychedelic folk, folk rock, freak folk, New Weird America, neo-psychedelia
Years active 2007–present
Labels Rough Trade Records, Communion, Community Music
Associated acts Ima Robot, We Are Each Other, Sugarcult, Alexander, Fool's Gold
Website edwardsharpeandthemagneticzeros.com
Members Alex Ebert
Stewart Cole
Josh Collazo
Orpheo McCord
Christian Letts
Seth Ford-Young
Mark Noseworthy
Christopher Richard
Mitchell Yoshida
Nico Aglietti
Past members Jade Castrinos
Aaron Embry
Nora Kirkpatrick
Aaron Older
Tay Strathairn

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros is an American indie folk band formed in Los Angeles, California in 2007. Led by lead vocalist Alex Ebert, the group features a revolving lineup of up to 12 people. The band's name is based on a story Ebert wrote about a messianic figure named Edward Sharpe. Drawing from roots rock, folk, gospel, and psychedelic music, the band's image and sound evoke the hippie movement of the 1960s and 1970s. The group's first show was played July 18, 2007 at The Troubadour in West Hollywood, California. Their first studio album, Up from Below, was released on July 7, 2009 on Community Records and featured the popular single "Home". Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros released their second full-length album, Here, on May 29, 2012. Their third album, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, was released on July 23, 2013.


Origin and first studio album[edit]

The group performing in a park in 2009

After years of the Los Angeles party life and subsequent drug addiction, Ima Robot frontman Alex Ebert broke up with his then-girlfriend, moved out of his house, and spent time in rehab.[1] During this time, Ebert began to write a book about a messianic figure named Edward Sharpe that was "sent down to Earth to kinda heal and save mankind, but he kept getting distracted by girls and falling in love." Ebert adopted the Sharpe persona as his alter ego. He said, "I don't want to put too much weight on it, because in some ways it's just a name that I came up with. But I guess if I look deeper, I do feel like I had lost my identity in general. I really didn't know what was going on or who I was anymore. Adopting another name helped me open up an avenue to get back."[2]

After meeting singer Jade Castrinos outside a Los Angeles cafe,[3] Ebert and Castrinos started writing music together, and became a part of the art and music collective The Masses, which was partially started by some seed money from actor Heath Ledger.[4] While the two had a romantic relationship that did not last, their fledgling group eventually swelled to more than 10 members, some of whom had been Alex's friends since he was young. In mid 2009, Ebert, Castrinos, and a group of musicians toured the country by bus as Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros. The first show they played in 2009 was at the Marfa Film Festival in Marfa, Texas.[1] The band recorded their debut album, Up From Below, in Laurel Canyon. Produced by Aaron Older and Nico Aglietti, it was released on July 14, 2009.

The group performing at Lollapalooza Chile in 2011

On April 12, 2009, the band released "Desert Song", a music video and the first of a 12-part feature-length musical called SALVO!.[5] Part 2, "Kisses Over Babylon", was released November 24, 2009 through Spinner.com.[6] Part 3, "40 Day Dream", was uploaded to YouTube by the band on May 19, 2011.[7]

Big Easy Express and second studio album[edit]

In April 2011, the band joined Mumford & Sons and Old Crow Medicine Show on the Railroad Revival Tour. According to American Songwriter, the tour stopped in six cities, playing alternative venues such as an Austin, Texas high school where Mumford & Sons taught the marching band how to play their hit "The Cave". The tour was also the subject of Grammy-nominated director Emmett Malloy's latest documentary Big Easy Express, which strove to capture "the pure joy of music" through Americana folk imagery.[8] The documentary went on to win in the category for Best Long Form Music Video at the 2013 Grammy Awards. In 2011, Railroad Revival Tour bands Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and Old Crow Medicine Show together closed their shows at every stop with "This Train".

The group's second album, Here, was released on May 29, 2012.

Third studio album[edit]

The band's third studio and self-titled album, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, was released in 2013. This was followed by tours of North America, UK, Europe, and Australia which included headlining concert dates as well as major festivals.[9]


Alex Ebert and Jade Castrinos made up the singing core of the band for years
  • Alex Ebert – vocals, guitar, percussion, piano
  • Stewart Cole – trumpet, percussion, keyboards, tenor ukulele, vocals
  • Josh Collazo – drums, percussion, saxophone, vocals
  • Orpheo McCord – drums, percussion, marimba, didgeridoo, vocals
  • Christian Letts – guitar, vocals, mandolin
  • Seth Ford-Young – bass, vocals
  • Mark Noseworthy – guitar, vocals, banjo, mandolin, charango, ronroco
  • Christopher "Crash" Richard – vocals, percussion

As of marketing on the band's Facebook page in 2013[10]:

  • Mitchell Yoshida – piano, clavinet, vocals

Additional, touring and/or recording personnel[edit]

As listed in the iTunes LP for the most recent album, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, 2013, or present tour:

  • Nico Aglietti – guitar and co-producer; previously synthesizer, keyboards, vocals, and a main band member
  • Aaron Arntz – piano; previously also clavinet, vocals as a main band member
  • Aaron Embry – piano, organs; previously keyboards, piano, vocals, harmonica as a main band member
  • Roger Joseph Manning Jr – piano
  • Nathaniel Markman – fiddler
  • Fred Bows – violin
  • Susie Bows – violin
  • Hippos August – humming, moaning, Surbahar
  • Joy Cantor – public relations
  • Ryan Messick – tour manager
  • Bryan Ling – manager

Former personnel[edit]

In addition to Aglietti, Arntz and Embry:

  • Aaron Older – co-producer, bass, vocals, banjo, percussion
  • Tay Strathairn – piano, harmonica, vocals
  • Jade Castrinos – vocals, guitar, percussion, keyboard
  • Nora Kirkpatrick – accordion, keyboard, vocals

Past touring/ additional personnel[edit]

  • Odessa Jorgensen – fiddle, vocals during 2012-2013 tour
  • Anna Bulbrook – viola, vocals
  • Tyler James – piano, vocals
  • Felix Bloxsom – drums
  • Adam Privitera – penny whistler
  • Ryan Richter – guitar, lap steel
  • Michael Farfel – manager/announcer


Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions
Up from Below 76 86
Here 5 37
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros 14 24
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or have not been released in that region



Year Single Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)


2009 "40 Day Dream/Geez Louise" Up from Below
2010 "Home" 40 45 7 27 46 52 50 18
"Memory of a Free Festival"
"Chickens in Love"
2012 "That's What's Up" Here
"One Love to Another"
"Man on Fire"
2013 "Better Days" Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
"Life Is Hard"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


  1. ^ a b "Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros: C'Mon Get Happy! :: Music :: Features :: Paste". Pastemagazine.com. 2009-09-28. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  2. ^ McDonald, Scott (2009-11-06). "Edward Sharpe, aka Alex Ebert, finds himself with The Magnetic Zeros". Sdnn.com. Archived from the original on 31 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  3. ^ Marta Tarbel (24 November 2009). "Dynamic, Charismatic and Determined to Set the Soul Free". Telluridewatch.com. Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  4. ^ Randall Roberts (2008-07-10). "Heath Ledger's Final Days Among the Masses - Page 1 - Film+TV - Los Angeles". LA Weekly. Archived from the original on 9 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  5. ^ “”. "Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros - Desert Song". YouTube. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  6. ^ "Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, 'Kisses Over Babylon' - Video Premiere". Spinner. 2009-11-24. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  7. ^ "Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, '40 Day Dream (extended version)". THE MASSES & Community Music. 2011-05-19. Retrieved 2012-04-05. 
  8. ^ Moss, Marissa (27 April 2012). "Mumford & Co. Chase The American Dream In Big Easy Express". American Songwriter. Retrieved 5 June 2012. 
  9. ^ Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros Official Website "[1]" May 10, 2014
  10. ^ Omslagfoto's. Facebook. Retrieved on 2013-08-08.
  11. ^ ""Home" chart information". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-09-26. 
  12. ^ "The ARIA Report: Week Commencing 8 February 2010" (PDF) (1041). Pandora Archive. February 8, 2010. Retrieved December 3, 2012. 
  13. ^ "australian-charts.com - Discography Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros". Retrieved December 3, 2012. 
  14. ^ a b c "Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros - Home - Music Charts". Acharts.us. Retrieved 2012-04-01. 
  15. ^ [2][dead link]
  16. ^ Discographie Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros. lescharts.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-22.
  17. ^ "Chart log uk: new entries update". Zobbel.de. Retrieved 2013-07-22. 
  18. ^ "Up From Below chart information". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-09-26. 

External links[edit]