Orpheo McCord

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Orpheo McCord
Orpheo McCord 2013.jpg
Background information
Born1979 (age 39–40)
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Years active2002-present
Associated acts

Orpheo McCord (born 1979) is an American composer and percussionist. He is an original member of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and a former member of The Fall, Fool's Gold and Cass McCombs. His debut solo album, Recovery Inhale, was released on January 26, 2018.

Early life and education[edit]

McCord attended Berklee College of Music, graduating in 2002.[1] He has spent time in Ghana studying African percussion,[2] and has also studied percussion in Mali, Cuba and Morocco.[3]

His father Joseph McCord has said he was named after the musician Orpheus from Greek mythology.[4] Joseph McCord was a professional mime who went by the name Merlin, and was one of Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters.[5]


The Fall (2006-07)[edit]

In May 2006 after several members of U.K. Band The Fall quit mid-tour, McCord was recruited by frontman Mark E. Smith to join The Fall along with guitarist Tim Presley and bassist Rob Barbato.[6][7] McCord toured the US and Europe with the band,[1] and was a member of The Fall for their 26th album Reformation Post TLC (2007), as well as the live album Last Night at The Palais, recorded in 2007 and released two years later.[8][9] The 2006-07 lineup was a pleasant one for The Fall, absent the infighting that marked most of the band's numerous incarnations.[8] In his 2008 autobiography Renegade, Smith called McCord the best of the more than a dozen drummers The Fall had up to that point, with an openness to new ideas and straightforward playing that avoided cliches.[10]

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (2007-present)[edit]

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros were formed in Los Angeles in 2007 by frontman Alex Ebert. McCord met Ebert at a mutual friend's party and then again while jogging in Elysian Park, where Ebert asked him to join the band. They released their debut album Up From Below in 2009, followed by Here in 2012, a self-titled album in 2013, and PersonA in 2016.[5][11][12][13] The group won the Grammy Award for Best Music Film in 2013 for the documentary Big Easy Express.[14] McCord incorporates African influences in his work with the band, using a hybridization of drum set, marimba, conga, djembe and electronic percussion.[15][16]

McCord played marimba on Alex Ebert's score for the 2013 film All Is Lost, which won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score.[17][18]

Solo work[edit]

On January 26, 2018, McCord's debut solo album, Recovery Inhale, was released on Sound Creature Records. The album is composed of "hypnotic instrumental pieces... treading the line between new age and minimalist ambient music."[3][19] "Ghost Ship", the first single, was released in December 2017. On the album, McCord performs all instruments, predominantly effected marimba and kalimba.[3]

Other work[edit]

McCord was a member of Cass McCombs' band starting in 2007 and has played on four of his albums.[1][20] He was formerly the drummer and percussion leader in Fool's Gold, an LA pop band whose music incorporates African rhythms.[2][21] In 2010, he played with Harper Simon as a duo at the Festival au Désert in Mali, outside of Timbuktu. They also performed there with the Tuareg band Tinariwen.[22] In 2014, McCord and Mikael Jorgensen (pianist/keyboardist for Wilco) formed the duo Prism Break, inspired by early 1970s German experimental rock.[23] McCord has also performed with Ima Robot,[15] The Flaming Lips,[24] Jack Johnson,[25] Dawes and He's My Brother She's My Sister.[26]

Personal life[edit]

McCord is based in Ojai, California,[1][27] where he lives with his wife Rachel Kolar (of He's My Brother She's My Sister) and their two children.[4][28]



Year Title
2018 Recovery Inhale

Appears on[edit]

Year Album Artist Credits
2007 Reformation Post TLC The Fall Drums
2008 Dropping the Writ Cass McCombs Drums, percussion
2 Darker My Love Percussion
2009 Last Night at The Palais The Fall Drums, backing vocals
Up From Below Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros Drums, percussion, vocals
Friends Luke Top Drums, percussion
Fool's Gold Fool's Gold Percussion, vocals
Catacombs Cass McCombs Drums, percussion, vocals
2010 Another Man's Treasure Ima Robot Electronic drums, percussion
2011 Wit's End Cass McCombs Drums, percussion
2012 Here Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros Drums, percussion, marimba, drum machine, vocals
2013 Stories Don't End Dawes Percussion
Prisma Motel Drums
Nobody Dances in This Town He's My Brother She's My Sister Drums, percussion
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros Drums, percussion, marimba, vocals
2014 Hardly Criminal Crash Composer, percussion
Light Show Jack Name Drums, percussion
2015 A Folk Set Apart Cass McCombs Drums, screams
Live In No Particular Order: 2009-2014 Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros Drums, percussion
2016 PersonA Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros Drums, percussion, marimba, timpani, vocals

Soundtracks and compilations[edit]

Year Album Artist Credits
2012 Big Easy Express (OST) Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros Drums, percussion
The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends The Flaming Lips feat. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros Drums, percussion ("Helping the Retarded to Know God")
Every Mother Counts 2012 Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros Drums, percussion ("Mother")
2013 The Music Is You: A Tribute to John Denver Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros Drums, percussion, marimba, drum machine, vocals ("Wooden Indian")
All Is Lost (OST) Alex Ebert Marimba
2015 Strangerland (OST) Keefus Ciancia Drums, percussion


  1. ^ a b c d "Alumnotes (2002)," Berklee.edu. Accessed February 9, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Drew Tewksbury, "The Alchemy of Fool's Gold," LA Weekly, October 7, 2009.
  3. ^ a b c Daiana Feuer, "Premiere: Orpheo McCord, 'Ghost Ship'," Buzzbands.la, December 15, 2017.
  4. ^ a b David Wexler, "Father's Day With the McCords," Janglin, June 15, 2014.
  5. ^ a b Jonathan Valania, "The Third Coming of Edward Sharpe," Magnet, July 26, 2013.
  6. ^ Cole Coonce, Sex & Travel & Vestiges of Metallic Fragments, Los Angeles: KeroseneBomb Publishing, 2010, pp. 108-09.
  7. ^ "New Album On The Way From Yet Another New Fall," Billboard, July 6, 2006.
  8. ^ a b Dave Simpson, The Fallen: Life In and Out of Britain's Most Insane Group, Edinburgh: Canongate Books, 2008, pp. 305-07.
  9. ^ Amy Britton, Revolution Rock: The Albums Which Defined Two Ages, Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2011, pp. 371-72.
  10. ^ Mark E. Smith, Renegade: The Lives and Tales of Mark E. Smith, London: Penguin Books, 2008, p. 55.
  11. ^ Emily Zemler, "Edward Share & The Magnetic Zeros: Being Here Now Never Felt So Good," Relix, July 31, 2012.
  12. ^ Monica Tan, "Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros: PersonA," The Guardian, April 12, 2016.
  13. ^ Maggie Behringer, "Interview: A chat with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros," Nooga.com, June 17, 2013.
  14. ^ Stephanie Rutkowski, "Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros Ride the 'Big Easy Express' to the 2013 Grammys," ABC News, February 8, 2013.
  15. ^ a b "Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros," Beatrouteab, September 10, 2012.
  16. ^ "Orpheo McCord," Heartbeat of a Planet, May 22, 2013.
  17. ^ "Redford, Ebert Shine in 'All Is Lost'," Janglin Souls, November 11, 2013.
  18. ^ Alex Young, "Edward Sharpe's Alexander Ebert, U2 win Golden Globe awards," Consequence of Sound, January 12, 2014.
  19. ^ Randall Roberts, "California Sounds: Orpheo McCord's meditative percussion, Teenage Wrist's distorted rock and Bludwork's vintage house music," Los Angeles Times, February 9, 2018.
  20. ^ Franklin Bruno, "The Writ Stuff," Providence Phoenix, November 1, 2007.
  21. ^ Daniel Dehnhardt, "Fool's Gold," Soma, October 2009.
  22. ^ "Harper Simon talks about his dad," paul-simon.info, February 16, 2010.
  23. ^ David Wexler, "ESMZ 2014 Year in Review," Janglin Souls, December 25, 2014.
  24. ^ Kristin Chambers, "Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros," Ignition Music Magazine, September 2012.
  25. ^ "Jack's From Here To Now To You Tour Finale!" jackjohnsonmusic.com, September 4, 2014.
  26. ^ Ashley Eliot, "Q&A: He's My Brother, She’s My Sister," Everyday Noise, October 12, 2010.
  27. ^ Mark David, "Musician Orpheo McCord Lists Contemporary Cottage," Variety, March 5, 2013.
  28. ^ Mitch Inkrott, "Bottlerock @ Napa Valley – Festival Preview & Interview," ourvinyl.tv, 2013.

External links[edit]