Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
With Alex Ebert at the helm, it’s surprising that Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros’ live shows turn into hootenannies rather than raves. The former Ima Robot frontman made a name for himself with electro-punk, after all—but once that band’s momentum fizzled, he traded his partially shaved mullet for the mountain of unwashed hippie hair that’s become endemic among freak-folkers. As Edward Sharpe, Ebert conducts an army-sized band through ensemble-style folk-pop with an emphasis on percussion, whistling, and the sort of Woodstock-era optimism that artists from Los Angeles’ Laurel Canyon have been digging up for the last few years. Led by the stomping, clapping, and (of course) whistling hoedown, “That’s What’s Up,” a new album, Here, is due out in late May.