It’s time to cross the pond in this post. Most of the time I try to keep it local talking about bands in the local LA music scene or even just in the US, but every now and again I hear a band that I MUST write about no matter where they come from. This band is called the Vaccines. They write cool songs, they are British which makes them cooler and they have a new record out called “What Did You Expect From The Vaccines.” I expected complete bullshit and I got complete awesomeness. (I didn’t actually expect complete bullshit.)
I had the pleasure of attending Lollapalooza in Chicago’s Grant Park last August. It’s a massive music festival and they booked many bands I had heard or heard of with national headliners such as Lady Gaga, Green Day, The Strokes and Arcade Fire topping the bill over the course of three awesome days. Now imagine a wooded hollow surrounded by trees with a relatively small stage (compared to the main stages) tucked away. This is where I got my first taste of the psychedelic pop/ folk rock of Edward Sharpe and the Magenetic Zeros. I had obviously heard about them (I don’t live under a rock). They were easily one of the biggest draws of the weekend for the indie folk lovers like myself. Their song “Home” is being played all over the place and is usually people’s first introduction to the band. Surprisingly though, Edward Sharpe as I came to know him is actually Alexander Ebert and he recently released a solo offering called “Alexander”.
Alexander Ebert – Let’s Win
If you like Edward Sharpe’s debut release called “From Below” it’s easy to be drawn to this record. There is however major differences in sound and feel on this record than when Alexander plays with his band. “Alexander” for the most part is a quiet and light record. Mostly acoustic with elements of clapping and even breathing gives this record a very organic feel which I’m sure Ebert was going for from the start. It doesn’t sound like a big party or a massive group effort like “From Below”. Instead this record is very private and intimate. One of the best tunes, which I guess could be considered the single, is called “Truth”.
Truth – Alexander Ebert
The feel of this record is very mellow and sonically simple. With that said Ebert is definitely a lyricist to listen closely too. He is very positive in his lyrics and music. Love and love lost, peace and more love are all evident themes in Ebert’s songs. These themes set to old school folk rhythms and simple guitar licks produces familiar sounds to most but with Ebert’s voice soaring over the spoons, shakers and washboards (let alone the rest of the band) Alexander’s tenor takes a chance to make these songs his own and give us great sounding music.
In The Twilight – Alexander Ebert
I really like this record because of its simplicity. This record has an awesome rootsy feel to it. His voice, the melodies and harmonies alone are a great reason to check this record out. If you want to hear positively driven good old fashion folk rock, tune your ears to “Alexander. It’s available on iTunes HERE. Ebert doesn’t have any solo dates up on his solo page, but Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros are about to head out on the road with Mumford and Sons this summer for limited dates as well as some European dates. All that good stuff is HERE.
Here’s the last track from “Alexander.” Enjoy.
Let’s Make a Deal To Not Make A Deal – Alexander Ebert
By: Steve Rippin | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles | @stevewithMWL|Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC
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