Arguably one of the most eccentric, conceptual acts to appear in Charleston this year (outside of Spoleto, of course), Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros take neo-psychedelia to peculiar places beyond convenient description and render the experience across multimedia platforms. Think Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd with a dose of San Francisco folk and a touch of Flaming Lips.
The story goes that in 2007, after breaking up with his girlfriend and joining a 12-step program for addiction, former Ima Robot singer Alex Ebert crafted a tale about a messianic figure named Edward Sharpe, who “was sent down to Earth to kinda heal and save mankind...but he kept getting distracted by girls and falling in love.” Then Ebert met vocalist Jade Castrinos, and they put together a troupe playing an array of instrumentation—guitar, percussion, piano, synthesizer, trumpet, ukulele, banjo, accordion, violin, and lap steel—plus half a dozen vocalists and an announcer that toured in a big, white school bus, building momentum and converts along the way.
Now promoting their first full-length recording, Up from Below, and the first two parts of a 12-part feature-length musical currently under production, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros roll into the Music Farm on July 13. How fitting that a merry band of messianic musicians should call on the Holy City?