How Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros remind me of The Beatles

August 16, 2013
Erik Luna

Back in July 6,1957 one of the most important and iconic meetings for the music industry happened. John Lennon and Paul McCartney met at the Woolton Parish Church Garden Fete of St. Peter’s Church in Liverpool and as they say — the rest is history.

If there is one thing I love unconditionally, besides family, it’s definitely music. The Beatles in particular have always played an important part in my life. Yet, there are countless articles, books and documentaries on The Beatles and everything that needs to be said has probably been said about the legendary Fab Four.

So why bring them up? I’ve always loved hearing new music, but for some reason I would always compare new bands to the lads from Liverpool. Unfair, I know. Yet, one band has been showing some startling similarities.

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, the Los Angeles based indie folk-rock band, bring back the spirit and feel of ’60s rock and seeing the 11-piece-band live is like stepping through a time portal.

The band has put out three albums — the most recent being their self-titled album, which was released on July 23. The album Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros probably hit me with the most Beatles similarities in the bands short six years together.

Their track “If I were free,” at times seems like something Ringo Starr would sing, ala “Octopus’ Garden.” This feeling was amplified when hearing the verse “I saw that you and I forever had been free. The light became too heavy and I fell into a dream.”

Recently, ESMZ partnered up with The Department of Peace to ask their fans to help make a “new kind of music video that was a plea for peace,” for their song “Please!” off their new album. An idea Lennon surely would have loved.

Front man Alex Ebert, who started the band with Jade Castrinos after meeting at a café in Downtown Los Angeles, stated that the album has a message of love and peace, but also the struggles people endure as well. Their song “Life is Hard,” obviously, fills that role quite well with lines like “you want to help, but can’t help feeling you cannot,” and “come celebrate/life is hard.”

Castrinos has proven herself time-and-time again that she can keep up with Ebert, the duo have another song together on the new album called “Two.” This song shows off both their talents, without trying to replicate their 2009 hit “Home.”

One of the main reasons The Beatles always falls on top of my list, is that each member sang. Lennon, McCartney, George Harrison and Starr all had a voice in the band. ESMZ also does this as well.

They all contribute to the background vocals, which showcase just how talented these musicians are. One of my favorite songs isn’t even sung by Ebert or Castrinos, but by guitarist and childhood friend of Ebert — Christian Letts.

“Child,” from the album “Here,” is a moving piece that is pure poetry and Letts proves that it’s not just the Ebert and Castrinos show. Christopher “Crash” Richard also shows that he can hold his own at live shows, singing in a startling falsetto.

Yet, if you still need proof of the bands incredible vocal talent, then simply watch “I Don’t Wanna Pray,” from the online show “Off the Venue.” Guitarist Mark Noseworthy and Richard deliver some of the best verses in the song.

ESMZ have been relentlessly touring around the globe, making appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman and Conan, and even headlining one of the summer concerts at the historic Hollywood Bowl, a venue where The Beatles famously headlined nonetheless.

The band shows no signs of slowing down and hopefully, as much as it pains a fan to say it, they relax with the touring for a bit. The Beatles had to stop touring after a while and became a studio band, because the stress of touring was taking its toll on the band. This is something ESMZ fans hope doesn’t happen.

Maybe one day people will look at the café in Downtown Los Angeles where Ebert and Castrinos met the same as people look at the St. Peter’s Church in Woolton, Liverpool.

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros will finish off their 2013 tour with “Edward Sharpe Big Top,” a four day, 360-degree experience under a traditional circus big top at the Los Angeles Historic State Park.

Article written by Erik Luna

Originally published on

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.