Rap is high-volume verbiage, and over the past two years, the lyrics that began coming to me were highly detailed and descriptive, too much to parse down to a singable phrase or two without losing their power. That’s when I knew I had to come back to rap.
Alex Ebert, June 2019
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros frontman Alex Ebert today released the first three songs from his forthcoming double album due out this fall. You can stream the new songs — Hands Up, Gold and Automatic Youth — on your preferred platforms. ESMZ Management says to keep an eye out for all the videos and other content in the near future in support of the releases.
Last December, Ebert released “In Support of 5ame Dude: Volumes 1,2 and 3” — three collections of songs that he had recorded over the last 14-plus years.
From New Community Management:
“For two decades, Ebert has created original music in myriad forms, styles, shapes, and sounds. From his earliest days as an emcee to the early-aughts buzz of Ima Robot, to the world-beating heights of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, the critically acclaimed Alexander solo project, the Golden Globe-winning neoclassical film score composition for 2014’s All is Lost, and beyond, Ebert’s ability to lose himself in his art and achieve success is undeniable. Transcending boundary lines in the spirit of self-examination, he has spent the better part of the last few years completing a daunting amount of work, including 4 EPs, a biographical documentary feature film, and now the culmination: a post-genre double album of new material.”
The forthcoming album (title still to be determined) was recorded and produced by Ebert in his Piety Studios in the Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans, where he has lived since 2013. “While not explicitly ‘futuristic,’ it feels like it’s coming from some future in which the separations of genres has dissolved,” New Community Management says of the album.
I’ve always loved making whatever art came to me, and felt sorry for the paradigm of artistry that constrains the artist to one look, one mode, one sound. I never related to that, and as an artist I resented it
Alex Ebert, June 2019
More from New Community Management’s press release:
If there is one defining feature of this opus, it is the facility with which Ebert moves from one vocal delivery to another – from singing to rapping. “Rap is high-volume verbiage, and over the past two years, the lyrics that began coming to me were highly detailed and descriptive, too much to parse down to a singable phrase or two without losing their power,” Ebert says. “That’s when I knew I had to come back to rap.” (Ebert began his music career rapping in a group called DVS Minds).
Ebert’s flows on the double album are measured, witty, highly personal, and deft, as these first 3 songs attest to. These 3 songs paint a story. “Automatic Youth” begins. It is the crushingly personal account of Ebert’s breakup with his baby mama – the astounding jazz bass playing by New Orleans’ Donald Ramsey in a sultry number that showcase Ebert’s story telling rap abilities. “Hands Up” take us into Ebert’s post-breakup depression as Ebert choreographs a race through parts of the brain in a hunt to kill his destructive self: “Gunfight in the hippocampus/ I chased you through the Saharabellum”, as he takes us through the poetic trudge of living with suicidal thoughts. “Gold” completes the trio. It lifts us out of Ebert’s depression with his lyrical lists of self-prescribed tools for sanity in a rough world, while morphing effortlessly from croon to rap to Kinks-y outro as the sung hook “Everything you touch/to gold” climbs to cacophony.
“I’ve always loved making whatever art came to me, and felt sorry for the paradigm of artistry that constrains the artist to one look, one mode, one sound,” Ebert says. “I never related to that, and as an artist I resented it.” His urge to embrace it all had long conflicted with that artistic golden rule, “to thine own self be true.”
Two years ago, while reflecting during a hiatus from Edward Sharpe, that conflict ended. Ebert realized that he had his own, different, just-as-valuable maxim: “To all thine selves be true.”
“There was liberty in finally realizing that the search for me—for my distinctive voice—was actually an embrace of all my voices,” he says. “And so I embraced more of my past, no longer hiding my different talents for the sake of brand-consistency. Suddenly it was my very inconsistency that became my superpower. To put such disparate things out in short order just communicates to myself, and to the world, that I’m not afraid of contextualizing one variety of expression with another.”
Now on iTunes: