The Common Good

Let the Good Vibes Roll: Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros. Image via the band's website.
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros. Image via the band's website,

Not much good to talk, better to walk it,
Not much good to take, better to give,
We are gone forgiven and forgotten of our sins,
I promise you my friend all that dies will live again.
Pardon god and mom, what I'm sayin' isn't fair,
See I'm looking to become, not the prayer but the prayer.

--- from “I Don’t Want to Pray” by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

Listen to "I Don't Want to Pray"

This summer I’ve been a little lax on monitoriing my musical radar as closely as I usually do, but one album that’s been in constant rotation around my turntable is Here, the first of two albums that Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros –  a 10+ member collective from Los Angeles – plans to release this year.

As I listen to Here,  flowery vibes flood my mind with peace and goodwill. It's the psychedelic dream of a bygone era I never knew. But as a Millennial pursuer of peace, justice, and equality, these tunes perfectly fuel my endeavors and also, I believe, the larger work we do at Sojourners. And they’re pretty damn catchy, too.

The group takes its name from a messianic figure front-man Alex Ebert created years ago — a figure prophesied to be the savior of the world — but whom on Earth,  struggles to live into this legacy because falling in love continually distracts him.

This legend seems to be an appropriate metaphor for the Zeros' music:  it’s happy and up-beat, reveling in love and wishful thinking and, as the group sings on Here,  “reaching for heaven is what I’m on earth to do.”

The album has many bright spots, whether its mythic, messianic protagonist is attempting to recruit followers to his traveling dance troupe of safety and comfort, or envisioning the fullness of “one love” in the midst of hard times.  

So take a break from the troubles of the world and dream a little with me, Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.…

Listen to "That's What's Up"

Joshua Witchger is an online assistant at Sojourners.

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