Thursday, 23 May 2013 12:05

Eclectic Edward Sharpe Gets More Eclectic on New Projects

Written by  Dwayne Hoover
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Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Kalamazoo State Theatre
June 24, 8 p.m.
$30
kazoostate.com, (269) 345-6500

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros is often pegged as a hippie band. It's true that love is a unifying theme to a lot of the group's music, including its hit single "Home." But the band's message doesn't fit inside a box that neatly.

It is a message that is delivered via a 10-member collective, and each has their own, unique musical education and experiences.

"Everyone's different backgrounds is what makes it interesting," said Nora Kirkpatrick, accordionist. "Someone will bring in a song they've written or even a little nugget, then everyone else just kind of fills it out."

Even with a double-digit roster and a variety of instruments, the group is always looking for that perfect sound to capture emotion. While recording the upcoming album, the band members experimented with sounds created by tap shoes or water dripping into a bowl.

"It's just whatever the song needs," Kirkpatrick said. "You can find those things a lot in nature, perhaps, as opposed to musical instruments. It's about the environment and the mood of the song. Whatever the song needs, we'll find it."

The new album actually features a slightly different approach compared to previous records.

"The last two albums we recorded a lot of the songs all at once and split them up into their distinct vibes. It was more acoustic and folky," Kirkpatrick said. "This one's more a cacophony of sound. There's a lot more to listen to."

According to Kirkpatrick, expect the new record to be released July 23.

"We're just mastering it [now]," she said. "It'll be out in July. That's the plan. We're just getting it all together."

The group also branched out into other art forms. To date, they released three parts of SALVO!, a 12-part musical that chronicles fictional character Edward Sharpe's life. Earlier this year, the documentary Big Easy Express, which follows the band on tour with Mumford & Sons and Old Crow Medicine Show, won the Grammy Award for Best Long Form Music Video.

Kirkpatrick herself stepped into the acting world, appearing in five episodes of The Office's final season as love interest to Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson).

"It was amazing," Kirkpatrick said. "Rainn is so cool and interesting and smart and wonderful. It couldn't have been better."

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