Photo by Tom Hardy
Since parting ways with singer Jade Castrinos last summer, we haven’t heard anything new from Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. We’ve gotten a sense of their Jade-less existence from a few festival spots and tours, with the band even playing a load of new material at this year’s South by Southwest. What they’d sound like on record without one of their most recognizable voices, however, has been an unknown quantity … until now.
The band has shared a new single, “Hot Coals”, cut from their forthcoming fourth full-length album, apparently set for an early 2016 release. Unlike much of the collective’s gang folk catalog, the song feels more rooted in indie rock. The opening acoustic guitar, dreamy vocal delivery, and reverberating “you doo doo” background melodies will feel familiar, but when the piano-driven hook drops in at the 1:10 mark, there’s a noticeable shift. For much of its seven-plus-minute length, the song rides its keys through jazzy freak folk before exploding out with psychedelic horns.
“We’ve been on for a while now,” frontman Alex Ebert wrote on a Facebook post announcing the single, “but it’s like we just turned on a new page in the old book with the inscription: serve your power and work beyond reason.” If this is a sign of what’s to come from the Magnetic Zeros, this next chapter should make for an interesting read. Check out “Hot Coals” below.