If anyone has seen and heard Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, you know the following: they are a collective of seemingly very high (…on life), very talented, very hippy musicians who belong on a free love commune in the West. Alex Ebert (lead vocals) has created quite a band of awkward merrymakers, and with enough charisma, out of this world humility, and bohemian good looks he could probably lead most of his admirers into a Manson-esque lifestyle (if he hasn’t done so already with said band mates). You get the vibe that maybe there’s a little more to their group than just music, but that’s neither here nor there.
The “here” is that these engorged co-ed musical collectives are really starting to blossom in the music world with bands like Edward Sharpe, GIVERS, The Constellations, and even The Dirty Projectors. Well, it’s time to add another to the list: The Phenomenal Handclap Band. This crowd consists of a foundation of eight (2 chicks and 6 dudes) masterminded by Daniel Collas and Sean Marquand. They all hail from Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan and resurrect old school 60’s soul mixed with synth, psychedelics, and a pinch of classic rock. Talk about an awesome music grocery list and as NPR “All Songs Considered” said, “…[they] are a perfect mix of everything from the past 40 years of popular music.” I’ll tell you this much, NPR isn’t talking popular music in the form of Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, or Justin Bieber.
The game changing play that The PHCB brings to the field is how they have exercised their seemingly deep network of music comrades to create a dynamic that’s all their own. As said, they have a foundation of 8 players, but they are constantly collaborating with veterans of the indie and world music scene including Carol C of Si Se, Morgan Phalen of Diamond Nights, Jaleel Bunton of TV on the Radio, Rodrigo Ursaia, and Lady Tigre. It’s basically a win-win: not only do you get an album that is equal parts funk, prog & classic rock, synth, and even some world music, you just discovered all these new artists/bands to jam out to thanks to their album being loaded with delicious collaborations.
With only word of mouth and YouTube.com videos to show us the light, The PHCB looks like they’re not just for listening pleasure but made for live performances too, having been likened to a psychedelic Baptist revival. How could you pass that up?
So just go buy/download it already, find out when they’re gracing your town with their presence, and get ready for an otherworldly experience. We’re done praising the music gods. Amen
Recommended Songs to Clap To:
I Been Born Again