Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
That ain't Edward Sharpe gaily singing about dreams, home and falling in love, that's frontman Alex Ebert. Fresh off a breakup and a stint in rehab, Ebert (who also fronts the punky synth-pop outfit Ima Robot) created the mystical figure of Edward Sharpe, a messiah who has one weakness: girls. After Ebert met singer Jade Castrinos, the Magnetic Zeros began to form and the collective eventually swelled to over 10 members. Their music shares the psychedelic, Baroque-pop sensibilities of a flower-power band like The Polyphonic Spree, but on a slightly more down-to-earth level. The group recorded its debut album in an apt location: the L.A. 'hood of Laurel Canyon, a counterculture hub during the 1960s. Released in 2009, Up from Below gradually gathered momentum as the band toured the country. Advertisers eventually caught on to the hype, and the band's catchy, fun-loving pop started showing up on commercials for phones, cars and films.