This season has been one of endless musical treats entering the airwaves. Whether it is a summery tune or a simple new taste of something equally magical, the sounds are exhilarating. For example, Alex Ebert, perhaps better known as the band leader for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (ESMZ), unleashed another solo effort, Joy is My Armor earlier this month to the pleasure of many. When the man is not taking the reins with ESMZ, he is composing film scores (All Is Lost, A Most Violent Year) and continuing on with his solo work (Alexander, Broken Record).
Overall, the motivation for this unique tune was clear for the musician. “In the age of irony and pessimism, earnestness and optimism are attacked. One needs an armor to embolden themselves and continue. My buddy once said ‘joy is my armor.’ I told him then, I’m gonna use that, and I did.”
Musically, the chaos holds the interest of Mr. Ebert. “[My favorite part is] probably the messiness of it. [It] feels a bit like a found tape. It’s a very old recording as far as my recordings go. [There are] shitty fake bass and chincy keys. I tried replacing my playing with top notch players but it turned out the whole song was hanging together by some hidden dust in those old takes, so I just keep them.”
Give Joy is My Armor a watch and a listen below:
A trippy echoing trance starts things off and the listener enters a wild dream scape. However, a catchy if discordant beat keeps the tune in check while a cacophony of altered vocals and noise break through. Visually, the video is just a psychedelic GIF shift of Mr. Ebert in full Warhol flair. A flutter of color and shapes released via double exposure, centers Alex in this one of a kind world of his. It’s hard to pick out the vocals but then again, who cares? The track is weird but cool at the same time. Each bit of it is interesting and Alex’s vocals resonate well as if the listener is in a dark well with only his words to cling to. Joy is My Armor is great space traveling music for those musical astronauts eager to pass the time in a black hole. Elaborate scatting and futuristic pulses permeate the earbuds as the journey continues onwards. Even when the silence comes at the end of the song, the music seems to still live on as if it is part of that ringing in the listener’s ear after a loud live concert. All of the echoes never die.