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The L.A. indie-folk band Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros has been described as looking like something of a hippie cult on stage. Of course, every cult should have a leader, and this one is led by a singer whose real name is Alex Ebert. He has a long beard and long, unkempt hair, and he often doesn't wear a shirt or even shoes. During shows, he dances around in circles shaking a tambourine.
It could seem like an act, but when he recently talked to NPR's David Greene, Ebert didn't look or act like a different person.
"There is no character, you know?" Sharpe says. "I'm trying to be the most open and powered-by-the-universe version of myself than I can summon."
The 12-member band has just released its second album, Here. It's the first of two albums the group will release this year.