Alex Ebert launched his musical career as frontman for the quirky Los Angeles dance-rock group Ima Robot. When the band stagnated in 2007, he reinvented himself as Edward Sharpe, leader of neo-hippie folk collective the Magnetic Zeros, whose hit single “Home” climbed the charts in 2010.
This year, the prolific singer-songwriter recorded a solo debut — literally. Ebert played every part on Alexander himself, crafting a collection of songs inspired by his diverse personal influences: hip-hop, ’70s psychedelia, Spaghetti Westerns and Paul Simon. The result is summery, laid-back and seemingly effortless, buoyed by Ebert’s pithy songwriting and natural charisma.
On today’s World Cafe, Ebert performs songs from Alexander, backed by the Magnetic Zeros, and discusses the process of going solo, which he describes as “addictive.”