It is a well known fact that I worship all things dance. If there is a piece of pop culture that revolves around dance in any way, I’m all about it. I’m talking So You Think You Can Dance, Footloose (the real one), all Dance Dance Revolution video games, Step Up (every version), You Got Served, Save The Last Dance, Center Stage, Stomp The Yard, Flashdance… I mean, the list is endless. I used to dance when I was younger and the fascination with the art form, even in its cheesiest incarnations, just never let up.
That fascination quickly lead to an obsession with music that makes you want to boogie. I am no stranger to heavy-duty rug cutting when I’m out with friends (which may or may not often lead to serious dance-offs) as well as when I’m home and say, cleaning the house. For these glorious endeavors you need two very important things: dancing shoes and dancing tunes.
Thankfully, for those of us who just have to dance there are a lot of great bands out there that recognize this need and cater to it well. One such dance-friendly group is Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, a 10-person troupe from right here in the City of Angels led by vocalist and band-founder, Alex Ebert. Formed in 2007, they spent many years honing their trademark style and gathering fans while becoming one of the most dynamic touring acts around. In 2009, the simplicity and warm appeal of their single, ‘Home’ gave them their a genuine hit and also opened my eyes to their unique world.
To say I love that song and this band is a huge understatement. Listening to their music is like a hug for your ears. You just can’t help but smile while you hear the understated elegance of Ebert and fellow vocalist Jade Castrino trade verses and you definitely can’t help but move your feet when all 10 of them are in their groove.
Their newest record is called Here and was released a couple of weeks ago on the heels of a standout first single, ‘Man on Fire.’ This song is a triple-whammy for dance enthusiasts like myself. Not only is it a very danceable track that lifts your spirits and is impossible to not move to, but lyrically it paints a picture of a ramblin’ man with one last desire and that’s for the, “whole damn world to come and dance” with him. To top it all off, the video itself is a beautiful piece of mini-cinema showcasing a variety of dancers ranging from the New York City Ballet to double dutch teams to steppers to cheerleaders filmed over three days all over New York. It also sort of reminds me of the title sequence from a Wes Anderson movie (my all-time fav) which makes me love it that much more. It’s the kind of video that bands used to make when a certain Music Television network actually played (gasp!) music…and boy, is it a sight for sore eyes.
So, whether you’re a Dancing Queen like me or just want another song to add to your new Summer favorites give ‘Man on Fire’ a listen. Fair Warning: toe tapping may be contagious.
See Also: ’40 Day Dream’ and ‘Janglin’