Ezra Furman: this summer’s must-listen

"Ezra Furman (2007)" by Stab At Sleep from Florida, United States - EZRA FURMAN AND THE HARPOONS. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
“Ezra Furman (2007)” by Stab At Sleep from Florida, United States. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

And the Record for this Summer Comes from… Ezra Furman and the Boyfriends!

There are several reasons why Leipzig is a great place to be in. But if I look at the most recent records I’ve been playing on repeat – one of them being Perpetual Motion People by Ezra Furman – I wish I were in London at the moment. If I were there, I would seize the chance to be part of the next video made for a song from that album.

You don’t believe me that it is that simple? Here is the proof: https://www.facebook.com/events/461131250735705/.

(Editor’s note: She’s done something like this before.)

I forgive you if you say ‘Ezra –who?’ and are still puzzled about this vow of dedication. This young Chicagoan Rock ‘n’ Roll musician is definitively someone to watch out for and the making of his videos must be serious fun, judging from the first single of his new album which deals with the alienation that comes with moving a lot. Released in spring already, I stumbled upon it by chance merely hours after it was put online. And what a find it was:

Ezra Furman certainly did not just emerge out of the blue. Almost unnoticed, though, he has released three albums with his band Ezra Furman and the Harpoons already, and after that a crowdfunded solo record. In 2013 he released the mildly more successful The Day of the Dog, the first album with his current band, the Boyfriends. From the cross-dressing attire seen in the video and mentioned in the lyrics, you might have already guessed that he is genderfluid, a topic which is also dealt with in the track ‘Body Was Made’. Thematically, it’s like an indie version of Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’ that is (more than) okay to like. Naturally he counts David Bowie, Lou Reed of the Velvet Underground, and the Violent Femmes (think ‘Blister in the Sun’) as his musical influences.

Considering titles like ‘Haunted Head’, ‘Hour of Deepest Need’ and ‘Can I Sleep in Your Brain’, it’s hardly a surprise that he has dealt, or is in fact still dealing, with depression. He says that it’s a mild form, which is also the reason why he’s never used medication. While he admits that this is not a clever thing to do, he fears that the chemical treatment would harm his creativity. The dark thoughts fortunately do not hinder his unashamedly upbeat sound, as in the jittery ‘Restless Year’, ‘Pot Holes’, (a love letter to San Francisco, the city where he currently lives), or the second single ‘Lousy Connection’, all full of the doo-wop-choirs of his Boyfriends, a tinkly piano and saxophone blasts. Mind you, I’m not particularly fond of saxophones, but in his case I won’t put up any resistance.

The 13 tracks are a hell of a ride, making 42 minutes feel like much less. So you’ll find that the album length is just perfect to shorten the timespan it takes for you to get to Cospudener See from the main station via tram. Or the bike ride from Gohlis to the Kulkwitzer See. And if you don’t mind travelling a bit further, go catch Ezra and his Boyfriends when they are playing in Hamburg or Cologne in October this year. To see his explosive Punk-Rock’n’Roll performance live is absolutely worth the wait.

Listen to his previous album ‘Day of the Dog’ here.

Sabine grew up in the idyllic suburbs, appreciating the benefits and offers of a city close by. Apart from a short au pair stint in London, this anglophile music lover never left her hometown, because she never saw a point in doing so. At the local university she threw herself into the humanities, where she followed her passion for the English language, names and the arts. At the university’s radio station she lived out her adoration for musicians who are always a tad out of the ordinary. The avid cyclist values things that are cleverly designed and done properly. The only thing she loves more than music is food enjoyed with family or friends. In her garden, preferably.

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