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Alternative & Indie - Released February 9, 2018 | Bella Union

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
He's grown-up like Lou Reed. Androgynous like Bowie. Lyrical like Springsteen. Offbeat like Jonathan Richman. And an exhibitionist like Rufus Wainwright. But this time, for his seventh album, Ezra Furman is, first and foremost, more Ezra Furman than ever before! In a fascinating confessional record, halfway between concept-album and fictional biography, he blurs the contours of his bisexuality and shows himself to be as flamboyant as his idols. Furman decks out his glitzy songs with a cocky, bituminous glam, putting exuberance front-and-centre. That doesn't stop him from also opting for more intimate, stripped-down numbers as well. But if all that is working at 200%, the reason is that Transangelic Exodus is above all a collection of great songs. Behind the impressive decor and the stylistic conjuring tricks, Ezra Furman has brought out one of his most incisive works to date. Full of insights about himself, and on Trump's America, where he is trying to find his place. Fascinated by the pop songs and Jewish tradition, the thirtysomething Chicagoan might just have dropped one of 2018's most powerful rock records...© MZ/Qobuz

Alternative & Indie - Released August 30, 2019 | Bella Union

Arriving just a year after 2018's critically acclaimed dystopian queer outlaw odyssey Transangelic Exodus, Twelve Nudes sees Ezra Furman and his newly minted Band with No Name deliver a savage, amp-melting set that's all teeth. Raw, political, feral, and apoplectic, yet reliably open-hearted, the songs were recorded quickly and with the needle firmly ensconced in the red. Furman pushes his voice to extremes as well, and you can smell the beer sweat and the smoke from his tonsils throughout. The 11-track Twelve Nudes begins in spectacular fashion with the unhinged, melodic punk rager "Calm Down aka I Should Not Be Alone," a just-over-two-minute slab of nervy ear candy that's thick with overdriven bar chords and punchy compressed drums, and punctuated with the leering "woo-woos" of the Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil." Blunt force pit-inducers like "Rated R Crusaders," "Blown," and "My Teeth Hurt" follow suit, drawing inspiration from the socio-political miasma of 2018 and coming off like Green Day taking a stab at Dead Kennedys' Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables. It's not all bloody fisticuffs, though. Furman tempers some of that sonic pugilism on the road trip-ready confectionary "In America" and the poignant, gender questioning "I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend," the latter of which divulges "All my friends are writing their résumés/my responsible friends are applying for jobs/but me, I was considering ditching Ezra, and going by Esme." Transangelic Exodus was a meticulously crafted and heavily nuanced work that showcased Furman's pop acumen and lyrical prowess. Even at its most subdued, the relentless and invigorating Twelve Nudes crackles and pops like an alkali metal hitting water. ~ James Christopher Monger

Alternative & Indie - Released February 22, 2019 | Bella Union


Rock - Released May 21, 2019 | Bella Union


Rock - Released July 15, 2019 | Bella Union


Alternative & Indie - Released August 29, 2018 | Bella Union


Alternative & Indie - Released October 23, 2017 | Bella Union


Alternative & Indie - Released January 8, 2018 | Bella Union


Rock - Released October 8, 2013 | Bar - None Records

Day of the Dog, Ezra Furman's second outing without the Harpoons, picks up right where The Year of No Returning left off, though this time around, the songs and fidelity are sharper, resulting in the fiery, folk-punk provocateur's most engaging collection of material to date. Furman's vintage, Lennon-esque sneer pairs well with the anarchic, sock hop snap of skiffle-kissed ragers like "Tell Them All to Go to Hell" and "I Wanna Destroy Myself," and the addition of saxophone into the mix gives the whole affair a real Modern Lovers-meets-The Rocky Horror Picture Show vibe (add in a little Soft Boys and Violent Femmes and you've got a pretty clear picture as to what Furman's going for). The bluesy, Tom Waits-ian title cut and its Gatling gun-delivered counterpart "Walk on in Darkness" prove that Furman can operate outside of the garage as well, a notion that's furthered by the surprisingly affecting (amidst all of the vitriol) "My Zero," an infectious, four-chord stunner that effortlessly builds from a breezy morning drive into a full-on highway anthem. Furman tackles the usual subjects (sex, drugs, heartache, nihilism, sin, and salvation) with the kind of zeal that many of his contemporaries simply dial in, especially on standout cuts like "And Maybe God Is a Train" and the VU-inspired "Slacker/Adria." In fact, there's not really a bad song to be found on Day of the Dog, as even the less immediate cuts are shot through with enough nervy intensity and poetic, barely concealed contempt to enter the bloodstream and get to work. ~ James Christopher Monger

Rock - Released July 16, 2013 | Bar - None Records

After moving from Minty Fresh to Red Parlor, 2011's Mysterious Power showed a less rollicking side of Ezra Furman & the Harpoons, and for his first solo outing, The Year of No Returning, the frontman of the indie rock group relies on intimate, guitar-based songs. Comparisons to Dylan have followed the songwriter from the beginning, and here, with simple, folky arrangements (and guest musicians adding backing tracks by way of percussion, piano, upright bass, or strings), Furman's poignant lyrics are more prominent than ever. The Harpoons added a fun-spirited, chaotic element to his tunes, but even in this straightforward style, without the purposefully amateurish aesthetic, Furman's thoughtful songwriting style remains refreshingly distinctive. Besides the fact that the music is softer and more focused on this outing, the most notable change is in Furman's demeanor, which has moved from childlike spunk to desperation. Songs like "Cruel Cruel World," "Are You Gonna Break My Heart?," "Doomed Love Affair," and "Down" (which starts on the note, "What the fuck do I do all day laying in bed?") are as downtrodden as they sound. When the subject matter moves from introspection outward, to focus on his surroundings, the results are even more fear-filled, as Furman dissects American society's big business attitudes and inherent lack of spirituality, with lines like "So if you ever find that church that fits in your purse, put it into your cold metal shopping cart/and keep on wandering the aisles on the sick fluorescent tiles, we'll be miles and miles apart/I've got my own search and I'm still just at the start." Often embarking with a lyrical wisdom beyond his years, it's no surprise that he would hit his mid-life crisis early. With such a resounding sadness, it's doubtful that this will be the album to pull in new listeners, but it's certainly his most mature record, and packs a hell of an emotional punch. ~ Jason Lymangrover

Alternative & Indie - Released September 25, 2017 | Bella Union


Rock - Released November 11, 2013 | Bar - None Records