Ezra Furman

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Ezra Furman
Ezra Furman at Rough Trade (39260701575).jpg
Ezra Furman (2018)
Background information
Born (1986-09-05) September 5, 1986 (age 33)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals, harmonica
LabelsBar/None Records
Bella Union
Associated actsEzra Furman and the Harpoons, Ezra Furman and the Boy-Friends, Krill
Websitewww.ezrafurman.com
Ezra Furman and The Visions
GenresIndie rock, psychedelic rock
Years active2012–present
LabelsBar/None Records
Bella Union
Associated actsEzra Furman
Past membersEzra Furman
Jorgen Jorgensen
Ben Joseph
Sam Durkes
Tim Sandusky

Ezra Furman (born September 5, 1986) is an American musician and songwriter. Furman currently performs solo and tours with his band The Visions.

Career[edit]

Ezra Furman and the Harpoons[edit]

Ezra Furman and the Harpoons were a four-piece rock band active between 2006–2011. The band consisted of Ezra Furman (vocals, guitar), Job Mukkada (bass guitar), Adam Abrutyn (drums), and Andrew Langer (guitar). They formed at Tufts University in 2006. They released four albums: the self-released Beat Beat Beat (2006), followed by Banging Down the Doors (2007), Inside the Human Body (2008) and Mysterious Power (2011). The group broke up in 2011. After their contract with Minty Fresh Records expired, the band released a self-produced compilation album in 2009, Moon Face: Bootlegs and Road Recordings 2006–2009, which included live recordings and some of Furman's solo work.

The Year of No Returning[edit]

After touring in support of the album Mysterious Power, Furman recorded a solo album, entitled The Year of No Returning, without a label. Furman raised money through Kickstarter to fund the recording and self-release of the album.[5] The album was recorded at Studio Ballistico, located at the time in the attic of Furman’s house, and produced by Tim Sandusky, who lived there as well.[6] The album was released in February 2012. At the end of the year, Furman signed to Bar/None Records, who re-released The Year of No Returning in the summer of 2013.

The touring band Ezra Furman and the Boy-Friends formed in spring of 2012 and toured in support of The Year of No Returning. The band consisted of Jorgen Jorgensen (bass), Ben Joseph (keyboard, guitar), and Sam Durkes (drums). Tim Sandusky (saxophone) joined in 2013.

Day of the Dog[edit]

Furman released Day of the Dog in October 2013, also produced by Tim Sandusky, recorded at Studio Ballistico and released through Bar/None Records.[7] This album got Furman notable press in the UK, receiving a 5/5 review in The Guardian by Michael Hann: "Ezra Furman has made an album of classicist rock'n'roll that never feels like an exercise, but a living, breathing piece of self expression",[8] and an 8/10 review in NME: "A bratty, ragged take on New York Dolls, Spector-era Ramones and E Street Band carnival rock. An unexpected gem."[9]

The band toured the UK in 2014 and were met with positive press. "The punk-fired rock'n'roller isn't too cool to be touched by a richly deserved rave reception", wrote Malcolm Jack for The Guardian, giving the show a five-star review.[10] The tour finished in the autumn with a sold out gig at Scala in London on September 2014.

Perpetual Motion People[edit]

In early 2015 Furman signed to Bella Union[11] and on April 27 Furman announced that a new album, Perpetual Motion People, would be released on July 6 in the UK and Europe and on July 10 in the US.[12] Aided by positive critical reviews Perpetual Motion People peaked in the UK charts on its entry week at #23. A series of concerts in Europe and the USA took place to co-ordinate with the release of Furman's album.

In 2016 Furman released the EP Big Fugitive Life, saying it felt like the "end of a chapter, musically" and calling the collection a "group of our favourite orphaned songs", four of which missed out on inclusion on Perpetual Motion People, and two which came from the time of The Year of No Returning.[13]

In September 2017, Furman's social media posts indicated that The Boy-Friends, active since 2012, had been renamed or reformed as The Visions.[14][15] Apparently no change was made to the line-up of Ben Joseph, Jorgen Jorgensen, Sam Durkes and Tim Sandusky.[16]

Transangelic Exodus[edit]

Transangelic Exodus, Furman's seventh album, was released 9 February 2018.[17] The album follows a narrative of Furman and an angel on the road, running away from an oppressive government.[18]

Other projects[edit]

Furman provided the soundtrack for the 2019 Netflix drama-comedy show Sex Education. The soundtrack consists of songs from Furman's back catalogue, as well as songs written for the show. Furman and his band also appeared in one of the episodes of the show.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Furman is Jewish. His father is from a Jewish family and his mother converted to Judaism.[20]

Furman is bisexual.[21][22] In a 2018 interview, Ezra has stated that he considers himself androgynous, stating: "I am just a male. I don't... I'm not trans[gender] because that would mean I'm not male. I guess I just do being a man different than some.",[23] addressing this in numerous songs in his discography. Since then Furman has begun identifying as transgender and described his song "I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend” as a "romantic song of transgender longing."[24]

Furman's younger brother Jonah was lead singer and bassist in the Boston-based rock band Krill,[25] until their split in October 2015. Ezra and Jonah also have two more siblings.[26]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Ezra Furman and the Harpoons[edit]

Ezra Furman & The Boy-Friends[edit]

Ezra Furman & The Visions[edit]

Ezra Furman & the band with no name[27][edit]

  • Twelve Nudes (2019)[28]

Solo[edit]

Extended plays[edit]

Singles[edit]

  • "My Zero"/"Caroline Jones" (2013)
  • "Restless Year" (2015)
  • "Lousy Connection" (2015)[29]
  • "Calm down aka I Should Not Be Alone" (2019)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Beaumont, Mark. "Ezra Furman - 'Transangelic Exodus' Album Review". NME.
  2. ^ Hann, Michael (September 11, 2014). "Ezra Furman on outcasts, Chuck Berry and Judaism". Theguardian.com.
  3. ^ "Ezra Furman streams egg-cellent new video for 'Lousy Connection'". DIY.
  4. ^ a b "Ezra Furman | Biography, Albums, Streaming Links". AllMusic.
  5. ^ Kickstarter, "Ezra Furman's Kickstarter" July 11, 2007. Retrieved April 28, 2015
  6. ^ Furman, Ezra. Interview by Frances Capell "New Year", San Francisco Bay Guardian, February 9, 2012.
  7. ^ Bar/None Records. "Ezra Furman", retrieved August 3, 2014.
  8. ^ Michael Hann (December 5, 2013). "Ezra Furman: Day of the Dog – review". The Guardian. Retrieved March 4, 2017.
  9. ^ Dan Stubbs, "NME Day of the Dog review", NME, October 7, 2013. Retrieved April 28, 2015
  10. ^ Malcolm Jack (February 13, 2014). "Ezra Furman – review". The Guardian. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
  11. ^ Bella Union "Ezra Furman Signs to Bella Union" March 3, 2015. Retrieved 2015-28-04
  12. ^ Ben Kaye "Ezra Furman announces new album Perpetual Motion People, Consequence of Sound, April 27, 2015. Retrieved April 28, 2015
  13. ^ "EZRA FURMAN announces 'Big Fugitive Life' EP". Bella Union. June 28, 2016. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
  14. ^ "RIP The Boy-Friends 2012–2017". Facebook.com. September 7, 2017. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  15. ^ "Welcome The Visions 2017–". Facebook.com. September 8, 2017. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  16. ^ The 2015 line-up of The Boy-Friends seems to contain the same members – "Ezra Furman announces new album "Perpetual Motion People"". Bella Union. April 27, 2015. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  17. ^ Michelle Geslani (October 23, 2017). "Ezra Furman announces new album, Transangelic Exodus, unveils "Love You So Bad": Stream". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved November 5, 2017.
  18. ^ Mackay, Emily (February 11, 2018). "Ezra Furman: Transangelic Exodus review – an adrenaline-jolted allegory". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved December 15, 2018. ...Furman and his celestial lover go on the run from an oppressive government..
  19. ^ "Music from Sex Education Season 1". Tunefind.com. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  20. ^ "Ezra Furman on outcasts, Chuck Berry and Judaism | Music". The Guardian. September 24, 2014. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  21. ^ Furman, Ezra (July 3, 2015). "Pretty punk rock: how Ezra Furman found freedom in gender fluidity". The Guardian. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  22. ^ Smith, Patrick (February 7, 2018). "Ezra Furman interview: 'I wouldn't call myself gender-fluid'". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  23. ^ Smith, Patrick (February 7, 2018). "Ezra Furman interview: 'I wouldn't call myself gender-fluid'". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  24. ^ Williams, Nick (June 18, 2019). "Baroque Pop Artist Ezra Furman Shares Summer of Pride Mix & Talks Bisexual, Trans Identity". Billboard. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  25. ^ Sarah Grant (February 29, 2016). "Between Two Furmans: Indie According to Brothers Ezra and Jonah". Village Voice. Retrieved March 4, 2017.
  26. ^ Mark Redfern (February 20, 2017). "2016 Artist Survey: Ezra Furman". Under The Radar Magazine. Retrieved March 4, 2017. I was one of four kids.
  27. ^ "Ezra Furman - Twelve Nudes. Vinyl LP, CD. Bella Union". Bella Union. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  28. ^ Blais-Billie, Braudie (May 21, 2019). "Ezra Furman Announces New Album Twelve Nudes, Shares New Song: Listen". Pitchfork. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  29. ^ Cummings, Bill (May 1, 2015). "Track Of The Day #680: Ezra Furman – Lousy Connection". Godisinthetvzine.co.uk. Retrieved July 8, 2015.