Ezra Furman “Big Fugitive Life”
It’s probably fair to say that Ezra Furman has enjoyed a surprising level of success in the UK recently. We certainly seem to have taken him to our hearts. He is far from being just an overnight success though, as he has worked hard to build his career over numerous years. That hardworking ethic sees him now releasing this EP, which consists of a number of tracks which weren’t quite ready in time for his last full album “Perpetual Motion People”.
Anyone who has seen Ezra live, will know he can be a bit of a ‘mess’ of contradictions, from his shy approach to his exuberant stage presence. It’s a style which is also clear within his music on this EP. Lead song “Teddy I’m Ready” is the type of song that we love best, it’s an upbeat and smiley sounding rock n roll song, but still with a sense of despair in the vocal delivery. It’s a heady but winning mix. That feeling is kept going by “Halley’s Comet”, a track which comes across like a modern doo wop song. We then move on to the delightful pop, with a hint of fifties flair, of “Little Piece Of Trash”.
If you buy this EP on vinyl (as you should), it is literally and figuratively two different sides. ‘Side B’ begins with “Penetrate”, a slow, country esque ballad. Whilst “Splash Of Light” is a haunting acoustic number with an almost Ryan Adams feel about it. The EP then ends with the open landscape of “The Refugee”, a song which has a style that stretches between Americana and Gypsy balladry.
As with everything Ezra delivers, this is an EP full of style and flamboyance. You struggle to define his style as he effortlessly sweeps between genres. It does have some consistency though, in the ability of his music to leave you with a sense of intrigue, a desire to hear more and also to know more about Ezra himself. He’s a million miles away from the shallow ‘pop stars’ of today, but instead is a genuinely interesting artist… it is therefore only right that we should treasure him.