Just a year following Perpetual Motion People, an album of playful rock n roll and charming energy, Ezra Furman proves that he doesn’t stop for long – between a dazzling Glastonbury set and a full UK tour, he will release new 6-track EP Big Fugitive Life on August 19. This EP, consisting of four tracks intended for inclusion on Perpetual Motion People, and two for Furman’s 2012 debut The Year of No Returning, suggests that Furman is teetering at the end of an era – on the brink of something entirely new – with this release.
Opener, and lead single Teddy I’m Ready features the sharp kick that lifts many of Furman’s prior tracks; and builds towards a crashing chorus of “Teddy, I’m ready to rock n roll” crooned over the boy-friends bopping drums and swooning sax. In a way both wistful and ecstatic, the sentiment of “there’s no where that I can run to, I feel so sick and shy” almost becomes a recollection of the nostalgic decade that brought rock n roll at its height. Halley’s Comet is equally warm and rhythmically static, with flickering guitars that nod towards “a vision of rock and roll”, and a twitching hook that could have anyone humming along.
Little Piece Of Trash drops immediately with a punchy trumpet intro, before dipping into a buzz of fuzzy bass accompanying Furman’s memorably bright and stark vocals. As “I’m a little piece of trash, and you can kick me around” is snarled amidst jittering horns, the contrasting charm and projected ‘I don’t give a fuck’ pulls the track into a blur of inedible shrieks and a charismatic instrumental.
The latter half of the EP, however, takes an alternate perspective in it’s tenderness – an acoustic guitar and Furman’s raspy vocals take centre stage, and pull apart the quiet lyrics like an open wound. Penetrate is filled to the brim with charm – the track is a simple yet undeniably catchy folk song with lyrics that rhyme line-by-line, and references towards both religion and sex in one. Similarly, Splash Of Light is a quiet reflection, and lasting just over 2 minutes, again feels as though an intrusion in comparison with many of Furman’s pop songs. Finally comes Refugee, the track closing Big Fugitive Life, and described as “a song entirely concerned with my Jewish background, a song dedicated to my grandfather who fled the Nazis as well as to all of the refugees desperate for a home today”. Accompanied by the whines of violins, Furman’s vocals merge into a drone that somehow mimics a sense of relentless struggle, as he describes the effects and desperation of such.
Big Fugitive Life will be released 19 August on Bella Union.
- Teddy I’m Ready
- Halley’s Comet
- Little Piece Of Trash
- Splash Of Light
- The Refugee