Ezra Furman announces new album ‘Transangelic Exodus’

by the partae


Listen to “Love You So Bad” now Out February 9, 2018 on Bella Union via [PIAS]

Ezra Furman has announced his new album Transangelic Exodus, out February 9, 2018 on Bella Union via [PIAS], along with new single “Love You So Bad“. Furman’s second album for Bella Union, Transangelic Exodus is a new landmark for the American singer-songwriter: “not a concept record, but almost a novel, or a cluster of stories on a theme, a combination of fiction and a half-true memoir,” according to its author. “A personal companion for a paranoid road trip. A queer outlaw saga.


The narrative thread,” Furman declares, “is I’m in love with an angel, and a government is after us, and we have to leave home because angels are illegal, as is harbouring angels. The term ‘transangelic’ refers to the fact people become angels because they grow wings. They have an operation, and they’re transformed. And it causes panic because some people think it’s contagious, or it should just be outlawed.

The album still works without the back story, though,” he vouches. “What’s essential is the mood – paranoid, authoritarian, the way certain people are stigmatised. It’s a theme in American life right now, and other so-called democracies.

Furman cites Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires Of The CityBeck’s OdelaySparklehorse’s It’s A Wonderful LifeKendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A ButterflyKayne West’s YeezusAngel Olsen’s Burn Your Fire For No Witness and Tune-Yards’ Who Kill – “artists making the most interesting music with the available resources” – as influences on Transangelic Exodus, plus Brian WilsonBruce Springsteen and James Baldwin’s ground-breaking, gay-themed 1956 novel Giovanni’s Room.

My previous records were original in their own way, but got classified as an off-kilter version of a retro band, and I wanted something that sounded more original,” he explains. “So we took time off touring, and made sure we took time with every song. I demoed with different band members, and then combined different demos – some parts even made the final album. So, the sound is more chopped up, edited, affected, rearranged.

One prime example is the album’s lead single “Driving Down To LA“, a sparse, but explosive, mix of doo-wop and digital crunch. Another is the haunting “Compulsive Liar“. “I wrote it as a ballad on a classical acoustic guitar, but we made it stranger, which brought out the emotion of the lyric more than it would have in its original form,” Furman says. “It’s less predictable; you don’t know where the song might go, and that makes me happy.

Checking Furman’s successive album covers will show his personal journey, coming out as queer and gender-fluid, which the jagged, agitated “Maraschino-Red Dress $8.99 at Goodwill” meets head on, namely “the painful experience of being a closeted gender-non-conforming person. Having ‘trans’ in the album title has a lot to do with being queer, like [album finale] ‘I Lost My Innocence’ [‘…to a boy named Vincent’]. That early experience marks the narrator for life. From a young age, because of issues surrounding gender and sexuality, I felt fated to have an outsider perspective. It radicalises you.

Crossing between love, gender, sexuality and religion, and singing in solidarity with the innocent, persecuted, oppressed and threatened, Ezra Furman has soundtracked the current fear and loathing across America like no other, while pushing ahead with his own agenda, always on the move.

Ezra Furman
Transangelic Exodus

1. Suck the Blood From My Wound
2. Driving Down to L.A.
3. God Lifts Up the Lowly
4. No Place
5. The Great Unknown
6. Compulsive Liar
7. Maraschino-Red Dress $8.99 at Goodwill
8. From a Beach House
9. Love You So Bad
10. Come Here Get Away From Me
11. Peel My Orange Every Morning
12. Psalm 151
13. I Lost My Innocence

Transangelic Exodus by Ezra Furman is out February 9, 2018
on Bella Union via [PIAS] Pre-order it here: https://Inertia.lnk.to/EzraFurman_TEPR


Featured Photo Credit :   Jason Simmons

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