It was the eighties that made androgyny so popular. Huge stars like Prince, Boy George and Adam Ant showed that it was just as cool for a man to rock lipstick and eyeliner as it was the girls. That flamboyancy has gone hand in hand with the music world ever since. Ezra Furman arrived on the scene scene since 2007, and has taken things to a whole new level. You’re much more likely to see him in a dress and killer heels than in a jeans and trainers combo. And sure, he may look pretty fierce, but who really cares? Let’s talk more of the awesome music he’s been releasing over the last decade. As much as he is a style-icon, he’s first and foremost an accomplished and relevant singer-songwriter, with an impressive back catalogue. On August 19th, he releases a brand new six-track mini-album ‘Big Fugitive Life’ on Bella Union.
The album is a collection of songs originally earmarked for inclusion on previous projects, two from his 2007 debut ‘The Year Of No Returning’, and the rest just missing out on a place on last year’s break through ‘Perpetual Motion People’. The tracks weren’t ready on time to make it on the intended albums, so find themselves here, making ‘Big Fugitive Life’ more like a mixtape. The six track album seems to be split into two. The first three tracks are uplifting rock n roll tracks. Leading single ‘Teddy, I’m Ready’ is a catchy and melodic monster of a track with crazy falsetto and an old skool vibe; perfect for opening proceedings on the new project. ‘Little Piece Of Trash’ is an anarchic track with a crazy sax solo that would make Madness jealous.
The second half of the album slows things down, and adopts a folkier sound. On these songs, Furman seems to adopt many different vocal styles. Whilst on the more upbeat songs from the first half of the album are are belt-it-out festival tracks, the vocals on the latter three seem to show a lot more depth to his vocal stylings. The first song ‘Penetrate’, shows a delicate side to his voice, whilst album closer ‘The Refugee’ is darker; his voice sounding more threatening, like something Nick Cave would be pleased to put out. It’s odd that on such a short album there should be quite so many ideas thrown in together, and the style of the songs included so varied. But I guess that’s what comes from taking songs from different times in his career and putting them together. But they do work together, and I like how there is a definite split down the middle; what in days gone by would be the first and second side (kids, ask your parents).
‘A Fugitive life’ may only be short, and hopefully a full length album won’t be too long after, but it’s definitely enough to keep fans going n the meantime. It is out 19th of August, but ‘Teddy, I’m Ready’ is available to stream now.
Find out more about Ezra Furman on his official site, or on his social media;