Album review: Ezra Furman

Ezra Furman - Transangelic Exodus (Bella Union)

Ezra Furman.

Ezra Furman.

EZRA FURMAN is simply not interested in conforming to anyone's stereotypes: gender fluid, non-binary, gay, a believer in God, he is unapologetic about it all - an individual in the truest sense then.

Whereas 2015's marvellous Perpetual Motion People dealt with issues of gender fluidity, Transangelic Exodus tackles themes of God, love, surviving emotional extremes, and the gay experience. It is also more expansive, ambitious, and challenging than its predecessor, mixing melodic; ambient/atonal noise; the hum of string quartets; soul; left-field pop; and death before dishonour indie.

"I believe in God" he declares ('Come Here Get Away From Me' ), but acknowledges that after a particularly wild night out, he is unlikely to make it to synagogue the following morning (the muscular 'Maraschino-Red Dress $8.99 at Goodwill' ). He finds power in the Hebrew scriptures ('Psalm 151' ), and uses the language of religion, the demi monde, and the street, to describe an intense relationship with another man ('God Lifts Up The Lowly' ).

Most powerful, perhaps are Furman's great ode to compassion and endurance ('The Great Unknown' ); the damaging effect of both denying and repressing one's sexuality, ('Compulsive Liar' ), the indie-pop joy of 'Love You So Bad' ), ending on an absolute high with 'I Lost My Innocence' ("I lost my innocence, to a boy named Vincent" ). Insanely catchy, it's soulful swing and inspired chorus are the stuff Motown would have been proud of.

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