Released on 9th February via Bella Union
Review by Rebecca Moynihan
From hearing the first beat of the first song, you’re hooked. Ezra Furman is back with his new album, ‘Transangelic Exodus’, after being away from the music scene for two years. If you’ve ever listened to Furman’s previous work, you know already that he is different; his voice is undeniably unique and his sound can only be described as ‘his.’ He has never been afraid to steer away from the crowd, being openly bisexual and bold enough to divert from gender norms, his songs reflect his gutsy persona and cover numerous topics.
With song titles like ‘Maraschino-Red Dress $8.99 at Goodwill’, listening to Furman’s album is an exciting experience, has he written a song entirely about a Maraschino-Red dress? And on ‘Peel My Orange Every Morning’, has he managed to write a song about something as mundane as peeling an orange? He uses the orange as a metaphor for peeling back his exterior to reveal what is sometimes hidden underneath. Furman is an extremely talented songwriter in that he makes it impossible to ignore the lyrics in favour of the music. Like a lot of artists, Furman uses his lyrics to tell a story. Whether that is his own story, or the story of someone else, the lyrics play on your emotions and really leave you thinking.
‘Compulsive Liar’, which I would say is a standout song on the album, is a raw emotional song in which Furman lays himself bare and describes himself as someone who can’t help but lie.
Furman beautifully navigates the topic of sexuality, writing into the song how his compulsions to lie came around the time he realised he was attracted to the same sex but couldn’t tell anyone.
For an album I so heavily anticipated, Furman has only exceeded in my expectations. The album is a perfect mix between melancholy (‘God Lifts Up the Lowly’) and feel good (‘The Great Unknown.’) It’s an album that has left a lasting impression on me in that the lyrics have embedded themselves into me. Artists like Furman, who are brave enough not to conform and still find incredible success, are the ones who will only continue to grow and pave the way for generations below to be bold and unapologetically themselves.