EZRA FURMAN – ” Big Fugitive Life ” EP

Posted: August 22, 2016 in MUSIC
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The Big Fugitive Life EP features songs that Ezra Furman describes as orphans, which are songs  that either didn’t make the cut from his last album record,  Perpetual Motion People or 2012’s The Year of No Returning.

Lead track “Teddy I’m Ready” is giddy with excitement. Starting with an impatient guitar riff the song explodes into life as he announces “Teddy, I’m ready to rock and roll.” The euphoria is ramped up with the addition of a delirious saxophone and so wired is his wonderfully wracked voice it sounds like he hasn’t slept in a week.

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The lyrics are endlessly quotable throughout. “Little Piece of Trash” has the brilliant line “I don’t really give a fuck if they put me in a truck and send me off to sea”, during which Furman genuinely sounds like he  means what he is saying, which is one of the reasons he’s so marvellous.

While the first three songs here are all Rock ‘n’ Roll ebullience, on the final three Furman explores a more plaintive side to his writing. “Penetrate” is an acoustic ditty written in the spirit of American songwriters like Hank Williams or Woody Guthrie as he laments “Penetrate my country, penetrate my home.”

The closing song “Refugee”, is about a “Jew who refuses to die”, referencing the horror of World War II endured by his Grandfather. It’s the most nakedly personal song he’s written and shows that regardless of its genre – be it punk, glam-rock or troubadour balladry, it’s not just the way the melody sways back and forth like a drunken waltz, or the meandering pathways Furman’s voice takes through the song’s unbroken verse. “Refugee” is so overstuffed with narrative that it can’t find room for a chorus, which feels appropriate given how it’s about people who wander the earth searching — and often failing to find — a home to call their own.
“‘The Refugee’ [is] my first song entirely concerned with my Jewish background and present, a song dedicated to my grandfather who fled the Nazis as well as to all of the refugees desperate for a home today,” Furman explains. Though the song starts in a “frosty green Poland”, it ends up somewhere universal, the lyrics no longer restrained to just a single person’s story. “We dedicate this record to refugees of all kinds, all over the world,” says Furman. “May all the wanderers find the homes they seek, and and may those with power welcome them as fellow citizens of humanity.”

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The Big Fugitive Life EP is a perfect bookend to the Perpetual Motion People album available through Bella Union Records. 

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