EZRA FURMAN – ” Transangelic Exodus ” Best Albums Of 2018

Posted: February 11, 2018 in CLASSIC ALBUMS, MUSIC
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Bella Union Records are celebrating the release of Ezra Furman’s beautiful, pioneering, thrilling, tremendous new album “Transangelic Exodus”, which is available now via 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.”

After five years since the release of “Transangelic Exodus”. This record means so much to me & I can never fully explain it.

One thing I can say: so much hard work and soul went into it. Five people made this record and we gave our lives to it for months and months. My four bandmates were all operating at maximal creativity & dedication, willing to explore possibilities with me, to try new things, to rip it up & start again. None of it could have been done if I was a “solo artist,” as some call me. This was a collaborative work, and I am so grateful to my collaborators: Tim, Sam, Jorgen & Ben. It really became a musical rebirth for me, first as a songwriter & then as a musician in general.

It was also a crucial ingredient of an ongoing queer awakening, a spiritual awakening, a social/political awakening—America was in scary upheaval in 2017, & so was my own life and spirit. These tracks reflect that—fear, rage, joy, despair, adventure, a fierce inner peace in direct contradiction to the violence that churns all around it.

“Transangelic Exodus” is in the running for my favourite thing I have ever made. It is probably the hardest I have ever worked on any piece of art.

The reward for our efforts was the album’s reception: not by blogs or critics and certainly not by the pop charts, but by the individual people who opened their hearts to this record. I know it’s a weird record and I never expected most people to understand it. But those who got it, really really got it. Travelling around playing this music, I met these wonderful people who brought me so much happiness. You used the album as it was intended to be used: as shelter for the mind, as tinder for a parking lot fire of the heart. Some of you were runaways of one sort or another, some of you outlaws on paper or in spirit, & so many were young queers working your asses off to totally change your lives. As was I. We did it, & we’re still doing it. Thank you.

Blessings to all Ezra

Transangelic Exodus Ezra Furman’s second album for Bella Union, is a new landmark its  “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. ” The music is as much of an intense, dramatic event, full of brilliant hooks, with an equally evolved approach to recorded sound to match Furman’s narrative vision. In honour of this shift, his backing band has been newly christened: The Boy-Friends are dead, long live The Visions. In other words, the man who embodies the title of his last album Perpetual Motion People is still on the move… Or in the vernacular of the new album, on the run. His musical DNA remains intact – a thrilling, literate form of garage-punk rooted in The Velvet Underground, Jonathan Richman and ‘50s rock’n’roll.
Standout tracks include 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. Transangelic Exodus addresses another kind of coming out, as Furman addresses his Jewish faith on record much more openly than before, from the shivery ballad God Lifts Up the Lowly (which includes a verse in Hebrew) to the exquisite Psalm 151 and the line “I believe in God but I don’t believe we’re getting out of this one” in Come Here Get Away From Me, a heady blend of rock’n’roll rumble and ghostly clarinet. 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.


“2016 was a hard year,” Furman notes in a statement. “While the political and cultural conversation devolved in a very threatening way, we travelled and toured a lot. We saw ourselves coming to the end of what we were, and we wanted to become something new.”

This sea change included an album full of memoir-like material, in which Furman opens up more about his personal journey of coming out as queer and gender-fluid, as well as addresses his Jewish faith. “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,” explains Furman. “A personal companion for a paranoid road trip. A queer outlaw saga.” Speaking about the concept behind the record, Furman continues,

“The narrative thread 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. What’s essential is the mood — paranoid, authoritarian, the way certain people are stigmatized. It’s a theme in American life right now, and other so-called democracies.”

Furman cites Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly, Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires of the City, Kanye West’s Yeezus, and Angel Olsen’s Burn Your Fire For No Witness as influences on Transangelic Exodus.

acclaim for “Transangelic Exodus”

“Thelma & Louise meets Angels In America… Pop has plenty of angels, and Transangelic Exodus joins them in the firmament.” Mail On Sunday – 5 Stars ***** (Album of the Week)  “This is one of the most probing and pioneering avant–retro–pop albums of the age.” Classic Rock – 8/10

“By way of glam, garage rock, baroque’n’roll balladry and declamation, Furman fashions a bold and engrossing manifesto.” Sunday Times 

“Both sonically and lyrically, it’s an album that is explicitly, thrillingly transgressive, and is already an early contender for one of the albums of the year.” Uncut – 8/10

“His seventh album vibrates with fear, rage and fierce defiance… Transangelic Exodus feels like an appropriately angry response to a repressive political moment.” MOJO – 4 Stars ****

Furman’s music has been rethought, cut up, redrafted into something irresistibly modern. The songs are tremendous – melodic, unsettling and laugh–out–loud brilliant.” Q – 4 Stars ****

Transangelic Exodus sets out for fresh horizons with a full tank of passion, purpose, political rage, raucous invention and rock’n’roll fire.” Record Collector – 5 Stars ****

“A sense of defiance and unrest runs throughout Transangelic Exodus… Timely and uncompromising, it feels like a record of real importance.” DIY – 4 Stars ****

“This is a fascinating, mature set from an artist who feels as vital as ever.” DORK – 4 Stars ****

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