EZRA FURMAN – ” All Of Us Flames “

Posted: July 17, 2022 in MUSIC

A singer, songwriter, and author whose incendiary music has sound tracked all three seasons of the Netflix show “Sex Education”, Ezra Furman has for years woven together stories of queer discontent and unlikely, fragile intimacies. Ezra Furman is releasing a new album, “All of Us Flames”, due for release August 26th via ANTI-/Bella Union. Ezra shared its fourth single, “Lilac and Black,” via a lyric video.

A press release says “Lilac and Black” concerns “a revenge plot where she and her ‘queer girl gang’ drive out their oppressors and claim a hostile city for themselves.”

Furman elaborates further: “I’ve started to think of us trans women as a kind of secret gang, scattered across the world. Or that we could be that. So I wrote this theme song for us, and gave us some gang colours: “Lilac and Black”. Unfortunately, being trans usually comes with some kind of threat to one’s well-being or even one’s life. The hostility toward us right now is intense and the stakes are high.

This song is an expression of deep solidarity and willingness to defend our lives. Being an inherently peaceful person, I hate to imagine it, but there are times that violent self-defense, or defense of others, is the moral and necessary path. This song is about being ready for that…. It’s also about how being trans so often feels like a war we never asked for. On top of the seemingly endless social stigma and barriers to our general thriving, various governments have now set in motion a concerted movement to virtually outlaw healthy trans existence. Let it be known: we demand safety, resources and dignity, and we are ready to fight for our lives and the lives of others.”

Furman previously shared “All of Us Flames’s” “Point Me Toward the Real” in early March, which was her first single for ANTI-. “Point Me Toward the Real” was about someone getting out of a psychiatric hospital.

Then “Book of Our Names” followed in April. When “All of Us Flames” was announced in May, Furman shared its third single, “Forever in Sunset,” via a video.

Much of the new album was written in the early months of the pandemic. “I had no time alone anymore; my house was super crowded,” Furman said. So she went for drives around Massachusetts to find quiet places to write songs.

“This is a first person plural album,” Furman said. “It’s a queer album for the stage of life when you start to understand that you are not a lone wolf, but depend on finding your family, your people, how you work as part of a larger whole. I wanted to make songs for use by threatened communities, and particularly the ones I belong to: trans people and Jews.”

John Congleton (Angel Olsen, Future Islands, Sharon Van Etten) produced “All of Us Flames”. Furman’s last full-on album was 2019’s Twelve Nudes. In 2021, Furman also surprise released a new EP that featured songs she had written for season 3 of the Netflix show Sex Education. It was fittingly titled Sex Education – Songs from Season 3” and featured three new songs, alongside two songs previously released with her former band Ezra Furman & The Harpoons in 2011. Furman has done the music for all three seasons.

In 2020, Furman shared the official soundtrack for seasons 1 and 2 of “Sex Education“, along with a video for the song “Every Feeling.”

All of Us Flames” is described as the third part of a trilogy, including 2019’s continuing punk rock fury of 2019’s  “Twelve Nudes” and 2018’s The Springsteen-inflected road saga “Transangelic Exodus“.

The band is Sam Durkes, Ezra Furman, Ben Joseph and Jorgen Jorgensen Other contributors: John Congleton: additional keyboards, drum machines Shannon Lay & Debbie Neigher: backing vocals Nathaniel Walcott: Horn Arrangements. Vikram Devasthali: trombone. Josh Johnson: saxophone. Nathaniel Walcott: trumpet.

Seriously impressive… combining a bold sonic vista reminiscent of Springsteen and the lyrical dexterity of Dylan… An album of quality and intensity.” The Sun – 5 stars *****

“This is a celebration of difference and very appealing. Classic heartland rock songwriting in the tradition of Bruce Springsteen and Lou Reed, infused with a passionate underdog spirit.”

The Times – 4 stars ****

“All Of Us Flames crackles with the energy and strength of a woman finding power in a world that has constantly deprived her of it. It feels like a protest album – not one fighting to change an imperfect society, but building one of its own. The i Paper – 4 stars ****

Ezra Furman is on a roll… All Of Us Flames sparkles… Her observations are succinct, original and fearless.” Mail On Sunday – 5 stars *****

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