Posts Tagged ‘Ezra Furman’

Ezra Furman at Bowery Ballroom

Ezra Furman, currently on tour behind his latest release Transangelic Exodus, stopped by NYC’s Brooklyn Steel . Playing in front of a beautifully-designed set backdrop, Ezra played many cuts from the new record, such as the driving “Suck the Blood from My Wound” and anthemic single “Love You So Bad.” Ezra also played some older favorites like “My Zero,” and covered Kate Bush’s “Hounds of Love.”

Furman, who has released solo albums as well as albums with his bands Ezra Furman and the Harpoons and Ezra Furman and the Boy-Friends, identifies as gender fluid. A musician himself, he seems the ideal writer for an exploration into the many iterations of Lou Reed’s persona.

Ezra Furman has also penned the most recent installment in the 33 1/3 book series, which focuses on Lou Reed‘s classic album “Transformer”. Here’s the book’s official synopsis:

Transformer, Lou Reed’s most enduringly popular album, is described with varying labels: it’s often called a glam rock album, a proto-punk album, a commercial breakthrough for Lou Reed, and an album about being gay. And yet, it doesn’t neatly fit into any of these descriptors. Buried underneath the radio-friendly exterior lie coded confessions of the subversive, wounded intelligence that gives this album its staying power as a work of art. Here Lou Reed managed to make a fun, accessible rock’n’roll record that is also a troubled meditation on the ambiguities-sexual, musical and otherwise-that defined his public persona and helped make him one of the most fascinating and influential figures in rock history. Through close listening and personal reflections, songwriter Ezra Furman explores Reed’s and Transformer‘s unstable identities, and the secrets the songs challenge us to uncover.

Ezra Furman will be in Austin next week for SXSW, Ezra is also part of Willie Nelson’s “Luck Reunion” fest at his ranch during SXSW.

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Ezra Furman shares live performance video for “Driving down To L.A.”

With his new album Transangelic Exodus due for release 9th February via Bella UnionEzra Furman has  shared a live performance video of the track “Driving Down To L.A”Filmed at SPACE in Evanston, Illinois, over the course of a day, Furman and his band The Visions performed three songs from the new album live for the first time, an exclusive for an attentive audience. The band had been building and creating a special stage design to set the world of Transangelic Exodus.

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.”

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.

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Ezra Furman will be live in-store at Rough Trade East to perform tracks from new album ‘Transangelic Exodus’, released 9th February on Bella Union. 

One of the breakout success stories of 2015 following the release of his hugely acclaimed album Perpetual Motion People, Ezra Furman releases his new album Transangelic Exodus in March. 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.”

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.

Ezra Furman live at Rough Trade East – London Thursday 8th February 2018

Today 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.”

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.

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“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 ****

There are some storming new release’s tomorrow. There’s albums out from Franz Ferdinand, Ezra Furman, Joan As Police Woman, Brigid Mae Power, MGMT, Son Lux,GoGo Penguin, Fu Manchu, Susanna and a ‘Best Of’ from Bring Me The Horizon (with a very limited red vinyl version still available). Reissues? Of course! How about coloured vinyl from Lords Of The Underground ,Or the first three Ramones albums? Or a fantastic compilation of Nina Simone early recordings?. 

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Brian Fallon – Sleepwalkers

SLEEPWALKERS sees Brian Fallon once again pushing timeless rock ‘n’ roll into the modern era, recasting British Invasion rock, first generation UK punk, and American pop and soul into a near irresistible sound he’s dubbed – with a nod and a wink towards The Who – as “Heavy R&B.”

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Ezra Furman  –  Transangelic Exodus

Transangelic Exodus Ezra Furman’s second album for Bella Union, 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.” 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.

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Jay Som –  Jay Som

Jay Som is the moniker of San Francisco-based musician Melina Duterte who, at 22, has already self-released a debut album: a collection of finished & unfinished songs titled “Turn Into”, signed to Polyvinyl Records, and is opening for Mitski across the US and Canada. “Turn Into” sees a wide release this July via Polyvinyl (and vinyl/CD later this year). “Turn Into” was recently described by Pitchfork as “deceivingly textured and intricate pop songs—flush with nimbly intertwined guitar melodies and distressed fidelity”. While Gold Flake Paint said of Duerte: “Melina Duerte is a wizard. Quite how she manages to eek such lustrous, iridescent wonder out of a collection of scraps (“finished and unfinished songs”) is proof that what lies in her songwriting is something mystical, an intangible force of feeling that floods the rooms and walls within which it finds itself”.

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MGMT – Little Dark Age 

MGMT release their fourth album Little Dark Age – the follow-up to their 2013 self-titled album is released via Columbia. It features production from Patrick Wimberly (formerly of Chairlift) and Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Spoon, Tame Impala). MGMT are back and more creative, robust, toned and energised in years. The best songs have that eccentric edge but with the pop layer of 2008 debut Oracular Spectacular. Opener She Works Out is a mangled, sunshine pop take on Air’s Sexy Boy whilst You’re Small is an Alice in Wonderland take on the Beatles Across the Universe. It’s a record that embodies a whole world of vulnerability, confusion and unsteadiness without losing shape. Little Dark Age is back to MGMT’s crowd pleasing best.

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Twin Peaks – Sweet ’17 Singles

Throughout the second half of 2017, Chicago’s Twin Peaks released a run of a half dozen limited-edition 7″ singles the band affectionately dubbed Sweet ’17. Only 300 copies of each 7″ were made, and subscriptions sold out almost immediately. But due to popular demand, Twin Peaks have compiled all of the songs from the series onto a LP release. Sweet ’17 Singles follows in the footsteps of Down In Heaven, the band’s 2016 full-length release, which expanded on the garage-inspired sounds of 2014’s Wild Onion.

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Bat Fangs –  Bat Fangs

NC/DC superghouls Bat Fangs pick up where Roky & the Aliens blasted off — cranking acid-soaked ’80s hard rock for the living and the dead. Making heady heavy music for third eyes and stiff upper lips, Betsy Wright (Ex Hex) shreds ‘n’ howls over Laura King’s (Fleshwounds, The Moaners) deep-thunder drums. Let the Bat Fangs sink in!

Ron Wood & Ronnie Lane – Mahonneys Last Stand OST

What do two Faces do when their lead singer (bon vivant Rod Stewart) doesn’t show up for the Ooh La La recording sessions? They work on a soundtrack for an obscure film by actor and friend Alexis Kanner (most famous for his guest roles on the late-’60s TV series The Prisoner), and draft the uppermost rank of British rock royalty to play on it!

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Franz Ferdinand – Always Ascending

Always Ascending’ is nothing short of a rebirth. The album’s ten songs are a triumphant recasting of one of everyone’s favourite groups, bursting with fresh ideas and vigorous sonic experimentation. Always Ascending is the new album from Franz Ferdinand. the album’s 10 songs are a triumphant recasting of the group, bursting with fresh ideas and vigorous sonic experimentation. Always Ascending recorded at RAK Studios, London and Motorbass in Paris, with the help of French producer extraordinaire Philippe Zdar (Cassius, Phoenix, The Beastie Boys), the mutual affection between band and producer seeping into every dazzling groove. Always Ascending shows Franz Ferdinand broadening their palate, as exuberant as it is euphoric, creating a sound that singer, Alex Kapranos, refers to as “simultaneously futuristic and naturalistic.”

Joan As Police Woman – Damned Devotion

A new album from Joan As Police Woman, which sees a return to the darker, sensual sound of her celebrated early releases. ‘Damned Devotion’ finds Joan Wasser at her rawest yet. Brand new album from Joan As Police Woman, which sees a return to the darker, sensual sound of her celebrated early releases. A beautiful soul-searching record and the one that Joan has spent her whole life building up to.

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Various Artists Revolutionary Spirit – The Sound of Liverpool 1976 – 1988

Extensive 5CD / book set exploring the ‘second wave’ of music on Merseyside, from 1976-1988 Features classics, rarities, album tracks and previously unreleased gems from Echo And The Bunnymen, Teardrop Explodes, OMD, The La’s, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Dead Or Alive, China Crisis, A Flock Of Seagulls, Wild Swans, Big In Japan and many more. 5CD and 56 page A5 book format contains many artists’ own sleeve-notes, previously unseen photographs and essays from key observers and participants in the city’s music scene – Bernie Connor, Mike Badger, Yorkie and Joe McKechnie. Curated and designed by the people who brought you Scared To Get Happy, Still In A Dream, Manchester – North Of England, Silhouettes And Statues and many more extensive box sets. A remarkable journey through the music of a generation inspired and enabled by punk rock to step out from behind the shadow to the Fab Four. Packed with first-hand artist sleeve-notes, insightful essays, imagery and brilliant, essential music, this is a story long in need of telling.

Robert Plant – Live At David Lynch’s FESTIVAL OF DISRUPTION (DVD)

Eagle Rock Entertainment release Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters Live At David Lynch’s Festival of Disruption. Filmed as part of one of Los Angeles’s most anticipated cultural events, David Lynch’s inaugural Festival of Disruption took place at the Ace Hotel Theatre, LA in October 2016, raising funds for The David Lynch Foundation.

Performing with The Sensational Space Shifters since 2012, Robert Plant continues to shift the musical goalposts, blurring the lines between rock, blues, folk & world music and finding new life in exotic beats and African rhythms. With a set including a new take on beloved Led Zeppelin classics, stripped down versions of ‘Black Dog’ and ‘Whole Lotta Love’ are met with a rapturous response from the packed theatre audience, with whom Plant enjoys a genuine rapport. Also included are ‘Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You’ and ‘Going to California’, alongside solo standouts ‘Turn It Up’, ‘The Enchanter/Rainbow’ and ‘Little Maggie’. This is a rare opportunity for fans to witness the legendary frontman as they’ve never seen or heard him before. This David Lynch curated event aims to feature artists with ‘knowledge and mystery’, undoubtedly Robert Plant has an abundance of both

9th February
Bring Me The Horizon – ‘2004-2013’ limited vinyl 2LP
Bring Me The Horizon – ‘2004-2013’ 2LP
Don Broco – ‘Technology’ limited picture disc 2LP & CD box set

Europe – ‘Out Of This World’ limited blue vinyl LP reissue
Brian Fallon – ‘Sleepwalkers’ 2LP
Franz Ferdinand – ‘Always Ascending’ limited coloured vinyl LP
Fu Manchu – ‘Clone Of The Universe’ LP
Ezra Furman – ‘Transangelic Exodus’ coloured vinyl LP
Gogo Penguin – ‘A Humdrum Star’ limited coloured vinyl 2LP
Holy Motors – ‘Slow Sundown’ LP
Joan As Police Woman – ‘Damned Devotion’ limited pink vinyl LP
Brigid Mae Power – ‘The Two Worlds’ LP
MGMT – ‘Little Dark Age’ LP
OST – ‘Three Days Of The Condor’ limited gold vinyl LP reissue
Ramones – ‘Ramones’ remastered LP reissue
Ramones – ‘Leave Home’ remastered LP reissue
Ramones – ‘Rocket To Russia’ remastered LP reissue

Nina Simone – ‘Mood Indigo: The Complete Bethlehem Singles’ LP & 7″
Son Lux – ‘Brighter Wounds’ limited coloured vinyl LP
Susanna – ‘Go Dig My Grave’ LP
The Wombats – ‘Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life’ LP
Betty Wright – ‘I Love The Way You Love’ LP reissue

Ron Wood & Ronnie Lane – Mahoney’s last Stand OST CD

Toto – 40 Trips Around The Sun CD, 2LP

Johnny Greenwood – Phantom Thread CD
Chicane – Chicane – Sun:Sets 2018 2CD
Robert Plant And The Sensational Space Shifters – 
Live At David Lynch’s Festival Of Disruption DVD

We loved Suck The Blood From My Wound, the last single Ezra Furman shared from his much anticipated new long player Transangelic Exoduswhich will be released on the 9th February on Bella Union Records.

Now we have his latest offering from the record, the jagged, agitated, and it must be said, spectacularly named “Maraschino-Red Dress $8.99 at Goodwill”.

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Ezra Furman

The Boyfriends are dead, long live The Visions. Describing upcoming album, “Transangelic Exodus”, Ezra Furman has suggested it is, “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. A personal companion for a paranoid road trip. A queer outlaw saga”. We can’t be alone in thinking that’s the most exciting description of a record we’ve heard in many years. This narrative vision is matched in a different approach to recording and writing music, one that is accompanied by a change in backing band, or at least a re-christening of an old one.

Ahead of Tranangelic Exodus’ release in February, Ezra Furman has recently shared the video to his latest single, “Love You So Bad”. Propelled by an energetic string quartet, Love You So Bad is adventurous, inspired pop music; unique and intense, at once very Ezra Furman and entirely different to anything he’s previously produced. Lyrically, it’s a record of contrast and contradiction, surmised in the opening lines, “you know I love you so bad, I don’t believe in love”. Throughout the track, Ezra seems to question his place in the world, and how much of that was down to opportunity and fate; Ezra presents snapshots of a youth at, “the back of the classroom” in a “garbage, small town rat trap”. Perhaps the ultimate damnation of the injustice at heart of the track is presented in the off-hand way Ezra quips, “I always knew I was bad”. In a world where so many aren’t ever given the chance to make a life for themselves, Ezra Furman is singing for the downtrodden, persecuted and oppressed, and simultaneously stepping ever more confidently through his own personal journey; an artist always on the move and more vital than ever.

Transangelic Exodus is out February 9th via Bella Union. Click HERE for more information on Ezra Furman.

Ezra Furman will return with new album ‘Transangelic Exodus’ on 9th February 2018.

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.”

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Furman, who’s queer and gender-fluid, speaks from experience. “What’s essential is the mood—paranoid, authoritarian, the way certain people are stigmatised. It’s a theme in American life right now, and other so-called democracies,” he continued. The inclusion of the word “trans” in the album’s title was similarly deliberate.

Furman also said he wanted to make the new record feel “more original,” a process that involved multiple demo versions and rearrangements. He’s renamed his backing band for the occasion: formerly known as the Harpoons and then as the Boy-Friends, they’re now called the Visions. Truthfully, none of this information is required to enjoy “Love You So Bad”—it’s just a good song by Ezra Furman.

Ezra Furman tickets

Morgan DELT -Phase Zero (limited coloured vinyl LP + MP3 download code)
Sub Pop US

Psychedelic serenades worthy of our attention can be tricky to track down in the here and now, yet it takes little time to work out that the work of Morgan Delt, a bedroom auteur with as much warped songcraft to offer as excursions into the wilderness. ‘Phase Zero’ maps out an interstellar constellation between the ’60s world of The Byrds, the ’70s bedlam of Jean-Pierre Massiera and the contemporary slant of recent Flaming Lips, yet at all times it boasts a widescreen sweep and wide-eyed wonderment to match its sonic playfulness and melodic sleight-of-hand, resulting in a gem for the third-eye and both ears alike.

Cass McCOMBS – Mangy Love
Released on Anti Records Now seven albums into a career as a celebrated yet understated singer-songwriter, Cass McCombs occupies a unique promontory – his music remains possessed of a uniquely laid-back charm, influenced by West Coast rock and funk and topped off by his easy-going falsetto, yet his lyrics bite hard, essaying the iniquities and inequalities of the modern era with pithy panache and even earning him comparisons to Samuel Beckett in the process. ‘Mangy Love’ is the clearest articulation of this dichotomy to date, so it’s no surprise that it’s also his darkest, most compelling and ambitious to date – the sound of a modern maverick comfortable with his own paradoxes, if not those of the wider world.

EZRA FURMAN -BIG FUGITIVE LIFE

6 Track 10″ with Download. Speaking about ‘Big Fugitive Life’, Ezra Furman says: “‘Big Fugitive Life’ is a group of our favourite orphaned songs that have banded together to form a unit. They are focused on the theme of the mind unmoored – those of us who have been left to drift unsupervised through the modern world. “The first three songs are our vision of rock and roll. A madness that overtakes your mind and body. It’s wanting to go somewhere you’ve never been, knowing you’re on your way. The second side is acoustic guitar as open wound, a troubled mind on display. Emotional in a different way, tender like a bruise. “We dedicate this record to refugees of all kinds, all over the world. May all the wanderers find the homes they seek, and may those with power welcome them as fellow citizens of humanity.”

THE VEILS-TOTAL DEPRAVITY

London-based The Veils, fronted by lead singer and songwriter Finn Andrews, release ‘Total Depravity’ on Nettwerk. The album reunites the band with producers Adam ‘Atom’ Greenspan and Nick Launay who were behind the critically acclaimed Nux Vomica. Greenspan and Launay have also worked together on projects including Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Arcade Fire, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and more. In addition, Andrews and El-P (from Run The Jewels) collaborated on a few tracks that appear on the album.
2LP – Double Vinyl, Gatefold, 2 Bonus Tracks and Download card.

ARC IRIS – MOON SALOON

Arc Iris return this summer with their second album ‘Moon Saloon’ on Bella Union. ‘Moon Saloon’ constitutes a natural progression from the first album’s whimsical explorations. Produced by the group and mixed by electronic producer David Wrench of FKA Twigs and Caribou fame, the album showcases beat-heavy melodies and textural, groove-riding rhythms. It developed from the band’s distillations of musical influences, combining traditional elements with percussive structures and dense, beguiling harmonies. In many ways this second album captures Arc Iris’ musical odyssey as a band. “It has a heavier sound, more intense,” says Arc Iris keyboardist Zach Tenorio-Miller, who makes liberal use of sampling in many of the songs. The group matches an unusual array of organic acoustic instruments with layered electronic sounds. Lead singer and lyricist Jocie Adams, Tenorio-Miller, and drummer Ray Belli form the core of Arc Iris, all virtuosic musicians in their own right. Adams spent eight years as a key member of indie darlings The Low Anthem, effortlessly zipping from hammer dulcimer to clarinet to bass to vocals, sometimes barely pausing to take a breath. As the band members see it, ‘Moon Saloon’ works like a song cycle that parallels the arc of Everyman’s passage through modern day dilemmas. According to Adams: “The album is meant to be cathartic. There’s an imbalance in everyone’s lives. When there’s often so much going on, we yearn for simplicity.” The album starts with ‘Kaleidoscope’, mimicking a kind of fanciful stroll down the street, and ends with the title track, a delicate soliloquy in a strange, desolate landscape. The album sometimes offers a sharp counterpoint to the mean-spirited nature of current American political discourse. One example is ‘Paint with the Sun,’ a paean to those who help others in need. Soaring over each song is Adams‘ ethereal voice, often joined in close harmonies with other members of the band. Adams wrote most of the songs during a songwriting retreat on an island in New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee several months before the recording session. For Adams, it was a week-long creative rush with no electricity, no running water, no cell phones–just a bed in a cabin and an acoustic guitar. She took her work back to Providence, where she and Tenorio-Miller worked on the songs, layering sounds, developing ideas, “transforming them into the world of Arc Iris,” Tenorio-Miller recalls.
LP – Blue Vinyl housed in Gatefold Sleeve with Download.

Image of Dan Penn - Nobody's Fool

Dan Penn produced The Letter by the Box Tops and co-wrote classic soul hits with Chips Moman or Spooner Oldham like The Dark End Of The Street, Do Right Woman Do Right Man, I Met Her In Church, and Sweet Inspiration.  Many consider him the greatest white Soul singer, ever!

Vinyl reissue of Country-Soul icon and ingenious songwriter Dan Penn’s debut album, originally released on Bell Records in 1973, a favorite of serious music lovers. Although not containing any of his popular 1960s trademark songs, ‘Nobody’s Fool’ presents a great deal of moving tunes like the hardcore honky tonk jewel Tearjoint, or the extra tough I Hate You. Mixed and produced by Dan Penn.

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.