Ezra Furman dwells on the Big Fugitive Life

Big Fugitive LifeEzra Furman is fond of waifs and strays. After the success of his 2015 crossover album Perpetual Motion People, he return with a 6 track EP, comprising songs that didn’t quite belong on any of his previous releases. According to Furman, the EP, Big Fugitive Life, is a patchwork of songs that focus “on the theme of the mind unmoored – those of us that have been left to drift unsupervised through the modern world.”

While Big Fugitive Life has been cobbled together from musical odds and ends, the release is spliced by genre into two clear halves. The first is home to the lo-fi 50s rockabilly of songs like "Little Piece of Trash" and lead single "Teddy I’m Ready". Here Ezra Furman explores his vision of rock and roll with self-eviscerating lyrics and Big Band breakdowns; the horn bursts bringing to mind slicked-back hair and Grease style school dances. Though the tracks were not made to fit together, they nestle in easily enough with one another, with only the ramshackle "Halley’s Comet" coming across a little too rough around the edges.

Big Fugitive Life’s second half is more down tempo: a trio of gentle acoustic musings that Furman describes as “an open wound.” Side-B closes with "The Refugee" – the first track he has written that focuses entirely on his Jewish heritage and ongoing faith. This seems to be the point that the EP has been building towards, with sweeping violins weaving in and out of the vocals. "The Refugee" is raw and tender, and bruising in a way that Furman has only scraped the surface of on more polished releases. It is also dedicated to his grandfather, who fled the Nazis during World War Two, in addition to the refugees seeking homes today. The track is a fitting summary of this bundle of sonic orphans, with Furman declaring Big Fugitive Life is dedicated “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 citizens of humanity.”

Big Fugitive Life signifies the end of a chapter, as Ezra Furman wanders unrestricted into his next life trailing urchins and musical refugees in his wake.

Release: 19th August 2016, Bella Union


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