Ezra Furman – Perpetual Motion People – Album Review
Ezra Furman may be a new name to some. The 28 year old from Chicago already has an impressive array of albums under his belt dating back to 2007. This album has the feel of a tipping point, an album of this quality is unlikely to go unnoticed for long and indeed the early reviews are aglow! The genre is clearly indie pop, there’s few heavy or distorted guitar lines, and indeed much of it moves away from a focus on guitars altogether. There are elements of many who went before, with names such as Talking Heads and They might be Giants coming to mind, and in more recent times Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, with many similarities between his vocal style and one Alec Ounsworth. The contents of the lyrics are what moves this up a notch or two and make it stand out, they’re sharp and contain much wit.
‘(Death!) Is my former employer
(Death!) Is my own Tom Sawyer
(Death!) Waits for me to destroy her
I never wanna die and I’ll never grow older yeah’ – Restless Year
It opens with the single ‘Restless Year’ which is carried along on its bass line, with tinkling keyboards and trash can drum kit. Lousy Connection is another song that moves away from the guitar, with a saxophone and much shoop a doop vocals. The vocals are high in the mix and allow the listener to appreciate the humour in the lyrics.
‘So I’ve been working on this letter to congress
Regarding some things that I think they should address
Showed up in court wearing an Indian headdress
Somehow I think maybe the message was lost’ – Lousy Connection
He’s a man with something to say, a collection of lyrics that are bleak, bizarre and funny, and the sound captures the summer nicely. The bass and drums are prominent and there is good variation in sound between tracks, with a wide variety of instruments used. I can see his vocal style splitting the audience and his crackling voice is by no means stereotypical lead vocals. If you can get past this initial barrier, it’s an album that is easy to listen to on repeat. This one should run and run.
Tuesday 20th October – Dublin – Workman’s Club
Perpetual Motion People tracklisting:
1. Restless Year
2. Lousy Connection
3. Hark! to the Music
4. Haunted Head
5. Hour Of Deepest Need
7. Ordinary Life
8. Tip of a Match
9. Body Was Made
10. Watch You Go By
11. Pot Holes
12. Can I Sleep In Your Brain?
13. One Day I Will Sin No More