Ezra Furman has shared the video for his single “Suck The Blood From My Wound” exclusively on PASTE Magazine. The incredible video was directed by Beth Jeans Houghton, also known as Du Blonde.
Houghton discussed the making of it: “The video is a cel animation comprising of hundreds of illustrations, each frame hand drawn. I chose to do individual watercolour paintings for the backgrounds to add more depth and life. I’ve gone through over 120 pencils and my hands have swollen to the size of pizzas.”
His new album 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.
After ‘Perpetual Motion People’ was released in July 2015, Furman moved back from California (Oakland) to his home town of Chicago. But after a year, he returned to the west coast (Berkeley this time). “I just seem to keep moving,” he sighs. Still, Transangelic Exodus was mostly recorded – as all Furman’s records have been since 2011 – at his bandmate (saxophonist/producer) Tim Sandusky’s Ballistico Studios in Chicago, and with the other Visions – Jorgen Jorgensen (bass, and on this album, cello), Ben Joseph (keyboards, guitar) and Sam Durkes (drums/percussion).
“My previous records were original in their own way, but got classified as an off-kilter version of a retro band, and I wanted something that sounded more original,” he explains. “So we took time off touring, and made sure we took time with every song. I demoed with different band members, and then combined different demos – some parts even made the final album. So, the sound is more chopped up, edited, affected, rearranged.”
Checking Furman’s successive album covers will show his personal journey, coming out as queer and gender-fluid, which the jagged, agitated ‘Maraschino-Red Dress $8.99 at Goodwill’ meets head on, namely “the painful experience of being a closeted gender-non-conforming person. Having ‘trans’ in the album title has a lot to do with being queer, like [album finale] ‘I Lost My Innocence’ [“…to a boy named Vincent”). That early experience marks the narrator for life. From a young age, because of issues surrounding gender and sexuality, I felt fated to have an outsider perspective. It radicalises you.”
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.
Praise For Transangelic Exodus
“He’s not content to simply reenact the work of titanic American songwriters like Woody Guthrie and Bruce Springsteen, though he uses plenty of the same tools—saxophone, harmonica, fiddle, nylon-stringed guitar, sing-along melodies, a healthy distrust of authority. It’s more like he’s digging up what those big names left behind in the dust.” – Pitchfork
“There’s something really amazing about his songwriting, about his passion, about his rawness” – Marc Maron
“This iteration of Ezra Furman is his most compelling yet.” – Billboard
““Transangelic Exodus,” is a radical revision of the American rock canon.” – The New York Times
“It’s also the most liberating album in a career that stretches back a decade” – The Chicago Tribune
Watch the video: