Ezra Furman Shares Two New Songs: “I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend” and “Evening Prayer” | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Ezra Furman Shares Two New Songs: “I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend” and “Evening Prayer”

Twelve Nudes Due Out August 30 via Bella Union

Jul 15, 2019 Ezra Furman
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Ezra Furman is releasing a new album, Twelve Nudes, on August 30 via Bella Union. Now he has shared two more songs from it: “I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend” and “Evening Prayer.” “I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend” is accompanied by an Alix Spence-directed video. Check out both songs below, followed by Furman’s upcoming tour dates.

In a press release Furman says “I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend” is “a romantic song of transgender longing. It’s another entry in my series of ‘I Wanna’ songs (in the tradition of The Ramones). I thought it was time we had an ‘Earth Angel’ for the queers. Of course because it’s an Ezra Furman tune, there’s a little bit of desperation, religion, and body-talk.”

Of the video Spence says: “Listening to the song and speaking with Ezra, I saw our two dancers, Brandon Mathis and Jobel Medina, as physical manifestations of internal suffering. I wanted to literally have us wrestle with ourselves and the complexities of our personal struggles.”

Furman had this to say about “Evening Prayer” in the press release: “It’s our rallying cry. We music fans go to shows for transcendence; it’s like being called to prayer. But as Abraham Heschel said, ‘Prayer is meaningless unless it is subversive, unless it seeks to overthrow and to ruin the pyramids of callousness, hatred, opportunism and falsehood.’ I want all our fans to become activists. We punk fans have so much energy to give to the fight against injustice, i.e. the abuse of the poor by the rich, i.e. climate change. So this is one to get you in the mood.”

Previously Furman shared a video for Twelve Nudes’ first single (and opening track) “Calm Down aka I Should Not Be Alone” (it was one of our Songs of the Week). Beth Jeans Houghton (aka Du Blonde) directed the animated “Calm Down aka I Should Not Be Alone” video.

Twelve Nudes is the follow-up to 2018’s Transangelic Exodus. Last year he also did the soundtrack for the Netflix show Sex Education. Twelve Nudes was recorded “quickly” in Oakland last fall and mixed by John Congleton (Sharon Van Etten, St. Vincent). A press release calls it a “‘spiritually queer’ punk record” and says it has two spiritual heroes, the late musician Jay Reatard and Canadian writer/philosopher Anne Carson. The latter inspired the album’s title, as she “used the term ‘nudes’ to describe the meditations she used to deal with intense pain in her life.”

The album tackles Furman’s Jewish identity and the Israel/Palestine conflict, wealthy men accused of sexual assault, and an America that “is balanced on a knife-edge between white male supremacy and the dream of universal opportunity.”

“One of my goals in making music is to make the world seem bigger, and life seem larger,” Furman explains in the press release. “I want to be a force that tries to revive the human spirit rather than crush it, to open possibilities rather than close them down. Sometimes a passionate negativity is the best way to do that.”

Of “Calm Down aka I Should Not Be Alone” Furman says: “Desperate times make for desperate songs. I wrote this in the summer of 2018, a terrible time. It’s the sound of me struggling to admit that I’m not okay with the current state of human civilization, in which bad men crush us into submission. Once you admit how bad it feels to live in a broken society, you can start to resist it, and imagine a better one.”

Furman sums up Twelve Nudes this way: “This is our punk record. We made it in Oakland, quickly. We drank and smoked. Then we made the loud parts louder. I hurt my voice screaming. This was back in 2018, when things were bad in the world. The songs are naked with nothing to hide.”

Read our interview with Ezra Furman on Transangelic Exodus.

Read our review of Transangelic Exodus.

Ezra Furman Tour Dates:

Sun. July 21 - Benicassim, ES @ Benicassim Festival
Tue. July 23 - Cork, IE @ Cyprus Avenue
Wed. July 24 - Dublin, IE @ Button Factory
Thu. July 25 - Galway, IE @ Galway Festival
Sun. July 28 - Topcliffe, UK @ Deer Shed Festival
Thu. Sept. 5 - St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club
Sat. Sept. 7 - Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
Sun. Sept. 8 - Detroit, MI @ El Club
Mon. Sept. 9 - Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace
Tue. Sept. 10 - Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz P.D.B.
Wed. Sept. 11 - Cambridge, MA @ Sonia
Thu. Sept. 12 - Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw
Sun. Sept. 15 - Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
Mon. Sept. 16 - Washington, DC @ Union Stage

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