Chicago native Ezra Furman’s solo debut The Year Of No Returning is being released for the first time on CD by venerable independent label Bar/None Records. The album was recorded in Chicago in the attic/studio at the top of his former residence, produced and co-masterminded by Tim Sandusky. The Year Of No Returning hits stores July 16. I’m hoping you’ll consider covering him via feature or album review. Let me know if you need the music. Here’s a link to the video for “Are You Gonna Break My Heart” I hope you’ll enjoy it and repost if that’s appropriate:
The Year Of No Returning explores dark chamber pop, tough-guy garage rock and sad, gorgeous balladry. Furman was joined in the studio by a bunch of fiery local musicians who have since coalesced into his touring band “The Boy-Friends.” Furman sings in an uniquely stylized yet powerful voice that alternates between odd, tremulous beauty and startling, guttural viscerality. Ezra songwriting is top-drawer throughout, rooted in tradition, but always with a twisted unsettling tone. “Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde” is a haunting account of deep alienation and isolation featuring an inventive, pulsing arrangement of saxophone, clarinet and sleigh bells. “That’s When it Hit Me” goes into full-on rock’n’roll mode, Furman and his drummer howling drunkenly through an account of graphic violence inflicted on the singer. “The Queen of Hearts” closes the proceedings with a wounded but hopeful declaration of spiritual independence. Throughout the album, senses bold ambition and grand artistry in the tradition of songwriting giants of the past, but set apart by an undercurrent of deranged, ragged glory.
He formed his first band Ezra Furman & The Harpoons in 2006, while attending Tufts University in 2006. His lead singing and songwritering connected with listeners like a left hook to the jaw, a mix of stinging garage-rock and stripped-down acoustic numbers. He would write and record a total of four albums with this combo: Banging Down the Doors (2007), Inside the Human Body (2008), Moon Face (2009) and Mysterious Power (2011). Furman and the band toured extensively during this period, winning a cult of hardcore fans across the U.S. as well as in Europe.
Ultimately, Ezra parted ways with that band, returned home to Chicago holed up in an attic recording studio and wrote and recorded the cycle of ten songs – each assigned to a particular month of the year (excepting January and February he’d title The Year Of No Returning.. His aim was the self-professed “lofty goal of real protest.”
Since completing The Year of No Returning, Ezra’s been hard at working writing and recording with his new backing band The Boy-Friends resulting in his sophomore solo effort which Bar/None will release Fall of 2013.