Ezra Furman shares live performance video for “Driving Down To L.A” + sold­out intimate live shows announced – New album due 9th Feb on Bella Union

January 22, 2018

Jason Simmons



Shares live performance video for “Driving Down To L.A.

Sold-out intimate live shows announced next month

Transangelic Exodus due 9th February on Bella Union


With his new album Transangelic Exodus due for release three weeks today (9th February) via Bella Union, Ezra Furman has today shared a live performance video of the track “Driving Down To L.A”. Filmed at SPACE in Evanston, Illinois, over the course of a day, Furman and his band The Visions performed three songs from the new album live for the first time, an exclusive for an attentive audience. The band had been building and creating a special stage design to set the world of Transangelic Exodus.

This week Furman also announced news of a number of intimate live shows in February around the album’s release, all of which have now sold out. Upcoming UK live info below:

Saturday 3rd February – LEEDS – Brudenell Social Club **(SOLD–OUT!)**
Sunday 4th February – LIVERPOOL – Arts Club **(SOLD–OUT!)**
Tuesday 6th February – LONDON – The Lexington **(SOLD–OUT!)**
Wednesday 7th February – LONDON – The Lexington **(SOLD–OUT!)**
Thursday 8th February – LONDON – Rough Trade East (instore)
Saturday 10th February – FOLKESTONE – Quarterhouse **(SOLD–OUT!)**

Wednesday 23rd May – LONDON – O2 Brixton Academy 
Thursday 24th May – BRISTOL – Colston Hall 
Sunday 27th May – MANCHESTER – Albert Hall 
Monday 28th May –  GLASGOW – O2 ABC Glasgow 
Tuesday 29th May – DUBLIN – Tivoli Theatre  

Early acclaim for Transangelic Exodus:

“Both sonically and lyrically, it’s an album that is explicitly, thrillingly transgressive, and is already an early contender for one of the albums of the year.” Uncut – 8/10

“Furman’s music has been rethought, cut up, redrafted into something irresistibly modern. The songs are tremendous – melodic, unsettling and laugh–out–loud brilliant.” Q – 4 Stars ****

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.”

Part of Furman’s motivation is the, “fear of fascist takeover,” expressed in the video to ‘Driving Down To L.A.’ (filmed in Virginia, and uncannily storyboarded before the state’s infamous Charlottesville “Unite The Right” rally), as Ezra and his angel are pursued by modern-day Nazis. “At school, we learned all about the Holocaust, and were invited to imagine what would happen if the Nazis invaded again. As white supremacy has become more explicitly institutionalised in the US, my childhood nightmares have started to show up in songs.”

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. 

Listen to previous singles “Love You So Bad“, “Driving Down To L.A.” and “Suck The Blood From My Wound.”

Transangelic Exodus will be released 9th February on Bella Union. Album artwork and tracklisting below:

Transangelic Exodus tracklist:
1. Suck The Blood From My Wound
2. Driving Down To L.A.
3. God Lifts Up The Lowly
4. No Place
5. The Great Unknown
6. Compulsive Liar
7. Maraschino–Red Dress $8.99 At Goodwill
8. From A Beach House
9. Love You So Bad
10. Come Here Get Away From Me
11. Peel My Orange Every Morning
12. Psalm 151
13. I Lost My Innocence


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