Ezra Furman: Sex Education review – Warm indie with killer lines

Fri, Apr 10, 2020, 05:00

   
 

Album:
Sex Education OST

Artist:
Ezra Furman

Label:
Bella Union

Genre:
Soundtrack

If you’ve seen the Netflix series Sex Education, you’ll be aware of its wry expression of the awkwardness surrounding most teenagers’ experience of secondary school and adolescence. Ezra Furman has documented those heady days in song form, and this 19-song collection compiles the Chicago-born musician’s soundtrack from both series into one neat package.

Alongside the originals are a smattering of Furman’s older songs repurposed for the project: 2017’s Love You So Bad is a highlight, like a clenched-teeth version of a Springsteen song, while the quirky 1980s new wave of Restless Year (from 2015’s excellent Perpetual Motion People) is a delight. Fans will also recognise an acoustic cover of LCD Soundsystem’s I Can Change from 2012. Otherwise, Furman’s remit is to stuff as much melody and warmth into scratchy three-minute indie songs as possible. Early Rain is amongst the best of these, while the 1950s rock’n’roll croon of Devil or Angel throws another curveball, and the strummed acoustic patter of Every Feeling is bursting with a heartfelt teenage exuberance.

Then there are some killer lines, such as this from The Queen of Hearts: “I watch you with your purse from the adjacent coffee table / At the Starbucks they built inside my heart.” If nothing else, it’s a great introduction to a seriously under-rated musician’s back catalogue.