Ezra Furman: Twelve Nudes review – baring his soul with raw punk power

Fri, Aug 30, 2019, 05:00


Twelve Nudes

Ezra Furman

Bella Union


Furman’s self-described “punk record” comes less than two years after his acclaimed Transangelic Exodus. That record’s narrative involved a fugitive who falls in love with an angel. And while Twelve Nudes might not deal in such cohesion, at only 11 songs, it’s another contrarian chapter that gnashes and wails to desirous effect.

Furman has said “desperate times make for desperate songs” and on Evening Prayer aka Justice, he shrieks: “I wasted my 20s in submission, I thought I was outside the system” – the song a distillation of his present worldview; brow-beaten, he admits the submission, but not defeat.

Ezra Furman - I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend

Calm Down aka I Should Not Be Alone and What Can You Do But Rock n Roll are stomping songs that reach into garage and classic rock, doused with punk. He pulls so much from the past, but manages to make it sound fresh. Trauma playfully references Guns N’ Roses and early Aerosmith, but with a self-awareness that lands.

In America and Transition from Nowhere are immersive almost-ballads about being close to the edge, but staying hopeful – which is the sensibility of the record, a fitting plea for these “desperate times”.