With just over a month left before the release of his forthcoming album Twelve Nudes, Ezra Furman has released two new tracks from the album, “I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend” and “Evening Prayer.”
Out Aug. 30 via Bella Union, Twelve Notes is a “spiritually queer” punk album from Furman that follows his 2018 album Transangelic Exodus. According to a press release, the album sees Furman channeling “pent-up energy, distinguished by sharp, lacerating observations, confessions and proclamations.”
On “I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend,” Furman delivers a forlorn song of want. With an old-timey feel to the instrumentals of the track, the song showcases Furman’s raw, emotional vocals.
The track “is a romantic song of transgender longing,” Furman explains in a statement. “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.”
Accompanying the track, Furman released a beautifully poetic video, which is directed by Alix Spence. Spence’s goal with the video was to have its two dancers, Brandon Mathis and Jobel Medina, represent physical manifestations of internal suffering.
“I wanted to literally have us wrestle with ourselves and the complexities of our personal struggles,” Spence said in a statement.
Taking on a bit more of a punk edge, “Evening Prayer” (aka “Justice”) sees Furman exude the anger and frustration that fuel many punk fans. Sonically anthemic, the track sees Furman beckon for punk fans to use the fire within them to do good things and fight injustice.
“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,” Furman said. “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.”
Other than the two tracks, Furman previously released Twelve Nudes’ lead single, “Calm Down.” The lead single falls into the edgier punk side of things, with Furman building to an absolute frenzy of yelling at the listener to calm down.
Watch the video for “I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend” below and listen to “Evening Prayer” further down. You can also revisit Furman’s 2018 Paste Studio session beneath the two new tracks.