Ezra Furman – “Perpetual Motion People” – Across The Ocean

Ezra Furman – “Perpetual Motion People”

Perpetual Motion People, the third solo release for U.S singer/songwriter Ezra Furman is certainly one of the more candid records one could hope to encounter.


With in-depth linear notes accompanying the achingly honest lyrics, Furman is as open as is possible in regards to his inner demons and past brushes with self destruction. Despite the mainly lugubrious lyrical content, the music is frequently frivolous with an often happily plodding bass and an intriguing mix of wind instruments. Music, as stated in the aforementioned linear notes, has proved cathartic, pulling Furman back from the precipice and providing the desire to plough forth.

The album gets underway with somewhat of a flurry with ‘Restless Year’, ‘Lousy Connection’ and ‘Hark! To The Music’ offering up a veritable smorgasboard of sounds over which Furman immediately gets stuck into baring his soul.

‘Haunted Head’ (“I’m having too much fun, arms around the toilet like a long lost chum”) is a standout as is the stripped back clumsy waltz of ‘Hour Of Deepest Need‘ (“I can teach you how to feel really really bad”). In this track even more so than others the lead vocal brings to mind Gordon Gano (Violent Femmes) which certainly works with the tortured nature of the content.

Throughout the course of the record the lamentive themes are morphed intelligently with a cheeky sense of self deprecation. In ‘Ordinary Life‘ the line “One September in Boston I lost the will to live” also features the amusing opener “I’m sick of this record already”. Not the sort of thing you hear every day.

The quality of the songwriting clings on to the bitter end. ‘Watch You Go By‘ is a sparse ode to alcohol drenched loneliness before the winner of best song title ‘Can I Sleep In Your Brain?’ shows more than a hint of influence from the late great Sparklehorse.

Perpetual Motion People, like a lot of truly unique works, takes a couple of listens to fully digest. With brilliant songwriting backed up by some quality musicians, the result is an album that can be enjoyed over and over again.

Gavin Stocker

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Outside of Across The Ocean Gavin Stocker writes, records and performs music under the moniker of P Truck.

He can also be found clinging to his youth on a skateboard or wandering aimlessly through the bush.
Gavin Stocker