Ezra Furman today announces her new record, All Of Us Flames, out 26th August via Bella Union, and unveils the cathartic lead single, “Forever In Sunset.” Inside the world of All of Us Flames, the end of the patriarchal capitalist empire seems both imminent and inevitable, a turn down a path we can’t see yet but can’t avoid, either. Produced by John Congleton, All of Us Flames unleashes Furman’s songwriting in an open, vivid sound whose boldness heightens the music’s urgency. Following previous singles “Book Of Our Names” and “Point Me Toward The Real”, “Forever In Sunset” peers past the scorch of the apocalypse into a vision of collective survival, tracing the ways outcast people can make each other real through mutual belief. The synth-streaked rallying call is presented alongside a gorgeous and tender video directed by Noel Paul.
“The biggest influence on the lyrics of this song is a conversation I had with a friend of mine. When Covid was first hitting, she was talking to me a lot about how ready she felt. She was like, ‘people who have been comfortable in life are freaking out right now. But queer people like me have been in crisis before. I grew up poor and my family kicked me out when I was a teenager. My world has already ended plenty of times before, and we queers know what to do: we take care of each other, we help each other out, we have a network of support for the crises we know will hit us from time to time.’
And then she lost her job and ended up moving in with me and my family for like three months. And she was right, we were okay and we were taking care of each other.
That influenced a lot of what the whole record is about. But ‘Forever in Sunset’ is specifically a woman who’s been through some shit speaking to a new lover who is becoming attached to them, trying to warn the lover about how she is trouble, about how she has been through crises and they will come again. And that’s just how she lives, never settled, never safe, but also never defeated/finished – “forever in sunset.”
Sometimes it feels like crisis is hitting more and more of the general population. They think the world is ending. But people who have been through a personal apocalypse or two have something to teach them. The world doesn’t end, shit just happens and if we don’t die we have to take care of each other.” – Ezra Furman on “Forever In Sunset”
A singer, songwriter, and author whose incendiary music has soundtracked the Netflix show Sex Education, Furman has for years woven together stories of queer discontent and unlikely, fragile intimacies. All of Us Flames is the third instalment in a trilogy of albums, beginning with 2018’s Springsteen-inflected road saga Transangelic Exodus and continuing with the punk rock fury of 2019’s Twelve Nudes. Furman has a knack for zeroing in on the light that sparks when struggling people find each other and ease each other’s course. “I started to think of trans women as a secret society across the world: scattered everywhere, but so obviously bound together, both in being vulnerable and having a shared vision to change a fundamental building block of patriarchal society,” she says. “I‘ve been building my world of queer pals, and it feels like we’re forming a gang.”
Furman wrote much of Flames during the early months of the pandemic. “I had no time alone anymore; my house was super crowded,” she says. She drove to seek solitude, parked in arbitrary quiet spots around Massachusetts, and began to write. The songs that came flowed toward ideas of communality and networks of care, systems of survival cultivated by necessity among people who have been historically deprived of them. “This is a first person plural album,” Furman says. “It’s a queer album for the stage of life when you start to understand that you are not a lone wolf, but depend on finding your family, your people, how you work as part of a larger whole. I wanted to make songs for use by threatened communities, and particularly the ones I belong to: trans people and Jews.” With Furman’s widened focus, All of Us Flames paints transformative connections among people who unsettle the stories power tells to sustain itself.
On All of Us Flames, the heat of a different world throbs just behind the skin of this one; all around us, openings to it flicker. They vanish almost as soon as they’ve appeared. But they keep appearing, as if daring us to hold them open, to widen them until they turn into a way.
Ezra Furman has announced more dates for her 2022 international tour adding four UK shows in November including performances at The Roundhouse in London and The Ritz in Manchester. Tickets HERE.