It’s by no means a rarity for an artist to take a few years and a few records to slowly build towards making their best work, but it’s perhaps less common for an album to feel like such a stark step forwards that you end up wondering whether they’d been holding out on us all this time. That’s the case with this first Ezra Furman record on Bella Union; ‘Perpetual Motion People’ – the Chicagoian musician’s third solo record and sixth (!) in total – is nothing short of revelatory.

Scored through with eccentricity and with an unrelentingly diffuse range of influences, it’s easily his best full-length to date. At its heart, this is a pop record, just one that’s being delivered in gloriously manic fashion, taking in ballads, garage rock and doo-wop. ‘Haunted Head’ feels like the LP in microcosm, with Furman’s witty, conversational lyrics laid over some offbeat instrumental choices, whilst ‘Lousy Connection’, which pairs his impassioned delivery over a sixties girl group backdrop, is well representative of the album’s clash of styles.

Nothing here feels rushed or thrown together – even the simpler cuts, like the gorgeously understated ‘Watch You Go By’, the classic Dylan folk numner ‘Hour of Deepest Need’, and rough punk stomper ‘Tip of a Match’, feel carefully considered, and even if ‘Perpetual Motion People’ runs a tad long, it’s very much a record to get lost in, with new complexities thrown up on every listen.


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