Back in March, Paste premiered the video for “Suck the Blood From My Wound,” an epic animated accompaniment to Ezra Furman’s exhilarating Transangelic Exodus. So we were honored when Furman stopped by the Paste Studio last week to play songs from the album he refers to as a “queer outlaw saga.”
Furman performed three stripped-down songs: “Come Here Get Away From Me,” “Love You So Bad,” and “God Lifts Up The Lowly” (the latter was particularly glorious). Despite the fact that he lives in Berkeley, Calif., Furman set his Transangelic Exodus story in Los Angeles, a “city of enormous glamour” but also “failed dreams” and “fallen angels.”
“I was rather obsessed with angels,” Furman told Paste. “I created this angel character on the album, and this idea of people turning into angels and being stigmatized for it, and threatened by some authoritarian government. It’s all rather conceptual, but the story is not on the record, and you don’t need to know the story. You get little scenes, and that’s all you need.”
Transangelic Exodus tackles issues of queer identity, spirituality, and religion, but it’s not he only project Furman has channeled himself into; he recently released a 33 1/3 book about Lou Reed’s Transformer. Though he was “obsessed” with The Velvet Underground in high school, Furman didn’t discover any of Reed’s solo work until college.
“I don’t really worship the album Transformer. It’s not the best thing that Lou Reed has done,” Furman said. “I just find it kind of fascinating. I just find that point in Lou Reed’s life and career kind of fascinating. He was the genius who never made it.”
Watch Ezra Furman’s entire Paste Studio session right here.