BY SIMON YAFFE
EZRA FURMAN is a sympathetic kind of guy. So much so that he decided to pen his new album, Day of the Dog, in a bid to "offer some consolation in song to the broken-hearted outcasts of the world".
The American singer-songwriter said of his second solo record, which will be released on October 8 by Bar/None Records: "I might even call it a protest record.
"Offering some consolidation has been what my favourite records have been for me. But it is also a good album.
"It is rock 'n' roll, which is the kind of music I like, with saxophone and good lyrics."
It follows hot on the heels of his solo debut The Year of No Returning.
Chicago-born-and-raised Ezra has been going it alone for two years.
He was previously lead singer of rock band Ezra Furman & The Harpoons, which he formed in 2006 with Job Mukkada, Adam Abrutyn and Andrew Langer, while reading English at Tufts University, Massachusetts.
Ezra wrote four albums with the band, Banging Down the Doors, Inside the Human Body, Moon Face and Mysterious Power.
His debut solo album was recorded in 2012 in his attic without a record label.
Ezra raised money through Kickstarter to record and self-release The Year of No Returning - although it was rereleased when he signed with Bar/None.
He formed Ezra Furman & The Boy-Friends with Jorgen Jorgensen, Ben Joseph and Sam Durkes to support the album.
Saxophonist Tim joined last year.
Ezra explained: "I write a lot and I like recording - I would like to put out even more records.
"But really the first of those two records I'd already self-released in 2012, and then Bar/None re-released it and gave it proper publicity.
"I am really glad they did, because it is a good record and one which is important to me.
"We are a little less of a rock band and more of a rock 'n' roll band. There are more keys and sax."
His current band enjoyed a month-long tour around the UK earlier this year and are currently in the midst of travelling all over Europe.
Last week, the band played at Bestival, on the Isle of Wight, and are due to perform at Manchester's Band on the Wall on Monday, September 22.
Ezra, who was raised listening to Billy Joel, Paul Simon and The Beatles, added: "It is extreme living and you get very tired.
"You hardly have a moment to yourself because you see so much and meet so many people. However, the shows are wildly satisfying.
"As boring as much of the day is - sitting in cars, backstage with nothing to do, but no time to go anywhere or get anything done - it is really great to make something that is meaningful to various people all over the place, plus it is a hell of a lot of fun sometimes."
Ezra attended a Conservative Jewish day school, but his family were not entirely observant.
He recalled: "We had Shabbat dinner every week and we were really intense about Pesach and just generally Jewishly aware.
"I am really glad we were."
Ezra said Judaism is the backdrop for everything he does.
"I am a Jew through and through and I pray every day," he explained.
"It is just the framework in which I see myself and how I see the world, but I have a long way to go and a lot to learn.
"Judaism can encompass a whole life - there is just so much in it."