If there’s a positive takeaway from COVID-19, one might be the amount of unreleased material artists have now been sharing with fans. Ezra Furman just dropped 26 tracks as an album called To Them We'll Always Be Freaks. “Welcome to a collection of malformed reject recordings, the unpolished refuse of the process of making our 2018 LP, Transangelic Exodus," says Ezra. "I’m proud of the final version of the record, but I always yearned to let people glimpse some of the strange process of making it.” Ezra explains further:

We all knew that we wanted to approach making this record differently than we had our other albums. In the past we’d usually listen to my solo acoustic recording of a song, talk about what we might do with it, get the band all together in a room and go with our best instincts of how to bring it to life. This time, we wanted to abandon our first instincts. Tim’s idea was that I should get together one on one with each band member and see what we came up with together when the others weren’t watching. Try out different combinations of band members and think of ourselves as a different band, playing for a different audience, or no audience. We wanted to get weird. Then we’d pool our findings and try to make a record of maximal impact, maximal originality and excitement.

So what we have here are some of the more listenable or potentially interesting artifacts of that process, which began in 2016 and really got going in early 2017. The last recordings featured here are from around March 2017—after that point we were working on the actual tracks for the record, where (as you can hear on the album) we made all kind of other steps forward, toward what I consider the best thing I’ve ever made.

You can stream To Them We'll Always Be Freaks below and learn more about it -- and get it as a name-your-price download -- on Ezra's Bandcamp.

In other news, Ezra wrote the forward for the 15th anniversary reissue of Art Brut's debut album, Bang Bang Rock N Roll, which is out this Friday. Learn more here.