As he told JTA in April, acclaimed indie rocker (and gender nonconforming Shabbat-observant Jew) Ezra Furman isn’t shy about expressing his Jewishness in his music. But he just released his most explicitly Jewish song yet.
Furman told Consequence of Sound that The Refugee, which he uploaded to the SoundCloud music streaming site on Wednesday, is his “first song entirely concerned with my Jewish background and present, a song dedicated to my grandfather who fled the Nazis as well as to all of the refugees desperate for a home today.”
The song follows a character (presumably based on his Jewish grandfather) who is displaced from “frosty green Poland” (presumably during World War II) and is forced through a difficult migration, which involves “sleeping in churches” and eating grass “like a goat.”
“This is the sound of the Jew who refuses to die,” Furman sings at one point in the folky waltz, which features Eastern European-sounding string and clarinet melodies.
The song will be part of his upcoming six-song EP Big Fugitive Life, which is set to be released on Aug. 19 on the Bella Union record label.
Listen in to The Refugee below.