Ezra Furman and the HarpoonsView in iTunes
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Ezra Furman & the Harpoons are a Chicago-based combo built around the songs of leader Furman, whose tunes combine an idiosyncratic wit and edgy, confessional lyrics with clever pop melodies. Furman was born and raised in Chicago, and began dabbling in songwriting as a teenager after he was given a guitar as a bar mitzvah present. He didn't take his talents public until early 2006, when he began attending Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts and struck up a friendship with three other guys interested in music -- guitarist Jahn Sood, bassist Job Mukkada, and drummer Adam Abrutyn. The four formed Ezra Furman & the Harpoons and began playing student hangouts with occasional jaunts into Boston; a few months later, they recorded an album, Beat Beat Beat, which they released themselves. After lots of local shows and occasional touring (including busking on the streets of New York during the 2007 CMJ Music Marathon), Furman & the Harpoons came to the attention of noted indie label Minty Fresh Records, who sent the band into the studio with producer Brian Deck and released their first nationally distributed album, Banging Down the Doors. In 2008, Sood left the Harpoons and new guitarist Andrew Langer came on board as they relocated to Chicago. Langer appeared on their second album for Minty Fresh, Inside the Human Body; also produced by Deck, the album was a hit with critics, with the Chicago Tribune and Paste Magazine both naming it once of the best Chicago-based albums of 2008. Furman continued to tour constantly, with the Harpoons and as a solo act, as positive press and word of mouth helped to build an impressive following. In 2011, Furman & the Harpoons returned with their fourth album, Mysterious Power, which was recorded in Los Angeles with producer Doug Boehm and released by Red Parlor Records. ~ Mark Deming