Ezra Bell, Night Crew, Tycoon Machete at Urban Lounge
Ezra Bell was founded in Portland in 2013 around the playfully literate and cheerfully plaintive songwriting of Benjamin Wuamett. Wuamett is backed by a gaggle of six to seven quite fit players who conjure up a festive dusky indie-folk-rock-R&B vibe that doesn’t smother out the melancholy.
No Depression proclaims, “Ezra Bell is a West Coast poet of disappearing into appetites. The virtues and vices described on this self-titled release are backed by a tantalizing singalong, early 20th century jazz ensemble vibe, sounding like the musical journaling of a swing musician crawling out of rehab. Wuamett’s lyrics describe a soul dissolved, but the feeling isn’t completely unpleasant.”
Paste Magazine says that “… the music is more like an action then something you should just sit idly by and describe. This album is running up hills of grass at age 9. It’s the feeling of jumping in the pool without testing it with your toes. It’s those late-night drunken stool-swaying sessions with a group of irreplaceable people in your life.”
Ezra Bell has released three EP’s: ‘Don’t All Look Up at Once,’ 2013; ‘We Came by Canoe,’ 2014; and ‘Farewell Griffin,’ 2016. A self-titled album came later in 2018. Then ‘This Way to Oblivion’ dropped like a prediction of a global pandemic in April of 2020. As such, the band’s national tour was halted, and members spread out around the country to be with their families; but only after recording the full-length album, Jorji, to be released on vinyl and streaming services in January 2022. Rather than wait for the pandemic end, Ezra Bell settled within the crown of mountains called Salt Lake City and is at the music making again with limited touring.