Today, Ezra Bell releases their highly anticipated new album This Way To Oblivion on Dutch Records. Since album announcement, the Portland band has earned acclaim from KEXP, American Songwriter, Glide Magazine, Exclaim, and more, assigning critical affirmation to a preexisting cult following, hard-earned by relentless touring and unforgettable live performances. The rising folk pop phenomenon's updated headlining tour dates are detailed below.
Ezra Bell’s infectious form of folk pop ranges from anthemic to jangling, echoing romp-and-stomp heroes along the likes of Dr. Dog, The Decemberists, Mumford and Sons, and Of Monsters and Men. This six-piece has toured incessantly, organically earning a cult following with their raucous live performances. Their high-spirited songwriting rattles with beautiful recklessness, messily collecting life’s most relatable experiences and alighting them with playful perspective and celebratory melody. Frontman Benjamin Wuamett sings with a compelling rasp like that of Hamilton Leithauser, The Lumineers, or CAAMP, letting every lyric ring with the grating aches and striking joys of humanity.
Ezra Bell was founded late in the summer of 2013. It was warm enough to sit on the porch into the evening and learn a couple of songs. A lap drum, a banjo, and an out-of-tune guitar. Woodie Guthrie: “A folk singer's job is to comfort the disturbed, and to disturb the comfortable.” That’s what Ezra Bell does. Present day, they’ve put out records and toured the country. In Salt Lake once, a young man told Ben Wuamett (singer/songwriter) he was ‘his hero.’ The hero spent the night on the floor with his overcoat for a blanket, the host and the piano man making love a few steps from his pillow. The floor wasn’t as bad as a cardboard box in a vacant lot. Wuamett smiled. Still at it. Streaming services have worked in Ezra Bell’s favor, suprisingly enough. Tales spinning out of order around disconcerting musical interludes seem to resonate with listeners. Some way some how, a licensing company found and commissioned Ezra Bell to play and record Sam Cooke’s worst song for an insurance commercial. Said company flew Wuamett to Mexico City to record the vocals so as not to be sued by the Sam Cooke Foundation. The commercial aired on Superbowl Sunday. Ezra Bell espouses neither football nor insurance but sold out accordingly for the pittance that was paid, and the exposure. Such is the music industry. Many heartfelt messages from unknown listeners keep Ezra Bell busy writing and recording. At some point, a booking agency caught on to the growing cult following and propped Ezra Bell up in front of audiences outside of Portland, forcing the band to drive thousands of miles, sometimes in a single day, to play for small crowds. Ezra Bell recorded a new album over a year ago, and a record label recently decided to sign it, release it, even make vinyl copies. You’re reading this now because you’re about to encounter that album, suitably titled, This Way to Oblivion.
Ezra Bell is: Aaron Mattison (horns) Maurice Spencer (bass) Honora Hildreth (vocals) Jeremy Asay (keys, guitar) Tom Trotter (drums) and Benjamin Wuamett (vocals).