Either George Ezra has a fetish for cities beginning with ‘B’ or Joel Pott does (the bloke from Athlete who helps write Ezra’s songs). First came the monstrous success of ‘Budapest’, on which Ezra neglected to educate the British public by consistently eschewing the correct Hungarian pronunciation of the city (“Budapesht”), perhaps because he (co-)wrote the song having never actually visited the very place he was singing about. Then there’s his latest single, ‘Barcelona’, which is basically the same song with the location altered.
Now Ezra has revealed he is to record an entire album solely dedicated to cities that begin with the second letter of the alphabet. It’s an ambitious project to rival that of Sufjan Stevens’ plan to write an album for each American state. Here’s a sneak preview of some of the tracks that will appear on Ezra’s forthcoming LP, Cities In The Key Of B:
A popular tourist destination, Bruges boasts Medieval architecture, beautiful canals and crowds of film buffs pointing their fingers and going, “look, that’s where Colin Farrell was chased by a fat man.” A typical honeymoon destination, Bruges is the ideal location for this swoontastic romantic ballad about a girl who wears lots of rouge, enjoys drinking booze and is a fan of Tom Cruise.
In many ways, Bradford is an even more romantic city than Bruges. Here, Ezra croons about going on a date to the IMAX cinema at the National Media Museum before visiting one of the best curry houses in the country. Unfortunately, there’s not much to rhyme with ‘Bradford’.“Baby, we’ll eat in Bradford, where there’s no bad food,” he sings.
(rerecorded version of Ezra’s 2015 chart smash)
(cover version of Freddie Mercury’s 1987 chart smash)
Traditionally, only the city’s local artists have sung about Bristol, so it’s about time a nice Hertfordshire lad stepped up to break the trip-hop monopoly and bring a fresh, outsider’s eye to the subject. Instead of whispering over ambient beats about weed deals on council estates, Ezra’s acoustic ballad tackles the previously neglected topic of the quality of cake in the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery cafe: ‘The sponge is moist, the portions will fill ya, now let’s check out the stuffed gorilla...’ (He’s on the first floor with the dinosaurs and geology exhibits.)