Two for the Road: Ezra Furman and Grace Cummings Bond Over Bob Dylan, Birds, and The Beatles

The tourmates also discuss songwriting and looking at concerts as an "anti-loneliness operation"

ezra furman grace cummings interview
Ezra Furman, photo by Tonje Thilesen/Grace Cummings, photo by Pooneh Ghana

    Two for the Road is a series in which two artists touring together chat about playing shows, life backstage, and more. In the latest installment of the series, Ezra Furman and Grace Cummings get to know each other better before embarking on tour together.

    Most artists have a knack for storytelling, but few have the conviction and voices to match like Ezra Furman and Grace Cummings. Both women have strong, expressive vocals; they root their songs on guitar, only to let them roam free with wonder and curiosity. And, they’ve both mapped out a 2022 tour, with Cummings supporting Furman across North America on several dates this summer.

    Furman’s sixth solo album, All of Us Flames, is also due for release on August 26th, while Cummings has already been touring the globe in support of her second album, Storm Queen, which was released back in January. Her frequent travels led her to meet Furman in person at South By Southwest in March, where she had witnessed Furman’s magical performance qualities firsthand. “I heard something playing and I thought, who the fuck is this?” recalls Cummings, “And then I turned around and it was Ezra.”


    Similarly, Ezra certainly had some praise for Cummings. “I was driving in a car at night and heard ‘The Look You Gave,'” she says. “It’s a song and a performance that just makes you go, whoa! Wait! That’s happening now?”

    Furman has every right to be a little surprised at the immediacy and style of Cummings’ music — her husky voice and confessional songwriting feels lifted directly from the ’70s, echoing Robert Plant’s howl, Joe Cocker’s rasp, and perhaps most importantly, Bob Dylan’s intimate and poetic storytelling.

    Dylan is a big figure for both Cummings and Furman: Furman claims that he was a “formative character” for her, and Cummings shares a story of seeing his concert in Texas this year and likening it to a religious experience. But both artists excel at exactly what Bob Dylan was all about — they thrive in dissecting weighty topics through a personal lens, and never losing their authenticity while they do it. It’s clear that seeing Furman and Cummings play together is sure to be a special experience, one that prizes community and sensitivity above all else.


    Ezra Furman’s North American tour begins in Los Angeles this Thursday, May 19th, and already, the pair are excited to get to know each other even better. “I’m a big fan and I’ve also never seen you live, and I’m excited to see you live a bunch of times,” says Furman with delight. “We are forging a relationship, a friendship, potentially though the act of being watched and heard by strangers. Nothing wrong with that!”

    Check out Ezra Furman and Grace Cumming’s full Two For The Road Conversation below, and get tickets to their upcoming North American tour here.