I often pride myself on discovering music artists early and being able to anticipate a noteworthy record release ahead of time. Sometimes though, records slip by my radar and I end up finding out about them weeks after they came out. Such is the case for Brooklyn band San Fermin.
San Fermin is the brainchild of 24-year old composer Ellis Ludwig-Leone. Classically trained at Yale and with an apprenticeship under noted composer/arranger Nico Muhly under his belt already, Ludwig-Leone retreated to a cabin studio in the Canadian mountains after graduation for six weeks to write the score for what eventually will be San Fermin‘s debut self-titled record. San Fermin, the record, is a 17 part song opera that depicts a classic love story. Combining the baroque and the classical, the album is a sweeping full-fledged suite with grand ambitions – complete with horns and strings. You will marvel at its ambition and be taken by its magnificence.
The ironic thing about San Fermin is that while Ludwig-Leone is essentially San Fermin‘s leader, he takes no part in any of the singing roles, instead contently staying in the background. The lead male role goes to friend Allen Tate, whose baritone eerily recalls The National‘s Matt Berninger. Meantime, the female part is shared by Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig of Lucius. When the girls’ voices harmonizes and builds upon each other, you can’t help but recall the same kind of baroque vocal harmonies of The Dirty Projectors. So imagine The Dirty Projectors being led by Matt Berninger. It’s like an indie music fan’s wet dream and indeed it is as good as it sounds. I am in love with this record!
Check out the video for the great first single Sonsick embedded below.
San Fermin – San Fermin comes out 9/17 via Downtown Records (order here)