Cutting his musical teeth assisting Nico Muhly with arrangements for artists like The National, Sufjan Stevens, and Passion Pit, Ellis Ludwig-Leone brought that experience and his unusual and creative sense of arrangement to bear on his debut album as San Fermin. Combining brass-work with sections of clever baroque-pop strings, the band delves into the abstract pop landscape inhabited by peers like The Dirty Projectors and Animal Collective. Forming the core of the band alongside Leone is longtime friend and collaborator Allen Tate and singers Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe of indie-pop band Lucius. Utilizing backing musicians who have played with artists such as Bon Iver, yMusic, and Asphalt Orchestra, the songs from San Fermin feel communal yet oddly personal–grand statements made intimate.
Our first taste of their debut comes in the form of horn and string processional “Sonsick.” Bearing a strikingly similar intro to “Stillness Is The Move” by The Dirty Projectors, this track pairs warm brass with Laessig and Wolfe’s emotive voices swirling together around a martial beat which gains steam until it erupts in a vocal catharsis across the chorus. The song will have you singing along even if you’re not exactly sure about the lyrics. It’s infectious and very welcome in this cold month. “Sonsick” manages to pull the listener out of the seasonal dumps (if you’re so predisposed) and makes you wish that February 12th would get here just a little bit sooner.
Beats Per Minute is pleased to premiere “Sonsick” from San Fermin’s self-released debut record out February 12th.
02. Crueler Kind
03. Lament for V.G.
07. At Sea
09. At Night, True Love
10. The Count
12. In Waiting
13. True Love, Asleep
14. Oh, Darling
15. In The Morning
17. Altogether Changed
Plugging away since 1999, The National finally hit mainstream success with the release of their 2010 album High Violet. Of course, this entailed their first world tour, but in the new documentary Mistaken For Strangers, it’s only the backdrop for the relationship between lead singer Matt Berninger and his younger brother Tom, who had no idea that these short videos he was shooting would turn into a public document of their troubled, if still loving brotherhood.
We talk with Israeli rockers Vaadat Charigim about some of their favorite records.
We talk with Yvonne Ambree and Jesse Barnes of Take Berlin about some of the records which influenced the recording of their debut EP, Lionize.
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