The name San Fermin may not mean much to you at the moment, but it sure as hell is about to.
An eight-piece band spearheaded by 23-year old composer Ellis Ludwig-Leone, San Fermin is far from your traditional flavor-of-the-month indie band. Their debut album, released just this past September, is meticulously arranged and features multiple vocalists spouting soul-crushing lyrics on themes of youth and nostalgia. “Sonsick” serves as the perfect gateway track, drawing you in with Rae Cassidy’s angelic voice and then pummeling you with an epically orchestral chorus, such as in the live version posted below.
Male vocalist Allen Tate’s voice bears a stunning resemblance to The National’s Matt Berninger and the female duo of Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig (who sadly don’t tour with the band, they themselves being the frontwomen for indie pop band Lucius) sound much like St. Vincent in several of the songs they lead, but the sound-alike similarities become less and less evident as you traverse into the depths of the album.
My true loyalty lies with “Renaissance,” the album’s opener and a great showcase of Ludwig-Leone’s immaculate arrangements. Post-rock-style drums meet Tate’s emotionally-charged vocals, all in the midst of gospel-style harmonizing and several additional instruments.
San Fermin swings into town this Saturday evening, playing The Red Room @ Cafe 939 on Boylston Street. Live videos already prove that the band can routinely serve an emotional wallop, so I’d advise some serious preparation by listening to their album on repeat for the rest of your life. Tickets can be purchased here and I advise bringing a portable tissue pack or three in case of emergencyc.