Some people fall into music by accident. But clearly for Ellis Ludwig-Leone who in the Yale-educated composer and songwriter fronting the band San Fermin, that is not the case. After graduating from Yale and writing the band’s self-titled album somewhere up in Canada, San Fermin was then introduced to the world, led by singer Allen Tate and Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig of the band Lucius (even though they do not tour with the band). Tate’s voice is as somber and heavy as Matt Berninger’s of The National, creating quite an interesting middle to the band’s otherwise indie-pop sound, which is also an assembly of every kind of instrument–leaving you always trying to figure out whether you’re happy or perhaps a little sad while listening to San Fermin’s music.
The song “Methuselah” is one of the more obvious sad songs–a chorus enriched with the presence of Wolfe and Laessig and a lonely violin. “Pass a message to you and your lover. Like a dirty bouquet with your wine. I will tie to my body some roses. I will ‘til I get you alive.” It’s quite a journey of songs, going from melancholic tracks like that one, then flipping to serious music composition that’s heard on “At Night, True Love” and then flipping to an almost deranged, whimsical pop as heard in “The Count.”
San Fermin’s second album Jackrabbit is just as experimental and “true music” focused as their premiere, continuing that up and down mix of sounds (including new female vocals), an array of instruments and an even more dramatic effect that you can hear on “Astronaut” and “Ecstatic Thoughts.” The album was released just last year. The band plays their hometown Brooklyn this spring.