New York has always – and probably will always – be home to some of the greatest rockers including the likes of The Strokes, Vampire Weekend, and the Talking Heads. Up-and-coming indie group San Fermin is yet another name to add to this impressive list.

Front-man Ellis Ludwig-Leone basically brought this group together single-handedly. A graduate from Yale University where he studied composition, Ludwig-Leone mostly focused on classical music. It wasn’t until after he graduated that he started the transition into the world of pop and rock. I think it’s Ludwig-Leone’s classical background that really differentiates this group from all the others. What I love about their sound is the addition of a variety of instruments including stringed and horns sections – if you’re a sucker for the saxophone, like me, then you’re in for quite the treat with San Fermin.

The band’s first self-titled album was one of the most diverse, strange, and unique albums I have ever had the pleasure of listening to – and I mean that in the best way. I was shocked at the assortment of genres and styles mixed into one album, from more classical songs to poppy upbeat rock tunes, this album has it all. 22 different musicians were recorded on this record, so I think that can attest to the variety it offers.

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Where I really fell in love with the band, however, was their second album Jackrabbit. The first song I ever heard from San Fermin was Emily. Lead singer Allen Tate’s infatuating deep voice leaves you wanting more – so that’s exactly what I did, listened to more. It seems like their first self-titled album was an experiment and the group wasn’t sure what direction they wanted to pursue. I think with Jackrabbit the band figured out their sound, and a stunning sound it is. The album is a little more upbeat and consistent, it’s one of those albums that only gets better with each listen, and believe me, I’ve listened to it a lot.

San Fermin just released their brand-new album Belong today. I’ve listened to it once through, but not enough to give any sort of useful, or even interesting, insight. That being said, be sure to come back soon for an album review of this new record!

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San Fermin is scheduled to play Tuesday, March 11th, at The Great Hall in Toronto alongside Low Roar. They’re also set to play the Wayhome Music Festival on the opening Friday. Be there or be square.

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