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San Fermin - Weird Environment

Alex S K Brown

It started with a late night phone call. “I was going through a crisis,” says San Fermin bandleader Ellis Ludwig-Leone. “My relationship of ten years had recently ended, and then, not thinking very clearly, I dove into another relationship. Before I knew it, that one ended too.”

Lost and a little lonely, Ludwig-Leone dialed up his closest confidante and collaborator, San Fermin vocalist Allen Tate, to talk it out. “About 30 minutes into the call I remembered Allen was on his honeymoon in Hawaii and it was like 4am there,” Ludwig-Leone laughs. “But he still picked up, and that conversation is where this album really began.” Written in the topsy-turvy days that followed, San Fermin’s poignant new record, Arms, is a testament to the power of that friendship, and to the band’s ability to transform pain and isolation into catharsis.

The songs are lean and muscular here, stripping away much of the sonic ornamentation the Brooklyn eight-piece has come to be known for in favor of a more raw, direct sound reflective of Ludwig-Leone’s candid, plainspoken lyrics. Tate and fellow vocalist Claire Wellin get similarly vulnerable in their delivery, breathing deep empathy and compassion into Ludwig-Leone’s piercing reflections on heartbreak, desire, and healing. The result is a collection that balances devastation and optimism in equal measure.

San Fermin - Weird Environment

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