San Fermin’s music verges on indescribable, with songs flowing together as movements in a baroque orchestral piece, with flashes of electro-pop and rock, and vocals that alternate between a smooth baritone and soaring soprano. There are flashes of violence and surprisingly jazzy grooves that can include a few bars ofan Irish jig or a ska beat, topped with gorgeous choral arrangements. San Fermin began as the brainchild of composer-songwriter Ellis Ludwig-Leone, following his graduation from Yale and work with avant-garde classical composer Nico Muhly. San Fermin was signed to a record deal following their very first concert; their 2013 eponymous debut was a magisterial 17-song epic, blending classically trained musicians with pop vocals and featuring 23 different instruments. Since then, Ludwig-Leone has settled on a tighter, permanent eight-piece lineup including trumpet, baritone sax, violin and male and female lead vocals. By loosening his grip as bandleader, Ludwig-Leone has created a more organic live experience. While still densely constructed, eclectic and downright mesmerising, San Fermin’s intricate and prodigiously original sonic palette feels driven as much by the heart as the head.
Performing Saturday, July 23