Brooklyn Baroque pop/rockers San Fermin rose from beneath the radar following the release of the eponymous debut in 2013 with many praising the multi-layered, avant-garde qualities of both the musicianship and the production. Ellis Ludwig-Leone and co continue where they left off with this sophomore release, it is once again awash with percussion, momentous crescendo and fairytale like lyricism. There is a boldness in San Fermin which allows them to stand ahead of competitors easily demonstrated in the opener ‘The Woods’ which is an immediate, nu-folk stomper with fragmented instrumentals and disconcerting structure.
The track juxtaposes the sultry, almost soulful ‘Emily’ with its breathy vocal and the acoustic led ‘Astronaut’ which has the demeanour of an Arcade Fire off-cut. This A-B pattern works well through the whole album and gives the impression of a sonar rollercoaster as you soar with the dizzying upsurges of ‘Philosopher’ before mellowing to the downtempo stylings of ‘Woman In Red’. The instrumental quality pulls the whole operation together and offers a sense of cohesion and consistency that was seriously lacking in the first album.
The two contrasting styles marry wonderfully on ‘Parasites’ which is both brooding and anthemic as vocalists Tate and Kaye are able to duet and add yet one more sonar layer to an already highly complex operation. The title track is a great embodiment of ‘Jackrabbit’ as a whole entity with a boldness that is very hard to imitate, the multi-instrumental qualities paired with the ethereal vocal creates something with real consequential weight and it is able to visibly move the listener. It is within the evocation of emotion that remains San Fermin’s highest quality.