Utterly compelling excursion
As we head into a lean period for new releases when the schedule is awash with best-ofs and festive offerings, it would be easy to neglect this masterful debut album from these Brooklyn-based newcomers.
Fronted by 24-year-old Ellis Ludwig-Leone and featuring a large troupe of musicians, San Fermin is one of the great American albums of the year -- a complex, daring and utterly compelling excursion into chamber pop.
Throughout, male and female vocals mesh together beautifully, not least on the gorgeous brass-inflected Methuselah -- I defy anyone not to be charmed by its beauty -- and there are wonderfully esoteric flights of fancy elsewhere that manage to stay on the right side of self-indulgent.
Allen Tate is the vocalist who sounds a little like our own Adrian Crowley, while the effervescent female singing is courtesy of Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe of New York band Lucius.
Christmas is coming: buy this for someone you love.
Methuselah; Daedalus (What We Have)