San Fermin's music bursts with ambition, talent and extreme joy. Its self-titled debut is charged with great storytelling and amazing vocals by both Allen Tate and Lucius singers Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe. Then there are the arrangements: little gems that turn these songs into cinematic vignettes using trumpet, sax, keyboard, violin, guitar and drums. San Fermin is the musical vision of Ellis Ludwig-Leone, who wrote these songs with Tate's dark, rich voice in mind. Here at the Tiny Desk, Rae Cassidy makes the album's female vocal parts her own; in fact, the entire band keeps growing into these little song-worlds. I've seen San Fermin three times this year, and the songs keep gathering more power, intrigue and fire. The album provides a jumping-off point for a 2014 that promises to be huge for San Fermin.
Producers: Bob Boilen, Denise DeBelius; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Denise DeBelius, Becky Harlan, Meredith Rizzo; photo by Abbey Oldham/NPR
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