Ellis Ludwig-Leone’s debut could easily be called New York’s response to Get Well Soon’s »Rest Now, Weary Head…«. He, too, is a young composer, undertaking a mammoth project right after finishing university, using classical chamber music, indie-folk and baroque arrangements. However, there’s a big difference when it comes to the dimensions: For creating »San Fermin«, it has taken more then 20 musicians – in addition to the usual band-parts, there is a brass section, strings and a choir, supporting Allen Tate and Rae Cassidy as lead singers. These two singer-characters are telling the listener a story about the difficulties of young love, using Hemingway as a source of inspiration – after all, San Fermini is the name of the bull-racing festival in Pamploma from »The Sun Also Rises«. It’s refreshing that the male part seems to be the more emotional one, while right at the beginning of the record Ms. Cassidy sings: »your melodramas are embarrassing«. This all sounds somewhat artsy-fartsy and highbrow, but Ellis Ludwig-Leone knows how to avoid pretentiousness: Whenever a track is on the brink of pomposity and pathos, you’ll hear a powerful pop-hook, a distorted guitar or a synthesizer tackle the strings. Hence, the record sounds like a classically influenced mix of Sufjan Stevens and The National – and makes you crave for more.