San Fermin Announce New Album, Share New Song "The Living" | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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San Fermin Announce New Album, Share New Song “The Living”

The Cormorant I Due Out October 4 via Better Company/Sony Music Masterworks

Aug 14, 2019
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San Fermin, the orchestral rock band led by Ellis Ludwig-Leone, have announced a new album, The Cormorant I, and shared a new song from it, "The Living." As its title implies, the album is the first part of a two-part project. The Cormorant I is due out October 4 via Better Company, Ludwig-Leone's new imprint with Sony Music Masterworks. It includes "Hunger," a new single San Fermin shared in June via a video for the track (it was one of our Songs of the Week). Check out "The Living" below, followed by the album's tracklist and cover art, as well as the band's upcoming tour dates and "Hunger" again.

San Fermin's last two albums were 2017's Belong and 2015's Jackrabbit. Ludwig-Leone wrote The Cormorant I in Ísafjörður, Iceland. He then recorded it in Brooklyn with the help of his bandmates: vocalist Allen Tate, vocalist/violinist Claire Wellin, trumpet player John Brandon, saxophonist Stephen Chen, percussionist Michael Hanf, and guitarists Tyler McDiarmid and Aki Ishiguro. The album also features Attacca Quartet and harpist Lavinia Meijer.

A press release further explains the album's concept and its various guest vocalists: "San Fermin dreamed up a two-part album of kinetic and spellbinding movement, spinning a deliberately wayward narrative that follows its two main characters from their earliest years, with Tate portraying the male protagonist while the album's female perspective is provided by a revolving cast of vocalists, including Wellin, Karlie Bruce (a new addition to the touring group), Sarah Pedinotti (of Lip Talk), and Samia Finnerty (of Samia)."

Ludwig-Leone had this to say about the album in a press release: "The Cormorant I starts with a visit from a strange bird, a death augur, which haunts two characters throughout their lives. The track listing is chronological: the first few songs are about childhood, while the later tracks follow the characters into their more complicated adult lives. Finally, the last song imagines the return of the bird and their eventual deaths."

Ludwig-Leone adds: "I imagined The Cormorant I as a stand-alone narrative in itself, but also as the first piece of a larger two-part story. The second part is like the fever dream, upside-down response to Part I. The jumps between the past and present are more jagged, and memories are subjected to a more critical eye. As I was writing, I was thinking a lot about how memories change over time- the stories you tell yourself and the actual events aren't always in synch."

The press release explains that the opening title is named after "a snake-like seabird, which acts as a thematic omen of life and death throughout the album's narrative."

Ludwig-Leone further explains: "The first song is a wake-up call, with this ominous bird that says: 'Show me the people and the things that mattered in your life, because now you're going to die.' It's a high-stakes way to start an album, but it jumpstarts this crazy myth that spins out from there." 

Read our 2015 interview with San Fermin.

The Cormorant I Tracklist:

1. The Cormorant
2. Cerulean Gardens
3. Hickman Creek
4. The Hunger
5. Summer by the Void
6. Saints
7. The Living
8. The Myth

San Fermin Tour Dates:


11 - Greenville, SC - Fall For Greenville
16 - Concord, NH - Bank of New Hampshire Stage
17 - Boston, MA - The Sinclair
18 - Montreal, QC - Fairmount
19 - Toronto, ON - The Mod Club
20 - Pittsburgh, PA - Thunderbird Music Hall
22 - Grand Rapids, MI - Pyramid Scheme
23 - Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall Ballroom
25 - Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall
26 - Minneapolis, MN - Fine Line Music Hall
27 - Winnipeg, MB - Park Theater
29 - Edmonton, AB - Starlite Ballroom
30 - Calgary, AB - Commonwealth


1 - Vancouver, BC - New Hollywood Theater
2 - Seattle, WA - Neumo's
3 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios
7 - San Francisco, CA - August Hall
8 - Los Angeles, CA - Lodge Room
9 - Phoenix, AZ - Valley Bar
10 - Santa Fe, NM - Meow Wolf      
13 - Denver, CO - Globe Hall
15 - Dallas, TX - Kessler Theater
16 - Austin, TX - Mohawk
17 - Houston, TX - Heights Theater
19 - Atlanta, GA - Aisle 5
20 - Carrboro, NC - The ArtsCenter
22 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
23 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer


6 - Brooklyn, NY - Brooklyn Steel

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