San Fermin: Jackrabbit (Downtown) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Friday, July 19th, 2024  

Issue #53 - April/May 2015 - Tame ImpalaSan Fermin



Apr 20, 2015 San Fermin Bookmark and Share

Jackrabbit‘s path to existence is different enough from that of San Fermin’s self-titled debut that it’s worth noting. San Fermin began as a lonelier affair, written solo by Brooklyn composer Ellis Ludwig-Leone; by the time a sophomore record was in the cards, San Fermin was a touring band. This had to be at the front of his mind this time when he started writing-their second album has a lot more going on at once, instrumentally, on a track-to-track basis, leading to many moments of carefully-arranged chaos. Jackrabbit is certainly a wilder beast than its predecessor.

There was a small bit of turnover between albums. While Allen Tatehis smooth baritone is easily mistaken for the National’s Matt Berningerreturns to handle the male vocals, newcomer Charlene Kaye takes over the lead feminine. She’s put through a particularly aerobic performance, asked to jump all over her range in tracks such as “Jackrabbit” and “Ladies Mary.” Like before, Ludwig-Leone seems to approach his vocalists as instruments, rather than pop singers; it’s one of the elements that sets San Fermin apart from other baroque indie acts. The lyrics, though, are more memorable than the first time around. Album opener “The Woods” seems to describe a boy’s disappearance in a forest; referencing witches, bones, and mud, it unfolds like a dark fairy tale, and sets a tone for the record that’s jarringly sinister. There are many other similar momentsphrases and scenes that will linger in the mind when the music’s over.

Jackrabbit isn’t as smooth as its older brother: it’s a heavier record, and demands more from the listener. It’s not as easy to throw on as San Fermin’s soaring debut, but it’s every bit as strong. For those willing to pay careful attention, it provides a deeper, more rewarding experience.


Author rating: 8/10

Rate this album
Average reader rating: 10/10


Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published


Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

There are no comments for this entry yet.