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Ellis Ludwig-Leone put his composition degree to good use after graduating from Yale. A one-off concert featured his orchestral arrangements matched with pop songs, and Ludwig-Leone soon started writing with that combination in mind. He debuted as San Fermin in 2013 with a striking self-titled effort that prominently spotlighted the soaring vocals of Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, a few months before they conquered the indie world as Lucius.
But for San Fermin’s second album, Jackrabbit, Ludwig-Leone leaned on a more permanent band, spearheaded by singer Allen Tate. His baritone croon works perfectly with Ludwig-Leone’s cloudy orchestrations. The National is an obvious touchstone for San Fermin, but the latter opts for more classically-inspired grandeur. The recently-released deluxe version includes “No Devil,” a stumbling ballad that nonetheless reaches for the sky in an off-kilter way. Download the song below.