REVIEW: San Fermin – Belong

Off the back of their debut opus and festival-friendly follow up, here we are finding ourselves treated to another selection of delights from PressPLAY OK favourites San FerminAfter a chat with the man behind the music, Ellis Ludwig-Leone, we’ve been listening with intent and the verdict is in. And it’s gushing praise.

Belong is an album of cleverly written songs that all border on the peripheries of pop and are largely difficult to fault. The melodies and lyrics are the sort that most songwriters could only dream of, and the instrumentation leans towards the loud, but it’s certainly accessible without being repetitive or too similar to past albums.

Whereas earlier releases present themselves as concept albums, this is definitely a record with multiple personalities. Cairo is catchy as hell, August is a creepy confession disguised by a retro pop riff, and Dead is like the rebellious cheerleader who went rogue and got a piercing before she was 16. There are more voices in this record than you can shake a stick at, and we mean that in the best way. 

Lyrically it’s all gone up a gear too. Songs like Happiness Will Ruin This Place hark to the old story book songs of Leonard Cohen, while single Bride embodies the spirit of Kate Bush and Cyndi Lauper. From the outset, it’s clear that San Fermin also mean business when it comes to transforming a record into live shows. Here is a band with numbers on their side, and the influence of their heavy tour schedule is evident. Layered tracks such as Palisades/Storm and intro Open promise performances on a scale they themselves mightn’t have attempted before. 

It’s definitely another step in the right direction, one that still manages to keep all the consistent quality of their previous work – though we get that feeling that this is where they start to feel like they truly belong.

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San Fermin - Belong
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