San Fermin’s third studio album, ‘Belong,’ marks a shift in songwriting perspective for bandleader Ellis Ludwig-Leone. “In the past I’d usually write through characters from books or movies, as a way to try to distance myself from what I was writing about,” says the Brooklyn-based artist. “As I’ve become more confident as a songwriter, I decided that I could drop some of the artifice and write something more direct.” In bringing a more personal slant to his music, Ludwig-Leone found himself confronting such matters as disconnection, displacement, and — perhaps most significantly — everyday anxiety. “Anxiety is something I’ve dealt with since I was a kid, but on this album I talked about it more explicitly than I ever had before,” he points out.
Gracie and Rachel
Gracie and Rachel are a study in duality: light and dark, classical training with a pop sensibility, Californians in New York. Their music pits anxiety and tension against an almost serene self-assurance. The result is a compelling juxtaposition of Gracie’s piano and lead vocals and Rachel’s violin and voice, augmented with stark percussion. Though they make music as a duo, Gracie and Rachel together far exceed the sum of their parts. Like their stylized color palette of black and white, their instrumentation appears simple and spare at first glance, but there’s a powerful prism effect at work that brings us back to the concept of duality: their songs are intimate and expansive, questioning and confident. The nine orchestral-pop songs on ‘Gracie and Rachel’ tell a story that’s rooted in the truth —their truth — but retain an enigmatic air that makes them relatable to anyone who has ever found their heart racing with doubt and pushed forward regardless. Their journey through adventurous youth and cohabitation is evident on their self-titled debut full length which was released on June 23rd.