Denny Renshaw
By Raisa Bruner
January 12, 2017

It’s hard to assign a specific genre to San Fermin, a Brooklyn-based band with roots in classical composition. The closest options—indie rock or chamber pop—don’t quite seem to capture the ambitious, lushly layered tracks that come from the group, which previously toured with bands like St. Vincent and the Arctic Monkeys and whose third album, Belong, is due April 7.

That same resistance to easy classification applies to their new single, “Bride,” which TIME premieres here. “‘Bride’ is about a dissociative moment at a wedding,” songwriter and bandleader Ellis Ludwig-Leone explains. “True story, although I imagined it from the perspective of the bride. It starts with this beautiful imagery—roses in her hair, people on a lawn all dressed up nicely—and then everything kind of turns on her.”

Like 2013’s infectious “Sonsick,” there’s a soaring quality to Ludwig-Leone’s symphonic composition and the feathery vocals, grounded with touches of rock-band sensibility as the track opens up. Dig a little deeper, though, and it turns out this is a song about anxiety and discomfort. “Like much of this album,” Ludwig-Leone says, “it’s about a moment when emotions you’ve been trying not to feel bubble up to the surface and take over.”

San Fermin first emerged onto the scene in 2013 with a self-titled concept album, followed by a well-reviewed sophomore effort, Jackrabbit, in 2015. Belong marks a shift from the operatic storytelling of those works to more personal reflections on distress and panic. As “Bride” suggests, this will be an album for listeners who don’t want—or struggle to relate to—more typical tunes of love and glory.

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