It’s difficult to envisage Daedalus (What We Have) – the latest from Ellis Ludwig-Leone’s so-called San Fermin endeavours – inflicting much damage on his neo-classical credentials nor the recurrently cited Sufjan Stevens comparisons, though what it indubitably does is to raise the precocious composer’s stock exponentially. Make no mistake: this is pompously orchestrated fanfare monolithic as Stevens’ still revered Chicago, protuberant brass sections overloading both skyscraping, existentialist lyricisms concerning the incessantly insistent fear of death to plague so many a life, and divine harmonies to reassure all may yet be alright come the luminous stuff at the end of the proverbial tunnel. Though perhaps most pertinently, the song inspired by the lowly Grecian artisan signals a shift in focus from the effete melodies provided by Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig on previous outing Sonsick toward the somehow more mortal vocal timbres of yet another collaborator in the inscrutable guise of Allen Tate. Though an outwardly extraordinary type Ellis remains – a composer whose oeuvres are becoming if less classical, then all the more classic with time.
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