This ‘William Fitzsimmons’ review was written by Marc Simonsson, a GIGsoup contributor.
I’ve not listened to any music since a recent bereavement. I’ve heard music, but I haven’t listened to it. It is ironic then that the first album I happen to come upon is ‘William Fitzsimmons’ fifth LP, ‘Pittsburgh’; a memoriam to his grandmother, and an album which explores the very emotions I have encountered.
The LP reignites feelings one can only obtain when they discover a beautiful new song, a compilation of notes aligned in an original new order that somehow create euphoria within and that dissipates everything around you.
‘I Had To Carry Her (Virginia’s Song)’, the opening track on ‘Pittsburgh’ sets up the album beautifully with a delicate musical arrangement on top of peaceful lyrics. One may expect the subject matter to give the album a morbid feel, but it actually invokes an uplifting sensation that is thoroughly welcomed. ‘Falling On My Sword’ is slightly more downbeat, but as a result of Fitzsimmons’ honey-dew voice, is more soothing than gloomy.
Fitzsimmons certainly doesn’t stick to the standard acoustic/folk rules on this release. Instead he infuses electronica into tracks such as ‘Better‘ and the penultimate song ‘Matter’. Whilst the latter blends poetically with the rest of the album, the former seems slightly out of place. Sure it continues to combine soft lyrical melodies with simple instrumentation, but for some reason there is an imbalance that causes the lyrics to be too overt or ‘in your face’.
However, if one needs reassurance of the strength of ‘Pittsburgh’ one only needs to continue past this minor bump. Closing track, ‘Ghosts of Penn Hills’ is an example of how the strength of Fitzsimmons’ comes from his ability to layer arrangements, which are simple in their own form, but together create a multi-faceted track which is emotional and captivating.
‘Pittsburgh’ is not ground breaking. The lyrics sometimes seem predictable and the music is sometimes not adventurous enough. But not every album has to be revolutionary. Fitzsimmons has produced an album which has heart, an album which achieves what music is meant to do, feed the soul, escape reality and leave you wanting more.
‘Pittsburgh’ is out on the 15th May 2015 via Gronland Records
The full track-listing for ‘Pittsburgh’ is as follows…
‘Had To Carry Her (Virginia’s Song)’
‘Falling On My Sword’
‘Ghosts Of Penn Hills’
You can see ‘William Fitzsimmons’ live at one of the following venues…
26th June 2015 – The Halfway Festival, Bialystok TICKETS