November 15, 2012

William Fitzsimmons - Goodnight (2006)

So yeah, William Fitzsimmons might just be my favourite folk singer ever. Sure, Bob Dylan is great, and so are Leonard Cohen, Cat Stevens, Nick Drake or contemporaries like The Tallest Man on Earth, Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens or Iron & Wine. But this guy definitely takes the cake.

William Fitzsimmons has a really interesting backstory. Born in a family with both parents blind, he found himself raised in a home filled with musical instruments. His childhood surroundings were abundant with sounds to replace what eyes could not see. Pianos, guitars, trombones, and even a pipe organ that his blind father built himself, all these things successfully managed to define a truly fascinating man.

So besides doing usual stuff like playing a lot of instruments and being awesome as fuck, William had worked as a mental health therapist, which means he has been surrounded by pacients with mental illnesses for several years. Obviously, that gets to you eventually. That's why his music is soft, emotional, heartfelt, and he usually sings about break-ups, love, cheating, depression and other similar mental states. Nowadays, he says he's “somewhere between a singing therapist and a counselor who writes songs”.

Oh, and he has an awesome beard.

His sophomore release, Goodnight, manages to perfectly blend in all those emotions, creating a personal, sincere atmosphere. I must say William is a great writer, and every single one of you can identify themselves with at least some of these songs. But as I said, some songs are really personal and talk about Will's life, like the song Everything Has Changed. This tune tells the story of...nah, I'd better copy-paste them here so you can get an idea.

“Today I saw my father, standing in the graveyard, looking very somber, looking for his mom. When he finally found her, said that it was different, everything is different. Nothing's really changed.

A guide dog had to serve the roll that you would not let the mother of your children really ever play. The office was a dungeon, where you hid your fears of what would really happen, if no one ever came. And I wonder if you blamed yourself for when she left you for closing up the garage door, and turning on the car. Your father must have lost it; your sister couldn't help you. Dad, if you were lonely, you had no where to turn.

Last night I had a dream, I was in the graveyard, looking at my father, buried in the ground. Swear that I could hear him, tell me he was sorry. And everything has changed.

The album splendidly blends in Will's great voice, guitar layers, pianos, adds a bit of banjo and even a tinge of electronica. Absolutely gorgeus. So if you're looking for an album perfectly fit for a lazy Sunday afternoon or a rainy day, this is perfect. Just listen to it.

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