Dear Mark Kozelek
It’s been a while, no? And in your absence, I have, well, rather, my faith in you, in us, has swayed. For so long there was this longing – it had been months since Ghosts of The Great Highway
had graced my ears, had healed me, and I was in need. Your recent outing with your Sun Kil Moon
project, Admiral Fell Promises
, failed me in ways only an old intimate lover could: it wasn’t enough; it was too bare; and you, you
, Mark, just weren’t the same. You couldn’t carry me anymore. The sounds, your voice, your songs – they carried to me the memories, still, yes, but the feeling, the immediacy
? It was no longer there.
And like so many hungry hearts in need, my focus shifted. Alas, Mark, I found another: William Fitzsimmons. He was there when you weren’t. He healed my broken heart. And in my worse moments he sympathized with me; I felt his pain, and he felt mine. The women hurt us, and we were there for each other through it all, heart-ripping acoustic song, after heart-ripping acoustic song. His voice was smooth, a sweet caress that found its way into my soul and gave it - what shall I say, peace? I think so, yes.
It’s an odd feeling, and one that even now makes me feel depressed – but not in a hopeless way, no. Fitzsimmons’ Until When We Are Ghosts
puts me in low spirits, if only because it reminds me now of how the pain was indeed real back then in my heartbreak, that songs like “Passion Play” and “Shattered” did actually encourage me to rise above my emotional predicament and overcome my sorry, self-defeating crap. Fitzsimmons taught me over a simple yet substantial acoustic guitar chord progression that love is not selfish, either; that my pain is for her benefit, too, at least it should be, says his song “Find It In Me”.
In truth Fitzsimmons’ words are no secret to any old contemporary songwriter, right? Love, heartbreak, and moving on – you knew those subjects well, too, Mark, I know you did. But Fitzsimmons' voice, his passion, and his tired aurora flow through Ghosts
like the very title in question. By God, it’s haunting, come to think of it. “Funeral Dress” steady rhythm is perfect with its singer’s delivery of a timeless melody, and with its timeless promise, too: “I will wait for you”. And by God, I have been there, that instant when, yes, despite it all, I would have waited for her, no matter what she had done to me. Together, Fitzsimmons and I were willing to wait for her. Together.
You, Mark - you were too far away. Fitzsimmons' Ghosts
was immediate. And that is one of its strengths as well. It’s not hard to get into; the production is clean yet nonoverbearing, the melodies immediate yet long-lasting. I treasure every
song here, because on the path that heartbreak took me on, one of these beautiful tracks guided my way at every individually different turn – no, rather, each one walked with
me. I look nothing like Fitzsimmons physically, to be honest, not many have a beard like his, but I feel I am
him all the same, or at least I used to be recently. That is what I need in a lover, Mark. That’s what I need in a songwriter that will get me through the emotional heartache: I need to know that he is currently feeling this
, right now. I don’t need answers, Mark. I just need to know that I’m not alone.