Review Summary: You remind me of the past.
Over the course of the last nine years, William Fitzsimmons has been creating beautifully crafted lo-fi, acoustic folk songs; if one were to listen to his debut Until When We Are Ghosts
alongside his latest releases it would be clear to listeners that Fitzsimmons does not feel the need to constantly change his sound. And rightfully so. Even in following his 2011 dud, in which Fitzsimmons strayed from his typical lyrical content, it seems that Fitzsimmons knows exactly what kind of music he is comfortable creating; only ever so slightly deviating from his roots in his latest release Lions
listeners get more of the same, as album opener “Well Enough” greets us with subdued finger picking on an acoustic guitar and raspy melancholy crooning. Although the majority of the album falls into the aforementioned tropes of singer/songwriter music, there are songs that do deviate ever so slightly, making for a more varied listen. Tracks such as “From You” and “Hold On” tastefully employ use of different percussive instruments, while “Blood/Chest” boasts a quiet strings section. Although there are songs that see some sort of variance throughout the album, the biggest gripe to be found on this record is without a doubt that the album seems almost too one dimensional at times. Tracks rarely rise and fall, more often than not opting to remain stagnantly at one level of intensity for its entirety. Save for the track “Centralia”, which surprisingly begins with distorted clashing drums and guitar before returning to the oft used finger picking with the ominous buzz left underneath for the remainder of the track, songs on this album are predictable and on occasion overstay their welcome. Minor tweaks to songs may keep this record from falling into feeling like one long song, but they are few and far between, which will undoubtedly test the patience of many listeners.
isn’t anything ground breaking within the indie folk scene, it is a welcome return to the top of Fitzsimmons’ songwriting game. A wholly one sided affair, this release does not attempt to be anything that it is not, even through the use of a host of varied instrumentation and even female harmonies. While Fitzsimmons is not quite back to the levels of Until When We Are Ghosts
, this record finds him regaining his footing as he attempts to climb back to the top.