It’s Fairfield University’s first week of school and Stags are looking for fun. As students flood the town in search of something to do, one thing members of our community might want to check out is well-versed and artful singer-songwriter William Fitzsimmons, who will be headlining at Fairfield Theatre on Sept 16.
Fitzsimmons is an alternative/indie/folk musician known for songs like “Please Don’t Go” and “Passion Play”, which have shown up on hit shows like “Grey’s Anatomy,” “General Hospital,” “Life of Ryan” and “Army Wives.” Recently, Fitzsimmons partnered up with Clash Magazine for the premiere of the official music video for his single, “Angela”– the latest hit from his up and coming album “Mission Bell” (set to release 9/21).
The inspiration for this particular album came from a rough previous year, specifically the separation from his second wife. Fitzsimmons had been working on the initial album during the summer of 2017, but abandoned it during the aftermath of his seperation. In 2018, Fitzsimmons moved to Nashville, reconstructing the record with producer Adam Landry (deer Tick, T. Harry Morris, k.d. Lang, Vanessa Carlton)– which resulted in a 10 song album conveying the destruction and rebuilding of a decade- long marriage.
This separation and heartache is seen through Fitzsimmons’ “Angela.” The lyrics of this song carefully depict the relationship of two lovers falling in and out of love and the turmoil that follows their struggles. Anyone listening to the soft melody and overall emotional vibe can tell this song was created out of a time of sadness. To me, it was as if the lyrics were speaking to the significant other, trying to cling onto what they still had. In a way, it’s heartbreaking but also it’s very real and relatable. Rocky relationships are something many of us have experienced once in our life. Fitzsimmons captures the raw emotion that comes with this sort of loss.
As for the general sound, it presents an electric, gentle kind of melody through the use of synthesizers, electric guitars, drum loops and violins. In regards to “Angela”, Fitzsimmons states on his website that, “Cutting to tape was new and honestly rather terrifying to me. There’s no “we’ll fix that in post” kind of shit going on. What you play is what you’re gonna hear on the record. But there’s a specialness you get in a performance when you don’t have a parachute. You either play it like it matters to you or you don’t and I think that comes through so clearly in the recordings.”
Fitzsimmons is someone who prides on the emotion and the feeling he receives and presents within each of his songs. Other works like this on the upcoming album include “Second Hand Smoke,” “Never Really Mine” and “Leave Her”, which all convey the same sort of relationship turmoil as “Angela.” Each uniquely crafted song presents soft melodies and tones that mimic the emotional situations Fitzsimmons must’ve gone through in the last year.
William Fitzsimmons’ intriguing new album “Mission Bell” is full of chill, emotional and mellow vibes that will have you feeling relatable in no time. So, if you even have an inkling to check him out, definitely try to stop by Theatre Fairfield for Fitzsimmons’ upcoming performance.