The first time I heard William Fitzsimmons’ voice, he was singing Fleetwood Mac in my Discover Weekly playlist. I was captivated.
There’s always been a delicateness to William Fitzsimmons music. Listen through any of his albums, and you’ll quickly get the idea. His vocals, almost whispered, shiver with a haunting gentleness that makes the words feel fragile. It’s the kind of delivery that can take something like Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” and turn it into some kind of beautiful personal reflection that’ll leave you wanting to cry.
That’s not hyperbole. Yes, he’s really done a cover of that, and yes, it’s weirdly heartbreaking.
Compelling covers aside, though, Fitzsimmons is at his best when he’s singing his own lyrics. “Distant Lovers”, one of the singles taken from his upcoming album Mission Bell, is a testament to that.
You can take the kids on Tuesdays and every other weekend.
I’ll be fine with holiday arrangements on my own.
Those are devastating lines. When Fitzsimmons delivers them gently but matter-of-factly over sparse, finger-picked guitar, they’re enough to send shivers down your spine.
Yes, this is about divorce. And it’s appropriately painful.
Better off as friends
Than distant lovers.
A lot of Fitzsimmons’ music is drastically simple – just his tremoring voice and an acoustic guitar. “Distant Lovers” has a bit more weight to it, with far-off snares that keep it moving and subtle synths that make it feel full. That fullness doesn’t compromise the intimacy of the vocals, though, and there are still times when everything drops away to make room for the haunting delivery of difficult, drop-dead practical lines.
And outside of the delivery, I think it’s the practicality of this song that’s most affecting. These thoughts aren’t coming from a place of haphazard emotion; they’re coming from objective consideration and careful assessment. The result hurts harder.
If there’s a bit of silver lining, though, it’s in the honesty. Maybe, in spite of everything, it’s best to know the truth instead of grinding through something false – better to cut the pretense of romance and be friends, at least.
Is it better to struggle through something you can’t commit to, or deal with the cold practicality of reality?
I don’t think I know the answer. I’m not sure if William Fitzsimmons does, either.
But, either way, he sure sings the truth beautifully.
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