William Fitzsimmons

Pittsburgh

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A "mini album" inspired by the life and death of Fitzsimmons' grandmother, Pittsburgh is a sad, sweet, and spectral meditation on love and loss that pairs spare, largely acoustic indie folk with electronic-tinged bedroom pop. Similar in tone and feel to the Pennsylvania-based singer/songwriter's prior long-players Lions and Gold in the Shadow, the seven-track EP occupies much of the same emotional headspace as Sufjan Stevens' Carrie & Lowell, and not just because Fitzsimmons' breathy tenor can at times seem interchangeable with Stevens'. Both artists are adept at crafting melancholic narratives that are as disarmingly personal as they are deliriously tuneful, but Fitzsimmons, unlike the more thespian-esque and metaphysically prone Stevens, writes from a place that's grounded in the harsh realities of the here and now, and songs like "I Had to Carry Her (Virginia's Song)," "Falling on My Sword," and the bucolic (in a stoic, Rust Belt sort of way) title track, despite their gentle cadences and evocative, hard-panned fingerpicking, feel born of an industrial town.

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