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William Fitzsimmons – Please Forgive Me (The Song of the Crow)
I caught William Fitzsimmons while I was on a business trip to Gothenburg in November. (Incidentally, a big shout-out to Jens Lekman, who, when I wrote him an e-mail via his website, immediately — like, within 6 hours — responded with a list of things to do and see in G-burg; Jens’ list is below in my comment).
I didn’t know much about Fitzsimmons apart from comparisons to Iron and Wine, Bon Iver, etc. These comparisons turned out to be both apt and welcome, as he later admitted to me after the show. His bio was certainly intriguing, though I don’t like making too much of these things, since they encourage overly simplistic interpretations: his parents were blind, but music-lovers, so he learned from their passions; he worked for a time as a professional therapist, but gave that up for his music career; he grew up in Pittsburgh but now lives in rural Illinois.
Word to the wise: Swedish shows start on time! Intending not to spend too long standing around by myself, I arrived a few minutes late to find myself checking my coat to the end of a song. The show was in a tiny venue called Storan, in the city center, but it was packed with clearly rabid fans who knew all the words. Fitzsimmons was self-deprecating (perhaps too much so) and chatty between songs — as seen in the video — but also a genuinely nice guy.
Afterwards, a DJ spun tunes, including a song that sounded like brand-new Shout Out Louds. Turns out the singer from SOL, Adam Olenius, and Peter Morén from Peter Bjorn and John have formed a new Svensk super-group called Tutankamon. I grabbed their eponymous album the next day (not nearly as good as the sum of its parts); no word if it will be released in the US.