Singer-Songwriter William Fitzsimmons Announces ‘Covers, Vol. 2,’ the Second in a Two-Part Concept Series
April 7, 2023 BY Jason Currell
After introducing his two-part concept with Covers Vol. 1 last November, Illinois-based producer and renowned troubadour William Fitzsimmons announces Covers Vol. 2, due out August 11th via Nettwerk.
“As personal and intimate as my Covers Vol. 1 project was, I consider Vol. 2 to be about as deep a personal journey I’ve ever taken in music.” William explains. “As opposed to being a carry over from the first volume, I went back to square one and spent hours tearing through my past and listing dozens of songs which meant so much to me at different points in my life. Some were discovered 40 decades ago; others only in the last few years, but they all carry deep meaning for me.”
What better way to tell a musician’s story than through the songs that formed them. William unveiled his hushed version of Billy Joel’s “Vienna,” in February and today, he shares the Christine McVie-penned “Hold Me,” originally released by Fleetwood Mac. His bright guitar tones are complimented by string arrangements written and performed by friend and longtime collaborator Abby Gundersen.
“Christine McVie, to me, was always the unsung hero of Fleetwood Mac. Never insisting on the spotlight, she nevertheless contributed massively to their impossible catalog. While Stevie and Lindsay shined brightly, she labored tirelessly and created some of their most magical songs. ‘Hold Me’, while likely not as well-known as many of their other hits, is a perfect example of her ability to write the catchiest of pop melodies while still communicating such potent emotions. ‘Hold Me’ was a specific challenge to cover because it’s largely a song of devotion; asking the other for a chance and real connection. But this is why I love playing it so much; it stands in contrast to much of my own writing, focusing on the brighter side of love. The sweet and bright guitars, the playful string arrangement written and performed by Abby Gundersen; it invites the listener to feel inspired in commitment. But most simply, it was just a chance to say thank you to one of the most gifted artists I’ve ever heard.”
Listen to William Fitzsimmons’ “Hold Me” out on all digital retailers (here).
You can piece together the life of William Fitzsimmons with these songs. Some recollect joyful moments at home as a kid, and others recall his high school days. A handful of tracks address heartbreak head-on without apology, while a few reflect his inclination to embrace youthful wonder and creativity. No matter what, his voice carries these words straight from the heart.
Fitzsimmons was born to blind musician parents with an incredible collection of instruments and records. In their house, “music was this level playing field we could experience together because you don’t need to be able to see to enjoy it.“ Dad played the organ and favored baroque and classical, while mom loved folk and sang hymns in a choir. The family would call out favorite chords and bond through sound. Even though dad “wished he did more serious music,“ William jammed along to everyone from Metallica and The Steve Miller Band to The Beatles. He eventually achieved a master’s degree in counseling and held down a day job as a mental health therapist, yet music’s magnetic pull never let go of him.
Following 2005’s Until When We Are Ghosts, he generated hundreds of million streams across albums such as Goodnight , The Sparrow And The Crow , and fan favorites like Gold In The Shadow , Lions , Pittsburgh , Mission Bell , Ready The Astronaut , and No Promises: The Astronaut’s Return . He’s landed significant syncs on ABC, NBC, MTV, Lifetime, and The CW. Notably, NPR once dubbed him “A Songwriter With Vision,” and he incited the applause of American Songwriter, Billboard, NYLON, Pop Matters, Rolling Stone, Q Magazine, Uncut, and more.
In November 2022, Fitzsimmons unveiled Covers Vol. 1 with special renditions of Joy Division (“Love Will Tear Us Apart”), Sufjan Stevens (“Futile Devices”), and even Gen-Z songsmiths like Phoebe Bridgers (“Smoke Signals”). His take on Elton John’s “Your Song” is especially meaningful.
Now, Fitzsimmons expands upon his musical DNA with Covers Vol. 2. Listeners are treated to stirring renditions of classics like Billy Joel (“Vienna”), Bruce Springsteen (“Streets of Philadelphia”), James Taylor (“Fire & Rain)” and Peter Gabriel (“In Your Eyes”), as well as indie gems from Radiohead (“Weird Fishes”), JP Saxe (“A Little Bit Yours”), and Manchester Orchestra (“Sleeper 1972”). Also incuded are some unexpected offerings like Jeremy Zucker (“Scared”), Del Amitiri (“Tell Her This”), and Go West (“King of Wishful Thinking”).
“People familiar with my catalog would likely be surprised to know that I’m actually quite a huge fan of pop music. From the brilliance of the Beatles and the Beach Boys, to the more contemporary stylings of Harry Styles, Beyonce, and Taylor Swift, I enjoy a catchy tune as much as the next person. Pop music often gets a bad rap for leaning towards the least common denominator as opposed to the more complex, but a well written pop song has the ability to reach infinitely more people with universal themes and emotions.”
William elaborates on the songs: “They express things which I’ve not found a way to yet in my own catalog; or at least serve as an addendum to it. Feelings either too buried or difficult to express in my own words, they represent a more full picture of who I believe myself to be not just as a songwriter, but simply as a guy with a mortgage, three kids, a few divorces, and a whole lot of neuroses. As with every song I’ve ever recorded, I simply hope they make their way to people who will be helped in hearing them. Given a sense of joy, or commonality, or peace.”
- A Little Bit Yours (JP Saxe)
- Fire & Rain (James Taylor)
- King of Wishful Thinking (Go West)
- In Your Eyes (Peter Gabriel)
- Scared (Jeremy Zucker)
- Tell Her (Del Amitiri)
- Hold Me (Fleetwood Mac)
- Streets of Philadelphia (Bruce Springsteen)
- Vienna (Billy Joel)
- Sleeper 1972 (Machester Orchestra)
- Weird Fishes (Radiohead)