William Fitzsimmons To Release Covers Album; Listen To “Annie’s Song,” Original By John Denver
June 10, 2022 BY Penny Palmer
You can piece together the life of William Fitzsimmons with the songs he chose to record for his forthcoming album, Covers, Vol. 1. For the Illinois-based singer, songwriter, and producer, some tunes 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.
“I just wanted to do songs that meant a lot to me for varying reasons,” he says. “I share some of the songs with other people. Some of the songs remind me of my childhood. Some of the songs are low-key messages to individuals from my past—and they’re not necessarily positive. Some of the songs are just pure joy. Ultimately, they are all songs I love and respect from artists I think are incredible.”
Joined by longtime friend and frequent collaborator Abby Gunderson, Fitzsimmons channels the bliss of one of his most important memories during “Annie’s Song,” originally by John Denver. Acoustic guitar and mellotron accompany this dreamy duet.
“My mom had a double vinyl for one of John Denver’s live albums, and I remember her playing it over and over again,” he smiles. “I often held the vinyl as a young kid, and I loved the feeling. To my recollection, ‘Annie’s Song’ is the first song I ever heard. For me, it’s instant nostalgia. I go right back to our living room and can feel our house. My mom and I sang John Denver songs together as I got older. What a cool tune to have as a first musical memory.”
Watch The Official Music Video For “Annie’s Song” HERE:
Music means a lot to everyone, but it means everything to William…
“Once the Global Pandemic hit, I found myself at home with time and a basement studio.I needed something to work on, so I just started doing covers,” he shares. “I didn’t even make a list; it was just a way to keep from going crazy. It was self-therapy so that I wouldn’t lose my mind. However, it ended up one of my favorite periods of being a musician.“
He initially teased out Vol. 1 with his take on Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” On the other end of the spectrum, he leans into the breezy energy of Taylor Swift’s “the 1” and spikes it with his subtle sense of soul. Elsewhere, he pays homage to “life-changing” artists such as Sufjan Stevens (“Futile Devices“) and R.E.M. (“Sweetness Follows“) and shows reverence to Gen-Z songsmiths a la Chelsea Cutler (“Please“) and Phoebe Bridgers (“SmokeSignals“). Meanwhile, his take on Elton John’s “Your Song” forever holds a special place in his heart as it effectively turns the page on the next chapter of his life.
“On Valentine’s Day a couple of years ago, I recorded it for my now-wife,” he reveals. “She’s not a big flowers person, so I cut the cover and sent it to her instead. It became our song. She even walked down the aisle to it.“
Fitzsimmons will head out on a 5-date California tour with singer-songwriter and labelmate Joshua Radin at the end of this month. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more news regarding a US Fall 2022 tour. For more information, please visit https://williamfitzsimmons.com/.
1. the 1 (Taylor Swift)
2. Love Will Tear Us Apart (Joy Division)
3. The Commander Thinks Aloud (The Long Winters)
4. Solsbury Hill (Peter Gabriel)
5. Annie’s Song (John Denver)
6. Please (Chelsea Cutler)
7. Futile Devices (Sufjan Stevens)
8. Sweetness Follows (R.E.M.)
9. Naked As We Came (Iron & Wine)
10. Your Song (Elton John)
11. Lovin’s For Fools (Sarah Siskind)
12. Smoke Signals (Phoebe Bridgers)
Monday, June 20 Solana Beach, CA @ Belly Up Tavern
Tuesday, June 21 San Juan Capistrano, CA @ Coach House Concert Hall
Thursday, June 23 Felton, CA @ Felton Music Hall
Friday, June 24 Napa, CA @ Blue Note Napa
Saturday, June 25 Napa, CA @ Blue Note Napa