EP Review :: Fitz. – Bare Bones

“…there is a definite “home-made” feel, a raw quality, which gives the songs a more touching edge.”

Fitz. is the pseudonym used by West-Midlands based musician Sam Fitzpatrick and his accompanying band, who, together, take modern-folk songs filled with pounding percussion and lace them with powerful vocals to deliver an impressively diverse and exciting debut E.P.

Upon graduating from University with a degree in Music Technology, Fitz. resigned himself to a 16th century stone barn in the Black Mountains of South Wales to wholeheartedly concentrate on his music, passionately working on tracks for his debut album ‘Patchwork’. Following the two-month recording of ‘Patchwork’ with the help of talented friends and musicians, Fitz. started working to assemble a live band to accompany him on stage.

As an ensemble, the members of Fitz. worked tirelessly to create a well-rounded debut EP, full of ‘a-la-mode’ folk instrumentals, layered vocals and intricate acoustic guitars. ‘Bare Bones’ is a 4 track masterpiece, filled with heartfelt and passionate songs; a tasty canapé, if you like, allowing a dalliance, a dabble in the delights that Fitz. has to offer and patently leaving you salivating for the full-length album, expected in May 2012.

After listening to the tracks (details of where to find them below), I am compelled to avoid any obvious comparisons (the likes of Mumford and Sons, Ben Howard, Frank Turner would be stereotypically linked to Fitz’s style) I would, however,prefer to place them on a pedestal of their own. Whilst the tracks have been mastered and well-recorded, there is a definite “home-made” feel, a raw quality, which gives the songs a more touching edge. There are no electronic effects, tweaking or over-production; every song is simple yet incredibly effective. Each track has a strong back-bone, a robust guitar riff or set of chords that provides a stable base for the linked instrumentals. The lyrics melt over the guitars, telling tangible and relatable stories whilst the interesting array of instruments and quirky interpretations of “modern-folk” allow the tracks to be unique and stand-out in an ever-growing market.

Whilst the E.P. flows well, each track fusing effortlessly into the next, the tracks all offer their own take on Fitz’s style. There are intense crescendos and quiet interludes. Two favourite tracks on the E.P. include ‘Firelight’ and ‘Maps’ which both contain the aforementioned ingredients that make this E.P. such a success.

As well as an impressive debut E.P., Fitz. has built an equally inspiring repertoire of live gigs, including performances at a ‘Unicef’ concert and entertaining sell out crowds of over a thousand. The band’s versatility and diverse range of talents allows them to offer exciting and powerful performances, whilst also being gifted with the ability to strip their eclectic supply of tracks down to their bare bones to allow for a more intimate and mellow set. This year, Fitz. is due to visit every corner of the UK promoting the release of his debut single ‘Maps’ and his first album ‘Patchwork’ (out May 2012) through independent record label ‘Us Is The New Them’. ‘Patchwork’ will be a developed progression from the debut E.P., maintaining the initial values and musicality present on ‘Bare Bones’ whilst offering a more substantial sound.

Fitz. are: Sam Fitzpatrick on Acoustic Guitars and Vocals, Joel Careless on Bass, Percussion and Electric Guitar, Benjamin Maines-Blatherwick on Percussion and Drums, and Richard Potts on Banjo, Percussion and an eclectic array of acoustic instrumentation.

The band can be found at: http://www.facebook.com/FitzOfficialUK and their music is available from: iTunes/Amazon.com/Play.com/Spotify

http://www.fitzofficial.co.uk

http://www.soundcloud.com/fitzofficial

http://www.youtube.com/fitzofficialuk

[J]

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