The most relatable song lyrics are ones that most can or have experienced at some point: finding love, losing love, growing up. These types of songs are common because of how easy it is to relate to them. Songs about death are also easily relatable but perhaps come out of a different place for the songwriter. In the case of William Fitzsimmons‘ Pittsburgh, the lyrics seem to serve more as personal therapy than simply to relate.
The 7-track EP was written about his late grandmother with lyrics on nostalgia, regret, her life and her passing. In it, he sings about who she was, their relationship, and how he wishes he could have been there more.
The lyrics are sometimes striking. In I Had To Carry Her, he sings about her funeral and mentions his regret of not having been home in so long to the promise of telling his children of her love even though they’ll never know her. Yet, such a sombre moment is marked with a matter-of-fact melody. It doesn’t evoke tears. The song, like the rest of the record, doesn’t try to be weighty. Instead, it’s peaceful, coupled with William’s vocals, which are always soothing.
Musically, there is little variation. Better and Matter both use a light drum beat, but atmosphere doesn’t play as big a role here as it did on his last record Lions and that can take a toll on someone who isn’t in the mindset to be emotionally invested. But for those one who is, Pittsburgh can be very comforting.
1. I Had To Carry Her (Virginia’s Song)
2. Falling On My Sword
7. Ghosts of Penn Hills