Somewhere in the quietest corners of Britain, a subgenre of music has slowly been growing in popularity. Along with the likes of July Skies, Epic45 and A Dancing Beggar before him, David Fitzpatrick is a purveyor of psychogeography in musical form; essentially relating the emotional effect places can have on individuals. The focal point of Les Étoiles’ (as he calls himself) second album, is a return visit to Bridgnorth in Shropshire; a town steeped in history, where Fitzpatrick spent his formative years.
Echoing the nasal style of Talk Talk’s Mark Hollis, Fitzpatrick seems forever at the point of tears on this album, almost as if the nostalgic feelings for Bridgnorth are too much for him to bear. His style is less dreamy than July Skies and Epic45 as, instead of pretty guitar patterns and samples, he relies heavily on his trembling tones, melancholic passages of keyboards and a smattering of drum machine. ‘Taken By The Breeze’ is made up of layers of organ and piano and is a song so slow-paced and despairing, it’s hard not to be moved by it. For ‘The Terrace’, a brief but key track, he bravely sings unaccompanied and the effect is genuinely spinetingling.
‘To Leave A Mark’ never overplays its message; with eleven tracks taking up less than thirty minutes of music. Its mood may be subdued and sad but it contains a warmth and richness that will provide comfort to anyone who has returned to a familiar scene, only to experience a strong sense of loss.
Joaquin Esquivel, Talk Less, Say More, Talk Talk, July Skies