Exclusive acoustic performance

With his shaved head and unruly beard, William Fitzsimmons represents an imposing figure.

Certainly, his music can be intense. New album 'Gold In The Shadow' features moments of savage introspection which border in the violent. However there is also empathy, tenderness and above all a sensitive approach to his music.

Stripped down, 'Gold In The Shadow' was recorded with little more than a few guitars and the odd keyboard. Speaking recently, William Fitzsimmons described his new album as "a real and long-coming confrontation with personal demons, past mistakes and the spectre of mental illness which has hovered over me for the great majority of my life."

Having worked as a mental therapist, William Fitzsimmons has experience helping other people recover from trauma. This time, however, he would have to heal himself: "I had reached the point where I was either going to yield to my sicknesses or engage them headlong. In either case, I could no longer continue the way I was."

A remarkable, cathartic document 'Gold In The Shadow' is a testament to the redemptive power of art. Gentle musings on the nature of the soul, William Fitzsimmons adorns his new album with something torn from deep within his person.

Caught on camera, William Fitzsimmons recently performed a version of 'Bird Of Winter Prey'.

Watch it now...

Follow Clash: