Continuing the tradition of high-quality independent Australian country music albums, Bittersweet is an impressive debut album from Tamworth native Mark Fitzsummons. Fitzsummons’s musical style has several influences, including country, but while it’s not strictly a ‘country album’ musically, its dedication to storytelling marks it as an album that would appeal to the country audience.
Fittingly for its title, Bittersweetis by turns haunting – rather than melancholic – jaunty and romantic. Fitzsummons’s concept for the album was that it would ‘ attempt to create a life. One not content to survive in a safe haven of grey but filled with darkness and light, happiness and tears.’ He has achieved this not only through the lyrics he’s written but the way the songs are performed – and that is not always easy to achieve. It is one thing for a songwriter to have a palette of emotions to choose from in writing lyrics; it is another to be able to paint those emotions musically. Bittersweet take the listener on that journey of a life – we feel the highs and lows, the crowded moments and the lonely times.
Hopefully Fitzsummons hasn’t exhausted his store of songs – it would good to hear more, and soon.