Last year Les Étoiles returned to his home town of Bridgnorth, Shropshire. To Leave A Mark is a beautiful evocation of this place, its joy and tragedies, the town as a container of people, times, love and loss. It is about how a place, or better, the memories of a place, intertwine with one’s self, even when, on returning, those memories are not quite true. It is a testament to a ‘homesickness’ for ‘the memory of a home never seen’, to when the sediment of memory matches reality, but also to the more common moments when it does not.

Simply recorded in the front room of his parent’s home on guitar, keyboards and the drum machine on his grandfather’s organ and then carefully produced and mixed by Tim Wright, these are songs of rare warmth and real fragility, rich with emotion and detail. It is a collection to be cherished: one of sadness, joy and uncommon intensity.

Track List

  • 1. The Lookout (2.24)
  • 2. No Such Things (2.58)
  • 3. From High Rock (3.34)
  • 4. Left To Chance (2.56)
  • 5. Taken By The Breeze (3.14)
  • 6. The Terrace (0.57)
  • 7. A Home Never Seen (2.14)
  • 8. The Clearing (3.26)
  • 9. A Few Remains (3.26)
  • 10. Diminishing Returns (1.30)
  • 11. Along Castle Walk (3.02)


To Leave A Mark lasts for the shortest of forevers, seeming positively timeless while playing, then slipping quickly into silence. It’s a remarkably complex album, for one so straightforwardly written and recorded, for such a commonplace and (literally) homely subject matter. Like the best fairytales, these songs issue from a world endlessly recognisable and utterly enchanted. Simply, another astonishing record.


To Leave A Mark is not only beautiful and haunting, but also knowing in a way that may unsettle listeners who are really paying attention: these are Fitzpatrick’s “songs of experience”, and the awareness concentrated in them gives out onto great and searching questions about mortality and identity. The sense of longing amply communicated by Fitzpatrick’s langorously precise voice and limpid arrangements coincides with a more elusive, restless anxiety, which a lyric like “The Clearing” settles but cannot expunge: “bad memories / scattered as the seeds…notions / that cannot blossom”. There is a life’s work in there somewhere.


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.

Leonard's Lair

A touching reflection on identity and mortality, grown from the complex relations between the shaping place of one's youth and a return to it as a changed individual - another great, delicate piece of musical nostalgia.


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This release is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. Essentially, this means you can give it to your friends if you like, as long as you aren't charging for it.