Derek Fawcett's solo debut, The Winter Clothes, draws musically both from his membership in celebrated Chicago acoustic pop quartet Down The Line, and a host of other influences including John Mayer, Tom Petty and Bon Iver. The album's second song, "Leaving", was originally written for a friend who, after trying to hit it big in LA, was returning to Fawcett's native Motown, defeated and uncertain. The spacious opening evokes the emptiness and solitude of life's phase changes: Lots of room for reflection, doubt, and over-analysis. Fawcett's blinking, warm, jagged Wurlitzer is vague in its impartiality, neither approving nor condemning as the premise is introduced. The singer is still smarting from his circumstances, but never quite sneers, and remains warm and earnest despite his vulnerability and the promise of a murky and difficult road ahead. Eventually, buttressed by the entrance of soulful and uplifting guitar work, mellow but driving bass, and a deliberate and resolute kit part, defeat starts to sound a bit more like victory, and the uncertainly more like opportunity.
Having long wanted to make improving the social condition a part of his mission as an artist, Fawcett is also pairing each single song release with a different Chicago charity, in this case, Inspiration Corporation in Uptown (www.inspirationcorp.org). Each charity receives half of all download sale proceeds and half of ticket sales from the 'song release' shows. With these partnerships, he hopes to bring greater awareness to Chicago’s many important social needs, the organizations that try to serve them every day, and the unique ability that artists have to promote and foster positive change in their communities.
Also inspired by Chicago’s vibrant arts scene, Fawcett has chosen a work by a Chicago visual artist for each single-song's artwork: Unique collaborations that Fawcett hopes will bring Chicago’s musical and visual art scenes closer together. The artwork for "Leaving" is Contrail No. 2, a photograph by Kate Joyce.