[sic] Magazine

Stephen Hero – Golden EP

Patrick Fitzgerald, best known as the singer and bass guitarist in Kitchens Of Distinction, returns to his solo guise, Stephen Hero on this four track EP. Those already familiar with the Stephen Hero back catalogue will find continuity on this EP. Familiar ‘Fitzgerald’ tropes are all across the new release:_ acerbic bitterness, askance glances towards Broadway, and carousel magic. …all remain present and correct here. If you’re new to Patricks alternate universe, but enjoy his ‘parent’ band then lucky you. This EP is your window to another world because lead track ‘Golden’ will surely appeal to all Kitchens fans. Put simply, ‘Golden’ shimmers in the mode of Milk and Kisses era Cocteau Twins.

The ‘solo’ tag is always a misnomer anyway when it comes to Patrick’s music. This much loved songwriter is always surrounded by high profile, talented music biz friends. This time around Tanya Donelly (Belly, Breeders, Throwing Muses) duets on ‘Golden’. I have to say it works wonderfully, Donelly nudging slightly toward the front of the mix. One of her best collaborative efforts for me. Up there with ‘Judy Staring At The Sun’ (Catherine Wheel) All in all a beautiful opening to the EP.

Golden indeed.

The other three tracks (plus two bonuses if you buy the whole EP) are more typically ‘Stephen Hero’. Fitzgerald creates a twilit, autumnal world, a fairyland of baroque waltzes and bitter ripostes. If you’re a total newcomer, imagine a Divine Comedy fronted by Morrissey. That’s close enough. That’s spitting distance. No disservice meant towards anybody there. Surely a compliment? I love Stephen Hero. Check out some of the earlier releases (’58th Star’ is unmissable. The sombre Apparition In The Woods is reviewed elsewhere on these pages) Yet it is the dream-popish ‘Golden’ that stands out for me on this EP. I don’t think many will disagree, it is after all, the lead track.


The Golden EP is available now via Bandcamp for a nonsensical £2. See link below.


Apparition In The Woods

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