For nearly ten years, George FitzGerald has called Berlin home. More recently, fatherhood has made the artist reconsider his life’s pace and so he made the decision to relocate, returning to his roots in London. That tension — between returning home years later, and moving on from a place where he’d set roots and established himself — is at the heart of FitzGerald’s latest album All That Must Be, his best, and most personal album to date.
FitzGerald made a name for himself with a slew of club-focused deep house singles and EPs from 2010 onward, eventually releasing his debut album Fading Love via Domino Records in 2015. It was his first direct attempt to use his music to express his own state of emotion, rather than writing songs in the service of other people on the dance floor. He cut samples out of his toolkit entirely, focusing instead on being the source of his own material, and forged ahead with a style that was a unique mix of post-dubstep and house — a sound all his own.
All That Must Be picks up on the introspective air of his debut while further blurring the stylistic lines of his sound. Much of that sound is informed by the major shift in FitzGerald’s life, and so the result is a record that has a strong sense of place, but establishes it so masterfully that it feels caught between several places at once, both in terms of geography and life periods. Like the singles we’ve heard so far, “Burns,” “Roll Back,” “Outgrown” and “Nobody But You,” the songs on All That Must Be are disoriented by change.
I talked to FitzGerald while he was on a recent stopover to the States about this record’s development, how leaving Berlin behind also meant changing the way he performed his music live, the importance of building trust with collaborators before stepping into a studio together, and, finally, the way club music still calls out to him.