William Fitzsimmons Wrestles With Shame on 'Took' - Video Premiere

Check out this exclusive version taped at L.A.'s Hotel Café

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On "Took," Illinois-based singer-songwriter William Fitzsimmons reveals a dark episode from his past, telling the tale of how someone once took punishment for him. "It's about someone making a choice to carry the burden and shame for something in order to look out for somebody else,” he tells Rolling Stone. "It's not kindness. It's pushing someone out of the way of a runaway train of shit to take the impact yourself."

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This version of "Took" was recorded live at the Hotel Café in Los Angeles and Fitzsimmons conveys these dark sentiments in gentle fashion – but despite the song's tenderness, the brutality of it all still comes across. "There's indignation in the song – an anger for having to wear the black hat," he says. "But the final decision is still to take the hit yourself, to be the 'fucked up' one, even if it means losing everything. Somebody did that for me and the very least I could do was to write a song about them."

Fitzsimmons' new album Lions is out February 18th and was produced by Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla. His U.S. tour starts on April 15th in Brooklyn.