Before earning comparisons to Iron & Wine and Sufjan Stevens with his hushed, eclectic folk music, singer/songwriter William Fitzsimmons honed his skills in Pennsylvania. Born in Pittsburgh to two blind parents, both of whom were living-room musicians, he began playing piano and trombone in elementary school and taught himself guitar as a junior-high student. Over time, he also learned to play banjo, melodica, ukulele, and mandolin. While pursuing a master's degree at Geneva College, Fitzsimmons began tracking some of his songs on home recording equipment. These self-produced recordings were compiled together and released as 2005's Until When We Are Ghosts, a strong debut album that appeared during Fitzsimmons' time working as a mental health therapist.