It's been an album every year for former indie hero figure Patrick Fitzgerald. 'Darkness & The Day' is his first full album under the moniker of Stephen Hero and - more significantly - the first without his former Kitchens Of Distinction associates to lend a hand. It would be easy to criticise and claim that these stripped-down, low-budget epics would benefit from a few FX pedals and blasts of feedback but that would be to insult Fitzgerald's songwriting abilities. 'Foolish Things', 'Fall (At The Water Get Close)' and the defiant trio that conclude the album demonstrate an artist who still has something to say and is resonant enough in voice to stir the emotions. Lacking the rush of excitement of Fitzgerald's earlier band maybe, his own solo career reveals a maturity that has a particular relevance of its very own.