Fitz and the Tantrums explore desire on self-titled third studio album
The L.A.-based, neo soul/indie pop band Fitz and the Tantrums made a splash in 2010 with the “soulful R&B-revival sound” of their debut album, Pickin’ Up The Pieces. The single ‘MoneyGrabber’ was a Top 5 hit on Billboard’s Adult Alternative Songs chart, and second album, More than Just a Dream, offered up a “New Wave-influenced dance-pop sound” on Elektra Records that was produced by Tony Hoffer (Beck, Phoenix, The Kooks). The album topped the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart in 2013, supported by the gold-certified No. 1 Alternative Songs chart singles ‘The Walker’ and ‘Out of My League.’ The album’s success sent Fitz and the Tantrums on the road for two years, creating a reputation as one of genre’s top live acts.
“We felt incredibly validated by the reception to ‘More Than Just A Dream,’ declares the band’s co-vocalist, Michael “Fitz” Fitzpatrick. “We knew we could pull from many different styles and create a truly hybrid form of music, and do it in a way that felt authentic,” he reveals in a news release posted on FitzandtheTantrums.com. However a case of writer’s block required that he and co-vocalist, Noelle Scaggs, resort to outside collaborators for the first time ever.
The six-piece outfit enlisted the help of songwriters and producers including Sam Hollander (Panic! At The Disco), Wallpaper’s Ricky Reed (Twenty-One Pilots, Jessie J, Jason Derulo), Jesse Shatkin (Sia, Matt & Kim), and Joel Little (Ellie Goulding, Lorde). “We relinquished control of ourselves,” says Scaggs, “and that enabled us to tell our story in a completely truthful manner.” Fitz and the Tantrums’ third studio album via New Elektra/Atlantic Records debuts at No. 4 on the Billboard Alternative Albums chart, and No. 17 on the Billboard 200.
Fitz and the Tantrums is the six-piece outfit’s third studio album. The new project via New Elektra/Atlantic Records debuts at No. 4 on the Billboard Alternative Albums chart, and No. 17 on the Billboard 200. “We wanted to give people permission to lose control,” Fitz says. “We want the album to be a call to arms and for people to come to the church of the song.”
The result is Fitz and the Tantrums’ “most emotionally connected record yet and one that centers on the theme of desire.” Fitzpatrick says he wanted to explore the idea of desire in all of its forms, beginning with the “primal, sexual desire” on songs such as ‘HandClap,’ the album’s lead single, which is currently No. 5 on the Mediabase Alternative airplay chart and No. 6 on Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart. ‘HandClap’ is also nominated for a Teen Choice Award as Best Rock Song.
“Desire is one of those emotions that really forces you to turn your brain off and just feel,” states Fitzpatrick. Scaggs adds the band’s goal was to make a record that “makes anyone listening feel something from the heart and feel like they are a part of this community we’ve created.” Fitz and the Tantrums are currently touring more than 40 of those “communities” at venues and festivals in the U.S. and Canada. Live shows through late November include Summerfest in Milwaukee (June 29); House of Blues Dallas (July 23); Seattle (Aug. 20); Vancouver, BC (Aug. 24); Calgary, AB (Aug. 27); Riot Fest in Denver (Sept. 2-4) and Chicago (Sept. 16-18); and at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles.
Watch the official music video for ‘HandClap’ from Fitz and the Tantrums’ new self-titled album.
As A Matter of Fact…
* The Los Angeles-based sextet Fitz and the Tantrums formed in 2008. The band members include Michael “Fitz” Fitzpatrick (vocals), Noelle Scaggs (vocals), James King (saxophone, flute), Jeremy Ruzumna (keyboards), John Wicks (drums, percussion) and Joseph Karnes (bass).
* Fitzpatrick initially created the band’s Motown and Stax Records-inspired retro sound. He founded the Tantrums as a neo-soul solo project, purchasing an old church organ to further inspire his songwriting.
* The band played its first show in December 2008 at Hollywood’s Hotel Café. A self-released EP titled Songs for a Breakup, Vol. 1 appeared in 2009, and the Tantrums were soon on their way.
* The band opened for Maroon 5, performed at South by Southwest, and recorded their full-length debut, Pickin’ Up The Pieces, in August 2010. Fitz and the Tantrums was named a “You Oughta Know” artist by VH1 as the music video for the 2011 gold-selling hit single, ‘MoneyGrabber,’ surpassed three million.
* Fitz and the Tantrums signed with Elektra Records to release 2013’s More than Just a Dream. The group worked with producer Tony Hoffer (Beck, M83, Phoenix) and had the singles ‘Out Of My League’ and ‘The Walker’ go to No. 1 on Billboard's Alternative Songs chart.