Have U Heard?: Fitz and the Tantrums

c/o Fitz and the Tantrums Facebook page — chillin' in the church of Soul Pop

So, let me get this straight —  a band exists out there with a lead male/female singer, no guitars, and references soul/R&B music of the 60s with a modern twist? When I heard about Fitz and the Tantrums, I just knew it was going to be love at first listen. And it was.

"Breakin' The Chains Of Love": The first song ever wrote by Michael Fitzpatrick, founder of F&TT

Formed in 2008 in Los Angeles, CA, Michael Fitzpatrick called up his friend from college who happened to be a sax player, and was then introduced to singer Noelle Scaggs, as well as the band's future drummer, where the group just kinda fell together. Named after Fitzpatrick's last name (with Tantrums added to the end — genius!), Michael was clearly inspired by the sounds of Motown, but wanted to make music that was relevant today — since a lot of bands just blatantly copy music styles from the past. The whole guitar-less aspect of F&TT is just Michael's personal taste; he got sick and tired of hearing guitars everywhere in modern music.

Although their sound is actually quite contemporary compared to 60s soul jams of the past, their lyrics are very ol-skool indeed. Check out the chorus to the song linked above, "Breakin' The Chains Of Love":

Oh what a lovely day
Breaking the chains of love
I'm hoping that you won't find a new love
Cause I know baby you're mine
Can't you see that you're mine
Oh, can't you see, can't you see that you're mine

Just a classic tune about lost love, no big deal. Maybe what makes F&TT so retro-cool isn't mainly their sound; it's also their lyrics. 

Too cool for new school — F&TT's music video for "MoneyGrabber"

Do F&TT sound a little familiar to you? Not in the Motown-inspired music sense, but maybe Michael's voice and songwriting style? In October of last year, Daryl Hall of Hall & Oates fame featured the group on his web series Live from Daryl's House (which is a totally awesome segment that you should really check out). Apparently, Daryl's mother was at the session and remarked that Michael's voice was exactly the same as her son's!

I'll leave you with F&TT's performance of "Pickin' Up The Pieces" on Live from Daryl's House, with Mr. Hall himself singing along! Hmm, he and Michael do have some similar vocal styles going on after all...

What do you think of Fitz and the Tantrums?

~ A.H.  

Have U Heard? (HUH) is a weekly feature where we profile a new up and coming artist you might not have heard yet. If you have any artist suggestions, just drop them in our ask box!