Alternative soul-pop outfit Fitz and the Tantrums called its new album More Than Just a Dream, suggesting that the band which literally rose to the top of the buzz bin out of nowhere realizes that its quick climb isnt just a 15-minute fairy tale. With its second album, the group is ready to prove its no one trick retro pony.
We always saw that first record as a cross-genre record, and we were trying to mix different styles Motown soul being in the foreground, says frontman Michael Fitzpatrick, who shares vocals with Noelle Scaggs. We thought it was a deeper record than a retro throwback. We just wanted to make a broader record that combined all our influences in a different way. We tried to find for the long term what Fitz and the Tantrums was all about.
The group plays Amos Southend with co-headliner Capital Cities Wednesday.
Fitzs rise seemed fated from the beginning, when Fitzpatrick purchased an electronic organ, wrote what became the groups first songs and rallied a band. Less than two weeks after getting together, it played its first show.
Everything else I had done before felt like shoving a square peg through a round hole with a sledgehammer, he recalls. Pretty much from the beginning of this band the magic of writing those first couple songs, the reactions from my toughest critics, the ease of putting together these musicians and the first reaction from the crowd was just different.
The group almost immediately had invitations to tour with Maroon 5, Flogging Molly and Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings.
It felt like there was this alignment in the stars, this wind at our backs. Come on. Youre a band thats done 10 shows. When does that ever happen?
Fitzpatrick spent years playing in bands that went nowhere and assisting other artists in the studio.
I was definitely becoming a bit jaded with some baggage, he says. I have so radically shifted my perspective.
The uplifting More Than Just a Dream sounds like a band on cloud nine. And rightly so: After finishing up an arena tour with Bruno Mars during which the Tantrums won over new fans with its party-starting live show Fitzpatrick and actress girlfriend Kaylee DeFer (Gossip Girl) welcomed baby Theodore as the infectious single Out of My League struck No. 1 at alternative radio.
Fitzpatrick, who is 41, says its probably best it took him this long to get a band off the ground.
A little bit of maturity gives you the strength and conviction to hold to what you believe and to stick with it and have some gratitude and appreciation for whats happening, he adds. If it happened at 20 years old, I mightve turned out to be the biggest a------ in the world.
The album is stacked with irresistible pop songs, and thats what the group intended.
You can write a song and people are singing it before its even finished that first time, he says. That became the bar wanting each song to have that infectious nature to it. I think what we realized when we were near the finish line of this record was were writing these songs with our audience in mind. Because our live show is so dominant, we were writing choruses that would incorporate singalong parts. Our first record, we were writing it for us. Our audience informed the way we wrote this record.
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