Fitz and The Tantrums are bringing the Motown sound back to modern music. The band's frontman, Michael Fitzpatrick, has described his music as "soul-influenced indie pop" and also reiterated that the sound is similar to Motown Records, but that he's not trying to recreate it. In no way is a resemblance to Motown music a bad thing; in fact, it's one of the many reasons that Fitz and The Tantrums have struck a pleasing chord with fans and critics alike.
Michael Fitzpatrick - or Fitz - had been working as a singer and songwriter in Los Angeles for a few years, without any major claim to fame. One fateful day, Fitz received a call from his ex-girlfriend, whose neighbor had to move out quickly and was selling most of his things, including an old church organ. After hiring and pleading a group of people to move it into his living room, Fitz sat down at the organ and was struck by wave after wave of inspiration. "Breakin' The Chains of Love" was the song that first flowed from the organ and became the single off of his first EP, Songs For a Break Up, Vol. 1. While he liked the electric guitar on the track, Fitz felt it was the saxophone that shone through brightest, giving him the idea to create songs without any guitar at all (excluding a funky bass). Before recording, Fitz had to find some Tantrums; he recruited the sultry voice of Noelle Scaggs (former singer for The Rebirth, whom he produced), drummer John Wicks, keyboardist Jeremy Ruzumna (former musical director for Macy Gray), saxophonist James King (who has backed De La Soul), and bassist Joseph Karnes. He recorded all the songs for the EP in his living room in 2009, and the album slowly began to spread to the east coast. It made its way to New York, where the EP found its way into the hands of a tattoo artist who was inking Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine. The artist urged Levine to listen to the album and the singer was immediately impressed, personally inviting Fitz and The Tantrums to open for Maroon 5 on their 2009 tour.
Fitz and The Tantrums was signed to Dangerbird Records in 2010 and shortly after released their first full-length album, Pickin' Up The Pieces. The album became a huge success, including the single "MoneyGrabber," and brought Fitz and his Tantrums a fair amount of fame. The group's sophomore album, More Than Just a Dream, was released in 2013 and featured the hit single, "Out of My League". Not only did the single reach the top of Billboard's Alternative Chart, the album itself peaked at #26 on the Billboard 200. The following year, Fitz and The Tantrums attended the Austin City Limits Music Festival, giving acclaimed performances across both weekends.
The band's third, self-titled album was released in 2016, and its lead single, "HandClap", experienced heavy rotation on radio stations around the world. The next year, Fitz and The Tantrums supported OneRepublic on their Honda Civic Tour.