Fitz and the Tantrums Advances Indie Pop/Neo Soul Fusion
Fitz and the Tantrums Branches Out into Hip Hop Rhythms and Beats
Fitz and the Tantrums is the self-titled third studio album from Fitz and the Tantrums, an indie pop group. Their debut studio album, Pickin’ Up the Pieces, was released in August 2010 through indie label Dangerbird Records. It received critical acclaim and reached #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. In the April 2011 issue of Rolling Stone, they were designated as a “band to watch”. The group signed to current label Elektra Records in early 2013 and released their second studio album More Than Just a Dream in May 2013. You may recognize Fitz and the Tantrums from their songs “Out Of My League” and “The Walker”.
Fitz and the Tantrums is a unique indie pop group for their embrace of neo soul, a genre of pop music. The term was coined by music industry entrepreneur Kedar Massenburg during the late 1990s to market and describe a style of music that emerged from soul and contemporary R&B. Neo soul includes elements ranging from jazz, funk, and hip hop to pop, fusion, and African music. It developed in the United States and in the United Kingdom during the 1980s and early 1990s as a soul revival movement.
Fitz and the Tantrums incorporates elements from both indie pop and neo soul to create a satisfying record. Each track on the album blends together to create a cohesive collection of attractive indie pop songs. The opening track and solitary single “HandClap” features rhythmic snaps and claps that create a powerful beat to start off the album. “Roll Up” is easily the best track on the record, featuring infectiously poppy verses and an impressively harmonized chorus. Tracks such as “Tricky”, “Run It” and “Walking Target” highlight the talents of keyboardist Michael Fitzpatrick and percussionist John Wicks, demonstrating the creative approach Fitz and the Tantrums takes to their music.
Overall, Fitz and the Tantrums proves to be a great example of how indie pop can branch out and explore different genres—in this case, it’s neo-soul. Fitz and the Tantrums has always included elements of neo soul in their music, but with their latest record, they’ve really embraced the hip hop side. Hip hop rhythms and beats are more prominent on this record than ever before, and the group has successfully integrated them into their signature sound.
Check out “HandClap” on YouTube below, and if you like what you hear, check out the full album!