Artist To Watch

WXPN Radio

The premier guide for new and significant artists in rock, blues, and folk - including NPR-syndicated World Cafe

XPN2 - XPoNential Radio

24/7 Musical discovery. A unique mix of emerging and heritage blues, rock, world, folk, and alt-country artists.

World Cafe Archives

Join the World Cafe through performances and interviews with celebrated and emerging artists.
  • font size decrease font size decrease font size increase font size increase font size

Fitz & The Tantrums - February 2011 Artist To Watch

It all started with the 88 keys of an old organ. This month's Artist to Watch, Fitz & The Tantrums, is a six-person outfit of soul + pop and some really quite dapper suits. It only took a year for them to hit it big, and they're still growing--there's got to be something good about a band that can coast to sharing stages with Maroon 5 and Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings on just an EP.

But back to the organ. Frontman Michael Fitzpatrick recalls his ex-girlfriend hurriedly phoning him about an old organ for sale next door, and when Fitzpatrick finally got it home that night, the first pieces of the soon-to-be big single "Breaking the Chains of Love" began to form. As he put it, "Sometimes, the Music Gods just give it to you."

Add five musicians, plenty of touring, and a couple new sets of stellar songs that sound straight out of the classic days of Motown, and there's a pretty good description of Fitz and the Tantrums--along with a growing fan base and plenty of critic love. Their latest, "Pickin' Up The Pieces", was released just this past August, and includes "Breaking the Chains of Love". As described in LA Weekly, this album is not withstandable. "It only takes about two minutes and 54 seconds - the length of single Breakin The Chains of Love - to turn a hard-line skeptic into a rug-cutting fool."

Recent Release: Pickin' Up The Pieces
Release Date: August 24, 2010
Label: Dangerbird Records
Hometown:Los Angeles, CA