Led by songwriter Michael Fitzpatrick, Fitz and the Tantrums brew up a retro sound inspired by Motown and Stax Records. Fitzpatrick initially formed the Tantrums as a neo-soul solo project; having purchased an old church organ, he found that it helped inspire his songwriting. While recording a solo EP, he recruited an old college friend, James King, to add horn arrangements to the material. The lineup grew from there, with the Tantrums eventually becoming a co-ed septet. Songs for a Break Up, Vol. 1 marked the group's first release in 2009, and Fitz and the Tantrums headed to South by Southwest the following year, stirring up some industry buzz in the process.
In 2010, the band returned with its first full-length effort, Pickin' Up the Pieces, featuring the single "MoneyGrabber." Their second studio album, the Tony Hoffer-produced More Than Just a Dream, appeared in 2014. The album's lead single, "Out of My League," reached number one on Billboard's Alternative chart. In 2016, Fitz and the Tantrums released a self-titled third album, featuring production from Jesse Shatkin (Sia, Tegan & Sara), Joel Little (Ellie Goulding, Lorde), and Ricky Reed (Jessie J, Jason Derulo). Included on the album was the lead single "Handclap." The following year -- in conjunction with their summer trek with OneRepublic and James Arthur -- the group issued a deluxe edition of Fitz and the Tantrums featuring a new single, "Fool." A standalone single, "123456," arrived in 2019. ~ Andrew Leahey