Led by songwriter Michael Fitzpatrick, Fitz & 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 & 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 & the Tantrums returned with 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." ~ Andrew Leahey