Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival Announces 2019 Official Headliners Fitz and the Tantrums
By guest contributor: Morgan Kosinski
Either you know all the words to the refrain of “HandClap,” or you’re just lying. Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival is elated to announce the addition of the indie pop Fitz and the Tantrums, to the 2019 line-up.
Established in 2008, Fitz and the Tantrums have quickly grown from indie upstarts, to bonafide hitmakers. Scorching up the scene with the soulful R&B revival sound, their debut album Pickin’ Up The Pieces (2010 Dangerbird Records) introduced us to Michael Fitzpatrick, Noelle Scaggs, James King, Joseph Karnes, Jeremy Ruzumna and John Wicks.
Featuring singles, ‘Moneygrabber’ and ‘Don’t Gotta Work It Out’, the album earned rave reviews and the band soon began filling venues across the US and abroad. It didn’t take long for rock legend Daryl Hall to take notice, and he swiftly invited them on his local show, ‘Live From Daryl’s House.’
Then it was on to huge performances at Bonnaroo, Coachella, and Lollapalooza.
For their 2013 follow-up, the band offered up a New Wave-influenced dance-pop sound with its Elektra Records debut, 2013’s More Than Just A Dream, which featured platinum-certified and #1 Alternative Radio singles “The Walker” and “Out of My League.”
Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic, noted in 2013 that, “As on its predecessor, band founder and singer Michael “Fitz” Fitzpatrick understands what makes a good song, as evidenced by “Get Away” and “The End,” two gems that suggest evolution. And co-vocalist Noelle Scaggs’ charisma overflows.”
The album’s success sent Fitz and the Tantrums on a two-year touring odyssey, which enabled the Los Angeles-based sextet — known for its explosive, no-holds barred live shows — to cement themselves as one of the country’s hottest live acts.
“We felt incredibly validated by the reception to More Than Just A Dream,” says Fitz.
“We knew we could pull from many different styles and create a truly hybrid form of music, and do it in a way that felt authentic. At that point, we felt even more empowered to do whatever we wanted creatively.”
According to their band website, when it came time to write the songs for their third album, it became clear to Fitz and his co-vocalist Noelle Scaggs that they were suffering from a classic case of writer’s block.
“The last album was made super fast and in something of a bubble,” Fitz says. “This time there was a lot of massive change happening for all of us personally, so once we put our roots back in the ground at home, I needed someone to hold up a mirror and say, ‘Where are you right now, as a human being? What do you care about? What do you want to say to the world?’”
To hold up that mirror, the band turned to outside collaborators for the first time — the songwriters and producers Sam Hollander (Panic! At The Disco), Wallpaper’s Ricky Reed (Twenty-One Pilots), Jesse Shatkin (Sia, Matt & Kim), and Joel Little (Lorde), which gave the band an opportunity to answer some tough questions. “We relinquished control of ourselves,” Scaggs says, “and that enabled us to tell our story in a completely truthful manner.”
The result is an emotionally connected record that centers on the theme of desire.
“I wanted to explore this idea of desire in all of its forms,” Fitz says, “from primal, sexual desire on a song like ‘HandClap’ to the desire or need to belong on a song like ‘A Place for Us.’ Desire is one of those emotions that really forces you to turn your brain off and just feel. That’s just the nature of it. And that lends itself really well to us making a record that provides a soundtrack for people to access that emotion no matter where they are. If you’re getting ready for work in the morning and you’re thinking, ‘Ugh, I hate my boss,’ you have access to this music anytime that just changes the molecular structure in the room. It changes the energy.”
That album – titled Fitz and the Tantrums (Elektra) – features their biggest hit to date. “HandClap” The RIAA-certified Double Platinum single went top 5 on both the Hot AC and Alternative Radio charts.
The band has continued to bring the infectious energy of their live shows to the small screen, with nationally televised performances on ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars,” “Good Morning America,” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” NBC’s “Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “America’s Got Talent,” and Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and the syndicated “Ellen DeGeneres Show” among others.
Now, ‘Hand Clap’ may have permanent real estate in your cranium (does that song ever leave your head? Asking for a friend…) but if ‘Fool’ isn’t on every one of your recent playlists, stop everything you’re doing and make it happen.
‘Let Me Love You’ is insanely popular but you must check out their toned down version recorded at Spotify Studios NYC. And all I’m saying is, if I meet my maker one day, they better play ‘Roll Up’ when I walk up to the pearly gates.
The band is currently working on their 4th album and are excited to perform Saturday, May 18 on the Methodist Richardson Stage at Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival in Richardson, Texas. General admission tickets and VIP passes available at www.wildflowerfestival.com.