When I first heard Fitz and the Tantrums' "Moneygrabber" on the radio, I was hooked (and also completely convinced that it was some great soul group from the '60s or '70s). Here I am, months later, finally aware that they are in fact very current, that their entire album is more of the same vivacious indie pop soul, and that they've managed to create one of the most make-you-get-up-and-move sounds around without the use of a single guitar. Here's the first hit from their 2010 release Pickin' Up the Pieces.
From the get go, this track creates a fast moving, pulsing image. Everything's in a constant state of flashing, almost like television static, but with more color. It's as if there's a white background, and all the static flashes are shades of yellow and green, but the washed out retro record sound makes them more like mustard and olive. What is fabulous though is that the colors aren't any more muted for this, it's still bright and warm and almost as blinding as the sun on the five feet of snow outside my window.
All Wrapped up into One original watercolor by Carianne Mack Garside $200
Vintage 1960s Olive Green Clover Pattern Wiggle Dress from Plastic Tags $64
When the opening chorus quiets and we're left alone with Michael Fitzpatrick's voice accompanied by a more mellow bass, barer drum beat, and more sparse piano, the colors stay the same, but they become smoother and creamier. The image just flows more which I think speaks to the inherent sexuality of the vocals, they seem so much more exposed after the crowded vigor of the song's opening.
Honey original painting by S. Swalla $37
Vintage Banana and Yellow White Swirl Dress from Paper Doll Vintage $30
At about two minutes into the track we enter into this incredible bridge, which somehow manages to seem even more retro than the rest of the song. Suddenly the image changes dramatically: we are thrust into darkness. The piano seems even further away, and each count from the vocals is a flash of energy and light, like a spotlight flicking on and off in a smoke-filled nightclub.
Then we're thrust back into the daylight and it seems that much brighter, almost glaring, but still infectious and fun. If you haven't yet, be sure to check out the rest of the album and check back next week as I take a look at some of the Fall 2011 RTW collections from New York Fashion week!
GET THE LOOK: NOELLE SCAGGS
Now this is a beautiful woman with a powerful voice that has been featured by groups from a large variety of musical genres. You name it, she can sing it. Accordingly, she works a variety of fashion styles, almost always reflecting the music being performed. With Fitz and the Tantrums, fittingly enough, she works late '50s and early '60s cocktail dresses which look absolutely stunning on her, and basically look amazing on every woman. I mean, Mad Men became a fashion craze for a reason, right? Here's a small selection of some great vintage wiggle dresses from that era to get your own retro look!