Title - On the Rocks [EP]
Artist - Fritz Michel
For those of you not in the know, arriving on the heels of his latest single Look Out - which the critics called “warm and alluring,” boasting “a cinematic sound” - Fritz Michel is taking his next step with the release of his debut EP, On the Rocks.
While it finds him taking a bold step forward in his emerging music career, On the Rocks also draws distinct references to his bilingual roots and a multi-faceted creative history that constantly mines new avenues of expression and exploration.
Artistic expression generally knows no bounds, and given Michel’s array of experience, that’s clearly the case.
Born in France and based in NYC, he’s made his mark as an accomplished actor who’s shared his skills in film, television, and the stage. And now, as evidenced by his new EP, Michel’s ambitions have expanded to include making music that’s articulate, intelligent and instantly accessible.
Like his previous singles “Darker Now,” “King of Corona” and “Stardust” – all of which accumulated thousands of hits on YouTube and Spotify – Fritz’s debut EP embraces a pure pop sound, similar in stance to Belle & Sebastian, Badfinger, and Big Star, with a flair for melodious melodies and a certain lyrical largess.
1. On the Rocks
2. King of Corona
3. We Are What We Are
4. Suddenly You Love Me
5. Siffler Sur La Colline
The EP opens with the drum-led, mid-tempo vibrancy of the title track On the Rocks and then brings forth the REM-vibe of King of Corona, following that up neatly with the languishing melodic majesties found within We Are What We Are (whose video, see below, is a conceptual 21st century riff on “The Wizard of Oz”), the EP rounding out on the jaunty pop-rock of Suddenly You Love Me (a past hit by the British Invasion band the Tremeloes), and performed here in both English and in French (as Siffler Sur La Colline).
The five songs featured on the On the Rocks EP capture Fritz’s facility for writing expressive, accessible songs, thanks to a radio-ready sound that’s both evocative and magnetic.
Engaging an array of creative collaborators, including producers Jason Cummings and Tosh Sheridan, Fritz retraces the various threads of his life’s journey and combines them into a new reality.
“That song was an international hit in the early 1970s,” Fritz recalls about Suddenly You Love Me, “And I thought to myself, why not cover French singer/songwriter Joe Dassin. I speak French fluently and, as an actor, I’ve played many French character roles on television and in the movies.”
“I thought singing in French would be an interesting creative challenge and hidden connections inform musical ideas. I grew up speaking French in school and English at home. Maybe that ambiguity informs my music, much as it does my life.”
Fritz Michel - We Are What We Are (Official Music Video)
Fritz Michel @ Instagram
Fritz Michel @ Spotify