Fritz Michel is emotionally stranded in his new single On The Rocks — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
The title track from the singer-songwriter’s upcoming debut EP out June 17, On The Rocks measures the distance that can come between people as circumstance widens the divide. The song is told from the perspective of a shipwrecked sailor, stranded on a bleak, stormy coast, determined to stick it out and close gaps brought about by distance. Fritz credits an item he inherited from his grandmother as being the inspiration for the track; an illustrated edition of the Robert Louis Stevenson novel Kidnapped.
On The Rocks follows the release of the EP’s first two singles — We Are What We Are, an empathetic, deeply personal mid-tempo number that explores the power of connection, and Suddenly You Love Me, a catchy and compelling reinterpretation of the British invasion band The Tremeloes’ 1968 hit.
Arriving on the heels of Michel’s previous single Look Out — which critics called “warm and alluring” while boasting “a cinematic sound — Michel is taking his next step with On The Rocks. Even as it finds him taking a bold step forward in his emerging music career, the song draws distinct references to his bilingual roots and a multi-faceted creative history that constantly mines new avenues of expression and exploration.
The five songs featured on the 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.
Although he never had any formal musical training, Fritz plays several instruments, including guitar, bass and piano. His musical preferences are varied as well, ranging from jazz to Americana to rock ’n’ roll, and, in general, anything that offers him the ability to simply tell a story. The fact that Fritz has acted professionally in film, on television and on Broadway helped imbue his efforts with imagination and insight.
“I think the reward of creating music — or any art for that matter — lies in the conversation and collaboration that precedes it,” Fritz suggests. “I find I’m fully attuned to the process when I’m simply listening and allowing myself to be receptive to those things that are transpiring around me.
“I’m finding my way back to performing,” he adds. “I really love playing live because that’s really where it’s at for me. It’s like putting on a play. You build on a premise, create a narrative, and then attempt to win over your audience with your ideas and invention. My journey has always been about the more people I can meet. Everyone teaches you something, and I think that’s an important lesson to impart.”
Listen to On The Rocks above, check out more of Fritz Michel’s music below, and follow him on Instagram.