Artist of the Week: Tim Fite

Do you ever wish you could reinvent yourself? Popping in a pair of contacts and experimenting with hair dye isn’t enough sometimes. You want to be able to take more risks, have a different voice, or even change your name and become a whole new person. New Jersey native, Tim Fite, aka Little T, aka Timothy Sullivan has pulled a hat trick in all those regards, and it started with a trip back to his former high school.

As enjoyable as it is wearing your bathrobe until late in the afternoon while lying around on your leopard print covers and telling “purple cow” jokes (and that was just with “Shaniqua”), Mr. Fite flipped the script to record revered indie treasures such as Gone Aint’ Gone, Over The Counter Culture, and the recent Anti Records release Fair Ain’t Fair. This collection of endearing and sample-laden tracks has a mad scientist feel to them.

When “Line by Line” went down the assembly line, Dr. Fite attached a step crew’s hand clapping to the track, and when “Trouble” rolled by he affixed the crashing cymbals of a marching band. The songs from the record went through four cycles before they were pressed and delivered. Various drum tempos were recorded at Fite’s old high school, then he picked through his old record collection to build new song structures out of old ones, next he went back to the high school for an old fashioned jam session with friends, and lastly he went home to cut and paste all the material so it could stand up on its own.

Even with the methodical and “Frankenstein” feel of some tracks, Fite refuses to be pigeon holed into any genre. He throws on horse ridin’ chaps for the bouncy folk number “Big Mistake”, and delivers a sermon on self-image with “More Clothes”. The way he sings the latter makes him sound like he’s high-stepping while instructing a lass to “wipe that mustard off your titty”, and that’s after leading a crowd to recite Mr. Ed’s theme song.

All of these elements sound other worldly, and as it should. It’s plain weird. But upon multiple listening sessions, you’ll start to find yourself attached to his drawl delivery, believing in the sincerity of the lyrics, and reveling in the joy of finding hidden sample gems that slipped by you before. Tim Fite is proof that you can always change, and maybe it’s not healthy to stay the same.

-Phil

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