Courtesy of the artist
Tim Fite (left). Courtesy of the artist
Song: "We Are All Teenagers"
Artist: Tim Fite
Album: Ain't Ain't Ain't
Tim Fite has always been an odd bird, going back to his 2001 novelty hit "Shaniqua" as part of Little-T and One Track Mike. Since going solo in 2005, Fite has released 10 albums, many available for free download from his website. (The best, 2007's Over the Counter Culture, features the hilarious hip-hop send-up "I've Been Shot.")
He's not only prolific, but also hard-to-pin down stylistically. This and his frequent early use of samples prompted comparisons to Beck, but while equally idiosyncratic, the two hail from different emotional universes. Beck is the inscrutable, charismatic loner looking to chill, while Fite's a nervy, nerdy guy with a strange gait and discomfiting questions about humanity — like They Might Be Giants with Tom Waits' restless, woozy mannerisms.
In his strangely affecting, minimalist rock paean "We Are All Teenagers," Fite sketches out a spare electric riff with a reverb-y '50s rock air as he nails the adolescent unease that lingers into adulthood: "We all feel a little bit uncool." But as Fite circles the sources of our awkward self-consciousness, he comes back around to lauding youthful spirit as the song swells with added drums, organ and a choir of voices. Along the way, he latches onto the essence of innocence and hopeful possibility: "So let's live while we can / because we may never be teenagers again."