Premiere: Fantastic Cat Commandeer the Staten Island Ferry for New Single “The Gig,” a Song of Passion, Dreams, & Unrelenting Ambition

Fantastic Cat © Shervin Lainez
Fantastic Cat © Shervin Lainez
An autobiographical song about following your dream into darkness, Fantastic Cat’s “The Gig” is a half-satirical, half-serious, all-too true story of passion, pain, and unrelenting ambition. Taken off the indie supergroup’s forthcoming debut album, it’s a testament to the never-ending drudgery of trying to make it in the music business.
Stream: “The Gig” – Fantastic Cat




More than anything, it’s about not knowing where your life is going and what happens when the show runs off without you.

How far will we chase our dreams until we don’t know what we’re doing anymore? How much shit will we put up with from complete strangers, and how many setbacks are we willing to face on the road to realizing something that may never even come to fruition? If you’re one of Fantastic Cat’s four members, the plain and simple answer is, a lot.

I told myself I was smart and I would follow my stupid heart, with no proof that I was qualified at all,” Brian Dunne sings with weathered passion in the band’s dynamic new single. “And people told me I was ready-made, but what did they know anyways? They were sweet, but their lives were simple and small, and I took it to mean my ticket to my dreams was called…” An autobiographical song about following your dream into darkness, Fantastic Cat’s “The Gig” is a half-satirical, half-serious, all-too true story of passion, pain, and unrelenting ambition.

Fantastic Cat's debut album, 'The Very Best Of Fantastic Cat,' set to release July 29, 2022
Fantastic Cat’s debut album, ‘The Very Best Of Fantastic Cat,’ set to release July 29, 2022
when we got to the gig,
well, the venue was closed forever
so we drove through the night
and we stayed outside of Denver

but I couldn’t sleep,
at the thought of our impending failure

oh, such a sad, sick game we play
trading stories and keeping score
and I don’t know what I’m doing anymore

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “The Gig,” Fantastic Cat’s fifth career single and the latest release off their forthcoming debut album, The Very Best of Fantastic Cat (out July 29th via Blue Rose). An “indie supergroup” of sorts (similar in concept to Australian act OK Moon), Fantastic Cat consists of Brian Dunne, Don DiLego, Anthony D’Amato, and Mike Montali (Hollis Brown) – four of New York’s finest singer/songwriters, each of whom brings his own impressive catalog of acclaimed songs and buzz. The roots rock band immediately turned heads upon their debut last summer: In naming “Fiona” to our 51st Editor’s Picks, we praised the band for delivering “a beautifully heartfelt source of strength, connection, understanding, and hope” and “a folk rock beacon of light for those in need.”

Fantastic Cat © Shervin Lainez
Fantastic Cat © Shervin Lainez



Sung by Dunne, “The Gig” is something of a testament to the never-ending drudgery that is trying to make it in the music business. Its stories are all real, unfortunately, and highlight some of the trials, tribulations, and ridiculous adversities artists face, especially on tour.

When we got to the lobby they said breakfast was closed at 11
We said it’s only 10:30 and we only got in at 7
She said there’s a Denny’s across the road if you wanna chance the 111
So now I’m crossing this old highway
For some coffee and a scrambled egg
And I don’t know what I’m doing anymore

From closed venues to rejected hotel breakfast buffets, broken down cars and more, Fantastic Cat lay some of their many chips on the table in this song. In spite of it all, “The Gig” isn’t downtrodden or even dark; Dunne sings sweet melodies atop bright, buoyant keyboards, rollicking guitars, charming vocal harmonies, and a compelling drum beat that hits with resilient, uncompromising strength.

The chorus is a moment of truth in the madness: A reminder why they’re doing it all to begin with, of that calling to music and how the dream drives us to weather whatever and however many storms come our way:

Yes I told myself I was smart
And I would follow my stupid heart
With no proof that I was qualified at all
And people told me I was ready-made
But what did they know anyways?
They were sweet, but their lives were simple and small
And I took it to mean my ticket to my dreams was called
Fantastic Cat © Shervin Lainez
Fantastic Cat © Shervin Lainez



“‘The Gig’ is a sardonic take on following your dream into darkness and watching it turn into a nightmare,” Dunne tells Atwood Magazine. “It’s completely autobiographical – I could name you the specific venues that are referenced in the song (but I won’t because of legal issues). But more than anything, it’s about not knowing where your life is going and what happens when the show runs off without you.”

When we got to the car well the car wouldn’t start for nothing
So we pushed it into second and we somehow got it running
And we got to the gig by the skin of our teeth, it was something
Oh such sad sick songs we play
Trading stories and keeping score
And I don’t know what I’m doing anymore

With their hearts on their sleeves and their tongues in their cheeks, Fantastic Cat have slowly and steadily introduced themselves as a standout force in the folk rock world.

Their music is at once fun, freewheeling, achingly intimate, and beautifully honest. They can joke about themselves and the state of things while tapping into deeply meaningful and relatable emotions, singing about love, grief, a sense of purpose, our hopes and dreams, and the endless pursuit of happiness. Fantastic Cat’s songs are a reminder that, even in our darkest moments, we can find a little light and love to hold onto.

Folks in the Tri State Area can catch the band at their album release show at Bowery Ballroom in New York City on July 29. Pre-order The Very Best of Fantastic Cat here, and stream “The Gig” exclusively on Atwood Magazine below!

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Stream: “The Gig” – Fantastic Cat



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📸 © Shervin Lainez

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