Hearing Aide: Fantastic Cat ‘Now That’s What I Call Fantastic Cat’

NYC-based indie and folk-rock supergroup Fantastic Cat released their sophomore album, Now That’s What I Call Fantastic Cat, on June 7. The 11-song record sees the band dialing into the soulful and intimate sound they built on their 2022 debut.

fantastic cat

Fantastic Cat gets its supergroup moniker from the fact that all four members, Anthony D’Amato, Don Dilego, Brian Dunne and Mike Montali, are all experienced singer-songwriters in their own right. The name Fantastic Cat comes from a night when Montali and Dilego were at a NYC club trying to figure out what to name the band, and they asked the waitress for a suggestion. The waitress suggested “Fantastic Cat,” and the name was set.

The band’s first record, ironically named The Very Best of Fantastic Cat, was released in 2022 and garnered very positive reviews from publications.

On the band’s website, it’s hilariously written that “The Very Best of Fantastic Cat garnered the kind of press you simply can’t make up. USA Today proclaimed, “We don’t have a music writer anymore,” while NPR received multiple copies of the album in the mail, and The New York Times’ Jon Pareles declared, “I’m currently out of the office and will respond when I return.”

So it’s clear that Fantastic Cat has a sense of humor. But what’s their music like?

All the classic elements of indie and folk Americana are present. The steady drums, the tight acoustic and electric guitars and the heartfelt vocals all shine through. But beyond this, Fantastic Cat’s extremely tight instrumentation and powerful yet controlled vocals make them sound like a band celebrating its 20th album, not its second.

You know the feeling of running across a country field? Or staring longingly out of a window after a hard day? Listening feels strangely impactful. It makes you think about those moments in your life where you feel the most in touch with your soul, and you can take it all in.

The hooks are where the band often shines the brightest, especially on goosebump-inducing songs like “Later On” and “So Glad You Made It.”

Fantastic Cat is also wonderful at balancing their natural comedy with the serious nature of their songs. “The Hammer & The Nail” comes to mind, where part of the hook goes, “Sometimes you’re the hammer. Sometimes you’re the nail. Lately, I just keep on getting screwed.” It’s impossible not to crack a smile hearing that for the first time, yet it’s deeply relatable.

The Very Best of Fantastic Cat is one of those albums that, if you want to understand, you just have to listen to it. The words in this article can’t touch your soul like the songs on the album do. And lucky for you, The Very Best of Fantastic Cat just came out and is available on all streaming platforms, so go take a listen.

Key Tracks: Little Bit Broken, So Glad You Made It, Edinburgh

Fantastic Cat will be playing in Katonah, NY on June 29 and Saratoga Springs on August 10. Information and tickets can be found on the band’s website.

Comments are closed.