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Fake Magic Get Real With Sad Dad

The Toronto power trio redefine pop-rock with their fatherhood-themed concept LP.

Fake Magic explore the ups and (mostly) downs of fatherhood on their new concept album Sad Dad — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

But the Toronto indie-rock trio of Greg Markham, Bryan Paccagnella and Cory Williams don’t limit their inspiration to forlorn fathers. No. The album also pays homage to all kinds of men they’ve known, heard about, or encountered through media representation:

“Good dads. Flawed dads. Dork dads. Stepdads. Substitute dads. Sad dads. Randy Marsh. Homer Simpson. Hank Hill. On the surface, it’s a thumpin’ good time. Below the surface, it’s about ego and acceptance. It’s fun, dark, funny, sincere, and sometimes all of them at once,” the band said.

Sad Dad’s opening track Saturday recounts the power of getting out of bed to complete a simple task, even if melancholia overwhelms you. The driving guitar and keys inspire the lead vocalist to reclaim a bit of power he has lost.

“Today is the day
That I put on shoes to mow the lawn.
’Cause its not gonna mow itself.
No, it’s not gonna go down easy.
There’s not gonna be anybody else.
That takes this maintenance seriously.”

The narrative expands with each song, unraveling the life of a sad dad. Each of the 13 chapters expounds upon a different theme. First single Begging To Be Lonely is about how slowly time moves when you feel stuck. It comes from Bryan and Greg’s experience growing up in the suburbs of Richmond Hill in the 1990s, dreaming of a life downtown in the big city. “This endless wait can lead to depression, excuses and self-sabotage,” the band said.

Funkiest Spot dips its toes into a jammy groove paced with propulsive electric guitar beats and an inquisitive vocal refrain that implores, “Who are you?” This pleading tune encapsulates a feeling of losing yourself, honing in that desire to return to what makes you happy. It’s a cry for help from a friend.

Future radio hit Old Days compasses every high you’ve had with a massive guitar-lick ending, while Sad Dad comes full circle with the final track Sit Down. “That one is a nod to Glen Campbell’s You Better Sit Down Kids, following the story of a father sharing parting wisdom with a child following a divorce,” they say.

Bolstered by some solid songcraft, Sad Dad captures the essence of being a man and what it means to grow older through music. Whether through subtle references or candid lyrics, Fake Magic utilize their experiences to create an honest album of boundless, magical promise. Just like parenting.

Listen to the album below, watch the video for Begging To Be Lonely above, and hang out with Fake Magic at their website.