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PHASE

by Brooke Burgess

After 25 years in the entertainment industry writing, directing, and producing video games, animation, interactive narrative and audio projects, this award-winning Canadian creator kills two bucket-list birds with one stone: 1) make an epic cross-genre music + video project and (far more importantly)…become a Dad. While others baked quarantine sourdough or caught virtual fish in Animal Crossing, Burgess (Electronic Arts, Broken Saints, The Cat’s Maw, Buddha and the S**t) wrote, produced, shot, edited, recorded, and mixed the lion’s share of the DADBOD album while stuck in Southeast Asia during ‘peak pandemic’.

And now? Nearly two decades on from a win at the Sundance Film Festival that launched a storied interactive narrative career, these 20 songs and videos are more than just a mid-life singer/songwriter flex — they are the legend of an incredible boy, the man transformed by his love, and the kind of bond that comes around one in a thousand lifetimes. Oh…and dinosaurs. When Brooke is not getting spiritually schooled by his toddler super-Buddha or pushing back the date of his next novel, he is the Narrative Director for a groundbreaking ‘wellness technology’ firm in the Netherlands.

Written and produced in a far-flung corner of Southeast Asia during this whole pandemic thing, DADBOD: The Album is the culmination of three years of inspired songwriting, creative collaboration, and remote production alchemy. It is father-meets-son, father loves son, father freestyles increasingly hip tunes to son, Father records sweet birthday versions and videos for son, until the father is humming and drumming lines into Garageband and cashing in every last favour from musicians around the world to make an insane double album for son.

Working with acclaimed Canadian talents including composer Tobias Tinker (various), Chrystal Leigh (Sons of Daughters), and many, many more from every continent without a pole, these 20 songs and videos pull a Voltron to form a sword-swinging, head-bopping, genre-busting epic that’s an undeniable testament to creative passion, and parenting, and (at least on one track) palaeontology. “Phase” is the 14th release of the “Dadbod” album. “Phase” is the only lyric video of the bunch, as it just felt stronger, driven by words. The song is some straightforward bread and butter R&B that I whipped together in a seaside bungalow within four days. However, the story being shared is an honest one; the very real fears, frustrations, rewards and inevitable triumph at the heart of FATHERHOOD.

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