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Rad Releases 22 – Astroturf Inspector

December 21, 2022

Rad Releases 22 – Astroturf Inspector

Our annual end-of-year feature is finally here, we spend the final two weeks of the year discussing the music that made 2022 special. Our special Rad Releases feature is now 12 years old and we love sharing the site with musicians, labels, and promoters as we discuss their year in music. We take a personal look back on familiar names’ most loved releases of the past 12 months. It’s a time we enjoy and look forward to, through the contributions we get to find new music discoveries, and releases we may have missed throughout the year. 

Our next takeover comes from Astroturf Inspector an artist who released one of the most immersive records this year and one we were thrilled to welcome to our online store. Edinburgh-based one-man-band Astroturf Inspector impressed us with the standout debut album My Bones Are Singing which was released back in April. Led by multi-instrumentalist Daniel Crichton, we discuss Daniel’s year in music in more detail.

Top Releases:

Big Thief – Dragon New Mountain I Believe In You

You get a good sense of friends playing together on this album. For that to be backed up with great songs and warm, comforting production makes for a really enjoyable listen. The fact they can put together a double album that doesn’t get boring is also an achievement in my opinion.

Memes – Second Thought

I wasn’t as into albums this year for whatever reason and found myself listening to singles, individual album songs or making playlists. This song has great energy and a catchy post punk aggressive nature that makes me wanna dance awkwardly and I love that. One of many great singles by a local Scottish band that will hopefully breakthrough over the next few years.

Oracle Sisters – Who Knows Where The Time Goes/Yerre Blues

This is a brand-new release by the coolest of bands that are based in Paris. It’s 2 songs but I’ve mainly included the release for the first song ‘Who Knows Where The Time Goes’; a song I heard them play live years ago and have been waiting ever since for them to record. Worth the wait.

Ashe – Shower With My Clothes On

This is another single. Just a killer pop song with melancholic Californian vibes.

Hot Chip – Eleanor

Hot Chip released a new album called ‘Freakout/Release’ that I thought was great but more specifically the single ‘Eleanor’ brought a lot of joy to me when it was released. Super catchy and danceable with great arrangements. It has one of my favourite lines of the year too: ‘When the world crashes into you. Let it be a central part of you.’

Best Show I’ve Played This Year

I started Astroturf Inspector as a solo recording project during lockdown and I’ve not made much headway since then in putting together a band to play the music live. So I don’t have much experience playing live with this project but I did play a handful of solo live performances this year. The best of those was at Kelburn Garden Party (Scotland’s best festival in my opinion) where I played at the Monument Stage as part of the New Teeth Records stage takeover. New Teeth is a record label based in Leith, Edinburgh that I release my music on but am also intimately involved with helping put out releases and doing the design for.

Best Gig I’ve Attended This Year

There wasn’t many gigs I attended this year compared to past years and the reason for that is perhaps self-explanatory but, out of the gigs I did attend, the best was Fleet Foxes at Usher Hall in Edinburgh on 30th August. They’re a band that I admire a lot and they influence my songwriting so much. Their performance and the accompanying visuals were the perfect cosy Autumn hug that I needed at that time of year.

Highlight Of The Year

My highlight was releasing my debut album ‘My Bones Are Singing’. I’ve been playing and writing music in bands for almost 20 years but until 2020 I hadn’t considered myself a songwriter due to the fact that I wasn’t a lyricist. To go from being a guitarist in bands to writing, recording and releasing an album of my own songs within the space of two years was a big achievement for me.

A Record That Got Me Through This Year

NRBQ – Magnet: This isn’t a song that was released this year, in fact it was released back in 1972, so I’m not sure this is what you’re looking for. It’s a song that has brought me a lot of happiness this year though. I first heard it in 2021 but since then it has stayed constantly on the tip of my tongue. It’s a mainstay on my playlists and no matter how I’m feeling it seems welcome whenever it comes on shuffle.

Best Musical Discovery This Year

Trash Theory (YouTube Channel) – I feel like I spend just as much time listening to music as I do trying to learn about the creatives involved in making it happen. I love watching documentaries about bands, musicians, indie record labels and the influential music scenes from around the world that they all came out of. Trash Theory covers so much of this in great detail. For someone like myself who is involved in writing, recording, and releasing their own music as well as working with a DIY indie record label, the

information revealed on this channel is both inspirational and valuable.

Artist/Band To Watch For 2023

I have to mention Oracle Sisters here again. They’re a fantastic group that seem to be constantly releasing great music. Fantastic songs and sounds that have one foot in the past, doffing a cap to the greats whilst maintaining a fresh, unique sound that is totally their own.

I also have to shout out a few bands from the borders in Scotland that I think are great. Butter and Isabella Strange are two bands that are producing great music and melting stages already but the best thing about them is they’re so young and have so much time ahead of them to develop their great sounds.

Plans For The New Year

I have no plans for Astroturf Inspector right now but in terms of New Teeth we have so many releases coming up so that will be my main prospect in the new year.

Thank you so much, very much looking forward to a year of releases from New Teeth!

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