Get To Know – Astroturf Inspector

We Say…

Based out of Leith, Edinburgh, Astrotrust Inspector is the musical moniker of multi-instrumentalist Daniel Crichton. With a background playing guitar in other people’s bands, the project came about almost by chance, when Daniel started writing his own songs having experienced a difficult time in his personal life and suffering through the boredom/horror of lockdown. Recorded at home, with just the instruments, household items and recording equipment he had available to him, the result is his debut album, My Bones Are Singing, recently shared as the first release on New Teeth Records.

Throughout Bones Are Singing, Daniel manages to take simple, almost naïve musical ingredients and spin them into something altogether more complex, as intricate guitars collide with playground percussion and his gritty tales of mental health struggles in the digital age. Take the opening track User Error, rhythmic complexity is battered out on whatever objects are to hand as he questions his tendency to downplay his worth, “you don’t have to reach for the delete button, you’re not an error, maybe you’re not all that broken”. From there the record slides into the somewhat meta song-about-songwriting, Creative Denotation, where tiny intricate details shimmer and he admits that nobody will notice, “I meticulously obsessed over small details, that no one will care about in order to create this song, What exactly is the purpose? You know I’m not exactly sure”. Elsewhere Ramble Roots brings distinctly Scottish harmonies to a bouncing rhythm Paul Simon would be proud of, while Small Room/Big Simulation fuses Balkan-inspired rhythms to a Tom Waits like bar-room stomp and Reflected Waves has the feel of a less abrasive Richard Dawson. Particularly wonderful is Luxury Boredom, a lurching strut of a song about the daily grind and finding time to process your own thoughts, “it’s so hard to find the time, where there are no disturbances, And boredom amplifies our thoughts that are never realised”. Ultimately perhaps this is a record about growth, about finding a way through the obstacles to a place of contentment and creativity, as he sings on the penultimate track Habitual Habitual, “well you might be down and out, but you are on the mend”, and sometimes that glimmer of hope is more than enough to keep on keeping on.

They Say…

FTR: For those who don’t know who is Astroturf Inspector?

My name is Daniel Crichton and I write alt-folk music under the moniker Astroturf Inspector. During lockdown I started writing and recording my own songs for the first time using my iPhone and the instruments around me. I was doing this initially with no intention of releasing the music but I soon changed my mind because I was proud of the songs and I thought the subject of the songs, which mainly deal with mental health, would resonate with how a lot of people were feeling during the pandemic. The result of this is my debut album My Bones Are Singing

FTR: What can you remember about your first show?

I am yet to perform live as Astroturf Inspector. My aim over the summer of 2022 is to get a live band together that I can start doing gigs with. I started playing guitar at a young age and have played gigs regularly since my early teens so it’s something that I’m used to and am fairly confident with. However, I’ve never been the lead vocalist or the frontman of a band so doing the first Astroturf Inspector gigs will be a new experience for me that may take a while to get used to.

FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?

I don’t necessarily just stick to music as I’m also a keen illustrator/graphic designer and I do all of the artwork for Astroturf Inspector. Music is where I started though and it’s always been an outlet for my emotions and feelings. I’ve struggled with talking about how I feel in the past and making this album has made me realise how much I’ve used the guitar and writing music as a way of expressing those feelings. Now that I’m also writing lyrics it’s given me an extra avenue to channel my emotions and talk about how I’m feeling.

FTR: What can people expect from the Astroturf Inspector live show?

A short burst of alt-folk and weird pop with plenty of vocal harmonies. When I was recording the album I made a very conscious decision to make all of the songs short and to the point. I didn’t want to overstay my welcome and I liked the idea of coming in with a bang and leaving people wanting more. Once I’m up and running with a live set I would like to reflect this. So I’ll maybe start with support slots where I can get away with playing for 30 minutes and people won’t feel ripped off as I’m only the support band!

FTR: What’s next for Astroturf Inspector?

Getting out and playing my first shows and promoting my debut album is on the cards at the moment but I’m also thinking forward. The recording of the my debut album was an enjoyable but lonely experience and whilst I’m putting a band together to play live I would like to coincide that with recording new songs with a band.

They Listen To…

Blake Mills – May Later

Blake Mills has been one of my favourite musicians of the past 5-10 years. The album Mutable Set that this song features on is an incredible album that, alongside fantastic songwriting and arrangement, is full of texture, subtlety, dynamics and wonderfully written harmony that is lacking in a lot of recordings these days.

Oracle Sisters – Most Of All

Songwriting always comes first in my book and these guys can write a cracking tune. But they also happen to be the epitome of cool which helps. They write well thought out and wonderfully simple songs that demand repeat listens and place the listener right in the centre of their hazy-summer-day world.

Paul Simon – Something So Right

Alongside Paul McCartney, I think Paul Simon is one of the best songwriters of all time. He is able to combine chords progressions that don’t always take you in the direction that you think they are going, but manage to sound better despite the detour, with lyrics that can make you laugh one second and tug at your heart strings the next.

Big Thief – Time Escaping

Big Thief have been on my radar for the past few years. They’ve had some stand out songs from previous albums and their live performances that I’ve watched online are full of heart. Their new album Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You really blew me away though. It’s fantastic and the fact that a band can put out what is essentially a double album without it being pompous or becoming boring or overblown at any point is a remarkable achievement in my eyes.

This Is The Kit – Moonshine Freeze

This is the first song I heard by This Is The Kit and it appealed to me instantly. It has everything that I think makes This Is The Kit great; a solid laid back groove, Kate Stables’ beautiful voice and lyrics, understated guitar work. The only thing missing in this particular song is the brilliant use of banjo that appears in so many of their other songs.

My Bones Are Singing is out now via New Teeth Records. For more information on Astroturf Inspector visit

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