Astronauts is the solo project from Dan Carney, formerly of critically acclaimed East London alt-folkers Dark Captain. After his former band finished in 2012, at the end of a five-year stint that saw numerous trips to Europe, a single of the week on iTunes US, and a spot in the Guardian’s end of year best albums list, Dan decided to go it alone, albeit enlisting the help of a few friends – most frequently former band mate Michael Cranny – as and when he needs it.
Debut single ‘Skydive’ arrived in June – a cascading, gently menacing mish-mash of creaking acoustic guitar, bleeps, electronic beats, and breathy vocal harmonies, which tell a tale of escape from constraint and freedom to fly unchecked through the air.
The single enjoyed viral success, spending a week in the Hype Machine top five with 4,000 favourites, and racking up over 120,000 plays on Soundcloud during this time.
Radio support was also given on both sides of the Atlantic, from the likes of 6Music, Radio 2, KCRW and Sirius XM.
‘Skydive’ was followed in July by the ‘Hollow Ponds’ album, which combined the soft melancholy, psych-folky dynamics and bubbling electronic textures favoured by Dan in his former incarnation with more adventurous moments of good ol’fashioned spiky guitar abuse.
The year ended with the song ‘Flame Exchange’ being used to soundtrack popular French TV programme ‘Rendez-Vous En Terre Inconnue’, to an estimated audience of six million.
Outside music, Dan’s hobbies include fatherhood, reading, writing, and walking. He is currently working on the follow-up to ‘Hollow Ponds’, which he hopes to release in 2015. In the meantime, another single from ‘Hollow Ponds’, ‘In My Direction’, arrived January 2015.