Crooked Forest’s Year in Review: 2022 Edition

We’ve just about made it to the end of 2022 which means it’s time to take a look back through the year and see how much we’ve accomplished before setting our attention to new goals and resolutions.

It’s so easy to forget all the little things we’ve done, so I encourage you all to make your own victory list and take a moment just to enjoy that whatever you did… you did it!

Okay, from the top now!

I officially released Crooked Forest’s debut full-length album “The Clearing”.

Crooked Forest (the band), we hardly knew ye.

It came out on March 13th 2022 and was made available across almost all streaming platforms. I didn’t end up doing a physical run of this record and ultimately, after its release I decided that it was time to create some space between my music and the Crooked Forest name.

The album is still available on my Bandcamp page including a couple extras and on my YouTube channel, but it’s otherwise been removed from most streaming because…

We adopted a new name!

New year new me! NEW YEAR! NEW ME!

Some months after the The Clearing was released, I committed and introduced you to Neither Could Dylan – and boy has she been busy!

I busked for the first time in my home-city of Vaughan, Ontario.

I’d always wanted to give busking a try and it was a great way to pull me out of my livestream-at-home-comfort-zone. I walked out to the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre for the session playing for anyone who happened to be heading to or from the subway station. And while I was there I got a great idea…

I recorded a music video for Quiksand.

In an effort to pay homage to my hometown, I tried my hand at an off-the-cuff DIY music video showing you exactly what I just talked about – my first busking experience forever memorialized with a music video for Quiksand which also features a supplementary performance from the nearby David Braley public library.

I played my first full live show as Neither Could Dylan.

The day after my birthday I was stoked to be able to perform in Toronto’s west end at The Tail of the Junction. The Junction is particularly special to me because it’s the first neighbourhood I moved to when I moved downtown in my early 20’s and it was a great way to kick off the live-in-person NCD shows.

The entire performance was recorded on my iPhone and you can still watch it on my YouTube channel – another milestone moment for the memory box!

I released an acoustic cut of “Happy” .

“Happy” is a song that is really important to me and I was really excited to share an acoustic cut of the track while I worked to complete recording the debut full-length Neither Could Dylan album. You can listen to it on all streaming services including my bandcamp and YouTube pages.

And… I did finish recording that album!

It even has a name and the first full-band production single JUST dropped. It’s called “To Be Loved” and you can listen to it anywhere now. More singles to come and the full record will be out in April 2023.

I introduced you to my other alter ego, Death Bus for Blondie & premiered The Death Bus for Blondie Variety Hour.

The Death Bus for Blondie Variety Hour podcast was a fun way to showcase our Death Cab for Cutie covers and now it seems I can’t stop!

After the initial 7-episode season aired featuring 6 unique cover’s, I released a couple more for good measure. In total I’ve released 8 covers so far and there’s a a second season in the works! Make sure you’re following the Death Bus for Blondie Variety Hour on Spotify and my YouTube channel so that you catch new covers as they come!

Jaimee Eat World kept on keepin’ on.

I’ll admit, I’ve got a LOT of work to do for the Jaimee Eat World Recreation Project but it’s well underway now!

To date I’ve released 25 full-band covers and 3 acoustic covers and because I realized how much I enjoy the medium of podcasting as it pertains to releasing new music I went ahead and also started Static Unveiled: showcasing each Jimmy Eat World cover and sharing a little bit about myself and what I’m thinking about each week.

So far 11 episodes of SU have been released and we’ll resume sometime in early 2023 after I polish off a few more covers.

We released 2 collaboration albums!

After a chance meeting through Twitter, I teamed up with KM North out of Pennsylvania to contribute vocals and lyrics to some of their projects. The result was 2 EP’s; 8-song Passing Harsher, 5-song Throughfare, and there’s 2 songs that haven’t been released just yet.

You can get the albums through the Poison Arrow Records bandcamp page – there’s even an exclusive limited run of Passing Harsher cassette tapes marking our first ever cassette release!

How about some compilation albums?!

When the pop-punk and emo world came to a standstill during the great When We Were Young Fest sandstorm in Las Vegas, Nevada causing day 1 of the highly anticipated festival to be cancelled and sending all the billed bands scrambling to book venues to perform at, A Few Good Records out of New Jersey came up with a great idea to put together a compilation of covers. We got wise to the idea a little late and with only 12 hours to choose, record and mix our own selection, we went ahead and busted out a wicked alternate version of Dashboard Confessional’s “Vindicated”. You can buy the compilation here!

But that’s not all!

Out of the trenches of western Canada emerged Syrup Moose Records, a brand new indie record label who wasted no time putting out a bunch of great albums this year. I’m pleased to say I was able to contribute an original track to Syrup Moose featured off their second Compilation album, aptly titled Compilation II – “Let Go”.

I recorded some other covers just for fun.

I guess I just can’t help myself sometimes! I put out a cover of Jack’s Mannequin’s “Restless Dream”, Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas” and most recently I’ve released a cover of Angels and Airwaves “Everything’s Magic”. I’ve already got some other plans for other covers knocking around my skull so stick around for those.

I made my return to Live and Amplified.

I was really excited to be invited back to Live and Amplified for their annual PanCan Research fundraiser. Special thanks to Tom Kwiat for being such a great support to indie artists and a genuinely great conversationalist. Check out the Live and Amplified podcast to catch interviews with other emerging artists and make sure you’re following their Twitch!

I started to get some indie radio play!

I really can’t stress enough that this is arguably the biggest win of the year for me, especially as I close out the year with so many of these stations premiering brand new Neither Could Dylan releases.

I want to take a second to thank a few station’s in particular for their incredible support.

Radio TFSC, The Tripwire on Blue Torch Radio, Only Rock Radio, Good Music Radio, Zeno FM, KRAC Radio and everyone who has featured any of my music on their Spotify Playlists (Retweeter, Dino DiMuro, Joe Tavano, Mr. Moistule… I haven’t been great about record keeping this so my apologies if you’re missing from the list, feel free to send me a nudge!)

Okay… I think that about covers the music front. But it’s not ALL about that, so what else is popping?

I got my first book deal.

What?! I wrote a short story in my teens and had never reached out to publishers about it but I’ve always wanted to – so I finally did and… it’s getting published as we speak! It’ll be out in 2023 but I think this counts as a 2022 massive win.

I finally went to Poland!

I’ve been wanting to go Poland for about as long as I can remember and this summer I finally bit the bullet and went. I tackled it solo visiting Warsaw and Krakow and even got to catch Jimmy Eat World performing at a really cool campus bar. I know I’ll be back some day because Poland is even more incredible than I thought it’d be and there’s still so many places to see.

I saw some other great shows.

Cross these off my bucket list!

  1. Cloud Nothing’s “Attack on Memory” 10th Anniversary Tour at Lee’s Palace with support from Canadian artists Habit and Cam Kahin.
  2. The Gaslight Anthem at Echo Beach with support from Jeff Rosenstock
  3. Mike Birbiglia during Just For Laughs
*Deep Breath*
Okay, I think that about covers everything.

Don’t get me wrong there were a lot of surefire misses this past year but looking back at these highlights it’s hard to feel too terrible about the year.

Thanks very much for listening and hanging out through it all.

Onto the next one…


Neither Could Dylan’s final livestream performance of 2022 will be on New Years Eve, returning to the virtual Hambone’s Open Mic Stage. Sometime after 9PM. Make sure you tune in!

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