Makeup For The Silence

The digital home of music writer Jesse Richman

Makeup For The Silence

Tag: washed out

Makeup for the Silence - Best of 2013 Mix

Makeup for the Silence – Best of 2013 Mixtape

Makeup for the Silence - Best of 2013 Mix

Though I’ve done an annual mix each of the past three years*, this year was the first time I actually compiled an ongoing list of my favorite songs throughout the year. You’d think that would make this process easier; instead, I wound up with a glut of sincere favorites, and a lot of hard choices to make. For some reason, I insist on keeping this thing to a >80 minute playtime, i.e. the length of an actual CD. I’m not under the pretense anyone is actually burning this to a disc (I’m certainly not), but there’s something to be said for this mix being digestible in a single sitting, for it being something I can listen to on repeat and actually get familiar with – I like the way albums ebb and flow and tell stories through sequencing and pacing, and it’s something I’ve always put a lot of care into when making mixes. That gets unwieldy in a lengthy playlist. I enjoy getting to the point where I feel unsettled if I hear a song in my mix and it’s not followed immediately by the track that’s supposed to come next.

As always, I’ve elected to leave off any sort of big radio hits (well…kinda. You’ll see what I mean in a second). That’s a challenge in any year – for a guy who mostly writes about punk and other music of that ilk, I’m really a pop fan at heart. But this year was especially challenging. 2013 was the biggest year in recent memory for Superstar Pop – if you’re a musician people call by just their first name, odds are good you put out an album this year. A lot of those albums were genuinely great, and even when they albums were merely OK, or weren’t particularly pop-radio friendly, each seemed to contain at least one or two killer singles.

Not only that, but two artists who I normally would have found room for here, Fall Out Boy and Paramore, came back in such a big way this year that I couldn’t justify squeezing them in – both “My Songs Know What You DId In The Dark (Light Em Up)” and “Still Into You” found Top 40 radio ubiquity, and nobody’s going to be overlooking those acts just because I didn’t squeeze them onto my list. (Unlike, say, in 2011 when Patrick Stump made it onto my mix with a track from his criminally underappreciated solo album).

Finally, this year’s mix wound up especially upbeat; there’s a lot of bright, synthy, dancey pop that really hit home this year (and some moody, synthy, dancey pop to go with it). There were a number of songs I really loved – Defeater’s “Bastards”; View From An Airplane’s “Stayed Awake”; Sparks The Rescue’s “Ceara Belle”; many others – that just didn’t fit here stylistically, and even more – anything by The 1975, for one – that felt too similar to other tracks on here to make the final cut.

That said I’m really happy with how the final mix came out. Download**, listen, enjoy!

Makeup For The Silence – Best of 2013

  1. Feeling In The Night – The Reign Of Kindo
  2. Paper Royals (Lorde vs M.I.A.) – Mashed Pot8er
  3. In For The Kill – Kelsey Chaos
  4. Waste My Time – Tilian
  5. Dresden – Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
  6. Baby Shakes – Shone
  7. I’ve Been Waiting For This – Butch Walker
  8. Sad And Blue – Jimmie Deeghan
  9. Keep Me In Your Heart – The Here And Now
  10. Take A Picture – Carly Rae Jepsen
  11. Dreaming – Smallpools
  12. Excalibur – TEAM
  13. Supernatural – roboteyes
  14. Love Is A Dog From Hell – The Limousines
  15. Forget You – Cady Groves
  16. Hanging On A Honeymoon – William Beckett
  17. All I Know – Washed Out
  18. The Way Back – Whitewaits
  19. True Trans Soul Rebel – Against Me!
  20. Au Revoir (Adios) – The Front Bottoms
  21. Etc. – Francis and the Lights

click image to download

Stay tuned; the yearly Top Ten will begin tomorrow!

*you can always find the complete collection of mixes which have appeared on Makeup For The Silence, as well as all the playlists I’ve contributed to elsewhere, right over here.

**just like last year, there’s a Spotify version of 2013’s mix available, but also like last year, there were a handful of tracks on the final mix which aren’t available on the service. I totally understand Spotify’s convenience – after dabbling with it for a couple years, in 2013 I really converted to using it as my primary listening spot, ahead of iTunes – but I recommend downloading if you want the real deal.

Makeup For The Silence Best Of 2011 Mix

Makeup For The Silence Best Of 2011 Mix cover art

Last year, I posted my yearly Skyway mixtape exchange disc here, and hell, if once is good then twice is better, right?

I’ve backed off the rules a bit this time around.  There were a number of albums I absolutely loved this year as a whole where no one track really stood out; so, not all of my Top 10 Albums are represented here. Likewise, there seemed to be a ton of albums this year that largely disappointed, but had an absolutely stellar song or two buried in the muck. (I don’t think I’ve had such a hard time cutting one of these down to a single disc in a while; I could easily do a part two made up of equally-great stuff).

Also, last year, I made a point of avoiding any big radio singles in favor of stuff that might have gone overlooked; this year, it hasn’t really been necessary because I don’t think there has been a big radio single all year that I’m Gaga about, pun intended.

All that said, if you want a pretty good picture of what this year’s peaks sounded like to me, well then here you go.  It was a pretty poppy year in general for me even as the edges got more ragged than they had been in a while, and featured a serious sideline into robo-funk.  While it leans pretty heavily pop (I generally find that that’s where the strongest “singles” come from) I tried my best to find the right balance here.  Download*, listen, enjoy! Consider it my [insert any holiday you might celebrate here] present to you :]

Makeup For The Silence – Best of 2011

  1. No Church In The Wild – Jay-Z & Kanye West
  2. Came Out Swinging – The Wonder Years
  3. Someone Like You – The Summer Set
  4. History Of Modern (Part 1) – Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
  5. Kill The Beast – Go Radio
  6. Bullet Believers (Rah Rah Rah) – The Bigger Lights
  7. Saturday Skin – Sparks The Rescue
  8. Without You – Nocturnal Me
  9. With You – LMFAO
  10. Cryptozoology – Patrick Stump
  11. Icarus – Edelweiss
  12. See You Around – We Are The In Crowd
  13. Blackest Sky – Mansions
  14. Grass – Little Bombs
  15. Always – Panic! At The Disco
  16. Until I Die Alone – Never Shout Never
  17. Amor Fati – Washed Out
  18. No One’s Gonna Need You More – The Dangerous Summer
  19. Watch The World – Every Avenue
  20. Condolences – Touché Amoré

click image to download

*Also, if you’re one of those shiny future-people who digs things like “clouds” and “streaming”, I’ve gone ahead and Spotified this ish up for ya, just like that.  You’re welcome.

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