Friday, December 16, 2011

DOWNLOAD: The 'Happy Birthday' Mixtape, Celebrating 5 Years of Mixtape Muse

2011, surprisingly enough, marks the 5th anniversary of Mixtape Muse. For something that started as a place to post the playlists for my little 'ol college radio program, this site has grown into something I could have never imagined. To celebrate, I've created a mixtape featuring artists that have been favorites over the past five years/are friends or are simply new artists I've just recently discovered. When I began selecting tracks, I soon heard a sonic theme that sort of matched the cover art (above) -- which I, oddly enough, happened to pick out before I had even started curating the mix.

As a thank you to all you readers and supporters of Mixtape Muse, please accept this mixtape as a token of my gratitude. Download it (for free) and enjoy!

1) Tremors II - "Sesame Streak"
from the Ghost Bats EP

"Best to start off with a bang. It's like Sesame Street decided to embrace punk and taught us to get crazy."

2) Arms - "Fleeced"

"From one of the year's best albums. In case you've never driven a car before, this is what it feels like to start it up and drive off for a night with your most beloved friends."

3) Bluejay - "Sort of Like An Animal"

"Do you know what bliss is? You must, but in case you've forgotten, just listen to this. Afropop guitars, exciting layers of synthesizers, group vocals, and a main hook that's so damn good. If this doesn't bring cheer to your life, I don't know what will."

4) Caveman - "Old Friend"
from CoCo Beware

"This album might not have been in my Top 10 for the year, but it might as well have been. Simple but strong harmonies highlight warm melodies that make this sound as if the Beach Boys wandered off and spent a few years experimenting in a cave."

5) Abre Ojos - "Wings"
Wings (Single)

"On the day I turn one year older, this is a sound that takes me back to high school. It reminds me of discovering indie rock and its community for the first time. A song to keep us strong."

6) Girls Say Yes - "Paris Suicide"

"Uh, can you say haunting, dreamy, and beautiful? I downloaded this EP via Bandcamp and don't know much about it outside of the fact that I'm quite taken by Lilla's singing. The pacing and chord progression provide a nice contrast to the melancholic tone of her voice."

7) Bard and Mustache - "Your Face"
A b-side

"If the face singer/guitarist Erin Murphy is singing about is anything as beautiful as this song, I'd marry that person on the spot -- or at least take them out for dinner and drinks. Greg and Erin were gracious enough to let me share this song with you, and, seeing as how it's unreleased, it's extra special. Greg is a friend, a brother, and one of the greatest human beings to ever walk this earth."

8) photocomfort - "Holy Ropes"

"The fact that this is songwriter Justine Bowe's debut is beyond me. This is only one example of why we should expect big things from her down the road. If you've ever wanted to feel like you could jump off a high mountain ridge and gracefully float back down to the earth, give this a spin."

9) Keith Ciborowski - "Knocked Out"
from the Metempsychosis EP

"To be completely honest with you, Keith is one of my best friends and someone I consider to be a brother. I played basketball against him in middle school, went to high school with him, and have played in a few bands with him, as well. But make no mistake, that's not the whole motivation for including this song. No, I included it because it's a great track, one with a chorus I still can't get over."

10) Shoreline Is - "Parts per Million"

"These Germans sure know how to create dreamy, energetic shoegaze. Shimmering, fun, and oh so ebullient. I'd imagine if I had the superpower to run in the air and could sprint through the clouds, it would feel something like this."

11) Conveyor - "Foreword"
from the Sun Ray EP

"Another recent discovery thanks to Heidi over at Paper Garden Records. Recalls Jason Lytle/Grandaddy. It just felt and sounded like such a great way to end this celebration/mixtape. If we started off with a bang, then we go out with a bang. Mellow, inspiring, and uplifting."

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This is Mixtape Muse's second mixtape. If you'd like to download the first one, check it out here.

Cheers, everyone! Thanks for a great 2011. Really, really.

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