This, my final year-end mix, comes more than a week into the new year, which means I got to steal two tracks off records from other people’s best-of-2013 lists. A big thank you to all the list-makers then, and to those making music - whether hip-hop, noise pop, or radiantly plain old pop. A more riotous, jubilant mix than the previous two, this one ranges from Pusha-T to David Bowie, hitting up some extreme lo-fi and Avril Lavigne in between. Happy New Year!

This, my final year-end mix, comes more than a week into the new year, which means I got to steal two tracks off records from other people’s best-of-2013 lists. A big thank you to all the list-makers then, and to those making music - whether hip-hop, noise pop, or radiantly plain old pop. A more riotous, jubilant mix than the previous two, this one ranges from Pusha-T to David Bowie, hitting up some extreme lo-fi and Avril Lavigne in between. Happy New Year!

Now that the year is almost over, I’ve compiled some of my favorite songs of the year on a short series of mixtapes. This, the first one, is a tad more reflective, solemn. There’s thoughts of Schubert and Johnny Cash, traditional hymns, and songs I’ve been enraptured with when Nick Cave, Laura Marling, or Trixie Whitley performed them live in a theatre, an abandoned boarding school, a church. Like Inside Llewyn Davis, it ends with a visit from Bob Dylan, a man whose work I’ve consumed in bulk this year (alongside that of Bruce Springsteen and Fleetwood Mac). Like Davis’ Ulysses, the cat in the picture above, I’ve spent much of 2013 on trains, rolling across Europe like so many clouds. 2014, I promise, will be the year of the boat.

Now that the year is almost over, I’ve compiled some of my favorite songs of the year on a short series of mixtapes. This, the first one, is a tad more reflective, solemn. There’s thoughts of Schubert and Johnny Cash, traditional hymns, and songs I’ve been enraptured with when Nick Cave, Laura Marling, or Trixie Whitley performed them live in a theatre, an abandoned boarding school, a church. Like Inside Llewyn Davis, it ends with a visit from Bob Dylan, a man whose work I’ve consumed in bulk this year (alongside that of Bruce Springsteen and Fleetwood Mac). Like Davis’ Ulysses, the cat in the picture above, I’ve spent much of 2013 on trains, rolling across Europe like so many clouds. 2014, I promise, will be the year of the boat.

More than halfway into 2013, I thought it was time to pour my favorite songs so far into a mixtape. Aside from big live favorites like Laura Marling, Nick Cave, and the Knife, there’s also a few less than new demos by the likes of Stevie Nicks and Sandy Denny (not to mention indistinct echoes of Elliott Smith and Soul II Soul). Opened and closed with the honeyed vocals of Aoife O’Donovan, the mix attempts to mimic a Berlin summer sky, bright and open for hours on end, then quickly gathering menace and rain, only to break again into majestic gloaming by day’s final hours.

More than halfway into 2013, I thought it was time to pour my favorite songs so far into a mixtape. Aside from big live favorites like Laura Marling, Nick Cave, and the Knife, there’s also a few less than new demos by the likes of Stevie Nicks and Sandy Denny (not to mention indistinct echoes of Elliott Smith and Soul II Soul). Opened and closed with the honeyed vocals of Aoife O’Donovan, the mix attempts to mimic a Berlin summer sky, bright and open for hours on end, then quickly gathering menace and rain, only to break again into majestic gloaming by day’s final hours.

Not just Otis or Ike & Tina, but countless one-hit wonders, blues obscurities, and rap obscenities—for more than 17 years I’ve been making mixtapes for a dear friend who liked to dance. And although she died very suddenly late last summer, I still keep dragging newfound tunes into the running playlist I keep for her. To stop doing that would be too sad, so I figured I should keep making her mixtapes but now share them with her family and friends, as well as with anybody else who’d like to celebrate life with some old-school funky grooves. Download here.

Not just Otis or Ike & Tina, but countless one-hit wonders, blues obscurities, and rap obscenitiesfor more than 17 years I’ve been making mixtapes for a dear friend who liked to dance. And although she died very suddenly late last summer, I still keep dragging newfound tunes into the running playlist I keep for her. To stop doing that would be too sad, so I figured I should keep making her mixtapes but now share them with her family and friends, as well as with anybody else who’d like to celebrate life with some old-school funky grooves. Download here.

This second mix plays host to some of my most favorite pop artists of the year, starting with the great Frank Ocean and Lana Del Rey, all the way through Jessie Ware and Solange. Mixed in are some perhaps less familiar tracks, remixes, and appearances by, among others, PM Dawn, Tame Impala, and Nico Muhly (twice! if you count his arrangement of Climax). Download your 2012 dose of tap-dancing therapy here.
I’ll provide one brief warning: there’s a slightly poppers-o’clock bit made up of one K-pop tune and two ‘heightened’ UK radio mixes, all three of which might contain trance breakdowns and/or saxophone solos. Consider yourself warned; as well as wished the happiest of holidays.

This second mix plays host to some of my most favorite pop artists of the year, starting with the great Frank Ocean and Lana Del Rey, all the way through Jessie Ware and Solange. Mixed in are some perhaps less familiar tracks, remixes, and appearances by, among others, PM Dawn, Tame Impala, and Nico Muhly (twice! if you count his arrangement of Climax). Download your 2012 dose of tap-dancing therapy here.

I’ll provide one brief warning: there’s a slightly poppers-o’clock bit made up of one K-pop tune and two ‘heightened’ UK radio mixes, all three of which might contain trance breakdowns and/or saxophone solos. Consider yourself warned; as well as wished the happiest of holidays.

The lovely Stil in Berlin blog asked me to mix up a summer mixtape for them, something to help balance out Berlin’s rather schizophrenic weather this time of year (sun! storm! sweater weather!). The result is part nineties nostalgia (Neneh Cherry, Saint Etienne), part best-of-first-half-of-2012 (Fiona Apple, Diiv), and definitely part silly summer jams (Usher, Aviicii). Click on the image above to download my mix.

The lovely Stil in Berlin blog asked me to mix up a summer mixtape for them, something to help balance out Berlin’s rather schizophrenic weather this time of year (sun! storm! sweater weather!). The result is part nineties nostalgia (Neneh Cherry, Saint Etienne), part best-of-first-half-of-2012 (Fiona Apple, Diiv), and definitely part silly summer jams (Usher, Aviicii). Click on the image above to download my mix.