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The second Queer Madison Mixtape turns “low-effort recordings” into a charming listen

Sales of “Summer’s Ends” will raise funds for Freedom Inc.

Sales of “Summer’s Ends” will raise funds for Freedom Inc.

From raw acoustic demos to frizzy electronic collages, the newly released Queer Madison Mixtape: Summer’s Ends compiles 16 works in progress from queer musicians based in the area.

Madison arts non-profit (and Tone Madison partner organization) Communication released Queer Madison Mixtape: Winter 2021 in February, kicking off a planned series. The QMM Collective—Jess Waggoner, Jennifer Bastian, and Shaun Soman—have continued seeking out submissions, and Summer’s Ends is the series’ second edition. As was the case the first time around, the compilation is name-your-price, with all proceeds being directed towards the social-justice nonprofit Freedom Inc.

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Isaac Arms, Kat And The Hurricane, Hayley Archer, Ryan Eykholt, Heather Rae, and Waggoner all make return appearances on Summer’s Ends, having contributed strong material to the inaugural Queer Madison Mixtape release. A handful of notable artists make first-time appearances in the series, including Sigra, LINE, and Woke Up Crying. LINE’s contribution, an unmixed instrumental titled “No Burden,” is a synth-driven highlight that navigates an uneasy agreement between melancholia and optimism with a focused conviction, recalling the work of atmospheric post-pop British act Public Broadcasting Service.

From the opening of Sigra’s “Dead Languages” (“I have never been that good with grammar / all my inclinations are wrong”) to the closing of Heather Rae’s “Love” (“Trying not to get it wrong / again”), Summer’s Ends plays into the charming self-deprecation evident in the series’ tagline of “low-effort recordings by local queers.” As scrappy as it is endearing, the Queer Madison Mixtape series has successfully established a winsome identity with its second entry. All of it, as ever, is more than worth the listen and any additional support.

More insights on the contributing artists will be available via spotlight features that Communication will be hosting on its Facebook and Instagram.


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