Album Review: ‘The Make Up’ by Dan Paul


The Make Up, the newest album by Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Dan Paul, is a brooding affair from the Texas native and rising pop star.  That’s not to say it’s all dark and maudlin – far from it. But there is a constant thread of quiet self-reflection. Themes on the album cover familiar territory of love and introspection – lost love, new love, new self-awareness, etc.

On ‘Come Clean’, the lead-off track and recent single, Dan Paul shed’s some skin to a slinking percussive line, setting the tone for this sonic rebirth. The ten songs effectively meld sadness and redemption, without ever feeling mopey. The songs read like entries from a journal that Dan Paul has allowed us to read.

In the title track, he sings “It’s the make-up, not the markers, that make up all of man”, playing with entendre (Dan Paul is an out and proud gay man, and has been known to perform in rock n roll drag) with regard to masks, as well as all the parts of our history from which we’re composed.


Dan Paul has made a beautiful, simmering pop record that gets better with each listen. The musicianship is subtle yet masterful, never overpowering the message or the vocals. Several tracks, such as the album’s standout cuts “You and Me Right Now” and “A Subtle Casting”, are particularly gorgeous. The latter is stark and sleepy affair that haunts long after the album’s quiet finish.

Standout Tracks: Come Clean, All My Life, Etta James, You and Me Right Now, City Romance, A Subtle Casting

DOWNLOAD the album on iTunes or find it now on Spotify.


To learn more about Dan Paul, visit him online at:



New Music Sunday! 2/6/11

Always familiarize yourself with new music.

Beach House – Walk In the Park

This is one of the most awesomely weird videos I’ve ever seen.  The YouTube comments sum it up:

satanhead69 (4 weeks ago)

There is a lesson to be learned here. If a dude pulls a sandwich out of a hole in his chest and offers it to you, do not eat it.

Twotontongue (3 weeks ago)

Wow this video is absolutely awful and yet wonderful, disgusting and yet totally mind boggling hilarious and beautiful! A fucked up masterpiece.

damienwolves (1 day ago)

This video makes no sense.

pichanund (2 days ago)

i fucking love this video

Iron & Wine – Tree By the River

Destroyer – Kaputt

SoloBob – The Victim

This song isn’t really “new” and I’ve been talking about/sharing/loving it for years, but it’s still amazing. It’s by Robert Schwartzman, aka SOLOBOB, who was/is the lead singer of Rooney, and who also happens to be the brother of the amazing actor/singer Jason Schwartzman, aka Coconut Records.

Fiorious – Elevator

M83 – Kim and Jessie

Hannah Georgas – The Beat Stuff

Elemint – Poetry of Life

As of this writing, you can download Elemint’s entire debut album, Born Fresh, for FREE at Amazon.

Favorites: Kings of Convenience

Allow me to start by saying Kings of Convenience are one of my favorite bands.

I don’t even remember with perfect clarity how I discovered them.  But I have it on reasonable authority (my hazy memory) that it was after spotting a copy of their first disc, Quiet Is the New Loud, by chance at a cd store.

The band name, the photograph, and the album title all made for an intoxicating mix of exactly what I’d have taken notice of.  I’m quite sure, even years later, that my cheeks must have flushed a bit.  In fact, as I am remembering or (or creating a revisionist history, whichever) I believe it was one of those stores that allow you to play used copies of cds before you buy them.  This is one of those albums that I’d sample snippets of the first couple of songs and proceed to the checkout counter.


Kings of Convenience are an indie folk-pop duo from Bergen, Norway. Consisting of Erlend Øye and Eirik Glambek Bøe, the musical group is known for their delicate tunes, calming voices, and intricate and subtle guitar melodies. Øye and Bøe both compose and sing the songs.

Øye and Bøe were both born in 1975 (Øye on November 21 and Bøe on October 25) and have known each other since they met while participating in a geography contest at the age of 10.[1] At sixteen, they played together in the band Skog (“forest”) with two other friends, releasing one EP, Tom Tids Tale, before breaking up and later forming the Kings duo.

The twosome were signed to the American label Kindercore after appearing in European festivals during the summer of 1999. After a spell living in London in 2001, they released their debut album Quiet Is the New Loud. The album was produced by Coldplay producer Ken Nelson. The album was very successful and even lent its name to a small movement of musicians in the pop underground (including acoustic contemporaries such as Turin Brakes) which took Belle & Sebastian and Simon and Garfunkel as their inspiration and focused on more subtle melodies and messages.

Versus, an album of remixes of tracks from Quiet Is the New Loud, came out shortly after. After this breakthrough year, not much was heard from the band. Øye spent the next few years living in Berlin and doing solo material, releasing music under the DJ Kicks series as well as a solo album titled Unrest. He also has a side project named The Whitest Boy Alive.

It was not until 2004 that the Kings’ follow-up Riot on an Empty Street was released. The video made for “I’d Rather Dance With You,” the second single from the album, topped MTV‘s European list as the best music video of 2004. The album also featured contributions by Leslie Feist.

The third album, called Declaration of Dependence, was released on October 20, 2009.


I’ve been enjoying Declaration of Dependence since a few months after its release (I hadn’t initially known they had released a new album).

Mrs. Cold, from the album:

Boat Behind, from the album: