2020 IN REVIEW
2020 was a strange, unprecedented, and difficult year for most people, myself included...
I almost feel bad when I write this to say that 2020 was the best year of The Silence Noise since the project officially became TSN back in 2006.
As I thought through the year, it's almost incredible to think about just how much music, streaming, and entertainment that came out of this year.
This is the story of my 2020....
As always, you can support the music, project, and stream by picking up the music over on Bandcamp or following me on Twitch. If you're looking for one of the specific tracks, click or tap the images to go right to them on this page!
The most important thing that happened in 2020 was the release of my collaborative EP, The Twist of a Friendly Knife, featuring contributions from 10 Twitch Music streamers and defining the year as a whole...
Over all the years of The Silence Noise, I had never actually recorded a finalized version of a track with another artist. I had toyed with the idea, but as I had started to make a lot of new friends while streaming on Twitch, a different idea started to emerge.
Back in January, I wrote the song Darkest Moon of Midnight, with the idea of collaborating with one of my favorite streamers, MissMaryLu. The single was to be released as a standalone and I didn't really think about doing anything else with it.
But as we all know, 2020 had different plans for what we'd all be doing this year.
For that reason, MissMaryLu was unable to work with me on this particular song and during the wait time for that, I started to come up with other song ideas including Sweet Punishment and an old demo that had been collecting dust for 12 years, The Evil That You Do.
Over the next few months, this became the EP and some of the most exciting material I've ever released.
I'm forever grateful to all of the people who worked with me to make this a reality and share the music with the world...
It also resulted in my very first true music video, featuring SaraJazz.
But there were many other notable standalone releases for The Silence Noise this year...including the first in January, Whisper Soft Betrayals.
The first single I released in 2020 almost seemed to predict the energy of the year ahead. It's a song that was filled with a unique type of angst that hadn't been present in the material I was writing in 2019. It was a song that featured what became my signature guitar tone for the year, a much larger and 90s-inspired "wall of sound." This track along with some of the other standalone material from 2019 will be featured on an upcoming album.
The first collaboration of the year wasn't actually for the EP, but instead featured my good friend, Cableslave. The somber epic, Cold November.
Started as an idea from Cableslave back in 2019, this track was originally designed to be a collaboration between many different streamer friends that we had made on Twitch. The root of the idea, the downtrodden electronic intro of the song, gives way to a massive orchestrated rock portion written by me. Unfortunately, with the state of the world, this ended up as just the two of us once Cableslave finalized the mix.
The rest of the music from 2020...
Overall, there were over 30 new tracks created from scratch during 2020...and I'm probably still forgetting a few.
Not all of them received major releases (on the streaming services) and some of them will receive upcoming releases in 2021.
Among these, here are the highlights...
In the midst of a massive fake rivalry between the Music Exposed hosts (more to come on that later), this "battle" song was created to attack the friends who had left me behind.
The song was inspired extensively by two ideas:
1) To write a song with one piano note that extended for as long as possible (it goes on for 54 seconds).
2) To do "my version" of an emo/punk song from the 2000s but be far more aggro and less whiny.
This song is the favorite of many of my biggest supporters and will be included on the upcoming album in 2021.
Your Only Fan with SaraJazz
An "anthem for the heroes of TikTok and their fans," Your Only Fan is a parody that delves into TikTok culture and the men and women who love it every day. It was released just before Christmas and has a music video upcoming.
The Twitch Finds Theme
The theme was written for my friends, Dune and Jonny, and their show that supports Twitch Music streamers every single week.
The torture device that actually helped keep my stream afloat, ZOMBEEP is NorthboundMatt's favorite song. The intro? "If you've gone more than 5 minutes on Twitch without hearing Zombie or Creep, this song is for you." Still available for $69 on my Twitch channel.
Da Rules (for ScatteredRollers)
My very first commission for the Scattered Rollers channel (RIP), this song teaches you about Da Rules and features a very frisky grandpa voice.
There are also 5+ additional songs that were created this year for collaborations or various purposes that are still in development...
When the "DMCApocalypse" hit on Twitch, I went to work on a massive project to convert all of The Silence Noise material into instrumentals. The result was Instrumentals, Volume 1.
All of these tracks are available to streamers, friends, and fans to use for their streaming content. I self-publish my tracks and want them to be heard!
Finally, my single biggest project of the year took place to celebrate my one year anniversary on Twitch. Inspiration from the Black: The Silence Noise Tribute to Depeche Mode.
For my one year anniversary, I wanted to do something big.
That project, which nearly broke me and my spirit, was to create an entire tribute experience to my largest musical inspiration, Depeche Mode. The process resulted in 14 original versions of Depeche Mode classics spread across all of their albums.
This was a ridiculous undertaking and one I probably wouldn't do again in this way. The 14 songs (originally meant to be 16) were completed between January and March 2020.
- A Question of Lust
- Black Celebration
- Everything Counts
- Fly on the Windscreen
- Master and Servant
- Never Let Me Down Again
- Shake the Disease
- World in My Eyes
Because of the cost of cover licensing, I have not yet decided to release these publicly, but I still play them live on Twitch during my performances and they are available to channel subscribers in my Discord.
Producing Other Artists in 2020!
A major milestone for my music career started in 2020 as I began producing, mixing, and mastering tracks for other artists. In addition to direct commissions, as I mentioned above, I also worked with some other fabulous artists in 2020 to make their vision a reality.
In the process of working on multiple songs with Sara, I wrote the lyrics, string section, and helped produce "What Does It Feel Like" which will be released in the coming months.
This is an unreleased track from an upcoming album. Written by NorthboundMatt, this song is a classic indie/punk banger.
I completed multiple mixes/commissions for KypiStreams this year which are way outside my normal type of music!
Supporting Other Artists On My Channel in 2020!
I did a release party for FourAfterEver's new album on my channel when it was released. It's still awesome!
Music Exposed with SaraJazz
In May 2020, an idea that I'd been working on with Sara since 2019 finally came to fruition...
It resulted in 29 different interviews, 2 music festivals featuring over 10 original artists, a lively Bulletin Board that features weekly music releases, and a community that tunes in every week to discover new artists.
Music Exposed was the driving force behind almost everything I did in 2020 with one goal: to promote as many streaming artists and personalities as possible.
It's a project that no matter what, I will be proud of for the rest of my life.
Perhaps after watching these clips I should be less proud...
I fell in love...and our communities brought us together in the US.
I never would have imagined that Sara and I would be together. She was always a great friend, an inspiration, and a true partner in so many of the things that I accomplished in 2020.
I couldn't ask for a better person to share my life with every single day. And with the help of our communities, we were able to finally meet in November 2020.
I also started getting my health together...and lost 50 pounds (and counting) since March 2020.
After the miserable years of 2018 and 2019, which were among the worst I've ever experienced, I was committed to making 2020 a year full of healing and art.
Though I'm still on this path, I made a lot of progress.
I don't take a lot of pictures of myself, but even in the face, it's pretty obvious to see the progress this year!
I made so, so many close friends and my community saved me from the brink multiple times...
Just like everyone else who went through COVID times this year, I nearly lost everything multiple times...
In March, when the lockdowns started, I lost nearly 90% of my clients in my business/daily work.
Most of those businesses have not or will not recover based on how much things have changed.
I had a choice - and the choice I made despite all my old, broken tech - was to focus on Twitch, streaming, and music as much as possible.
The community I was able to create and connect changed my life this year.
After a year and a half of struggling, the community came together with the help and organization of BadToothRecords to finally replace my 11 year old stream PC (which was dying every single stream) with a brand new studio.
Right after this new studio got built, my car broke down and I spent the next 2 months stuck at home while the engine was replaced. I thought that I was doomed - but yet again - all of you came together to save me once again.
Some of you have become my closest friends and supporters. I couldn't imagine my life without you.
The following people are the biggest supporters of my stream this year, contributing $100 or more to helping me keep the stream running, countless hours, their creative talents, and their support.
- 2020 Stream Sponsor: NorthboundMatt
- 2020 VIP: SaraJazz
Every single one of you, including all of my followers, helped me keep going. Here is a list of everyone who contributed to The Silence Noise this year...
- And anyone else the system didn't give me for some reason...
If there is anyone missing from this list, please reach out to me and I will add you! This just came from the reports from my various systems...
What's coming up in 2021?
There are a ton of projects I started this year that will be completed or ongoing into 2021.
- Finishing and releasing The Months After the End album
- The Billie Eilish Tribute for reaching 1,000 followers on my channel
- Traveling to Germany for the first time with Sara
- New Collaborations with Sara and Alice the Little Alien
- Producing an EP or Album for NorthboundMatt
- A new album from The Silence Noise
- A new EP/album for a new project with Sara
- Travel to Portugal to meet our friends there
Like many people, I struggle with self-worth, depression, and anxiety...
This post doesn't exist to brag, to feel superior to anyone else, or to pat myself on the back like the job is done...
In fact, I feel quite the opposite.
In general, I don't ever feel like I'm doing enough.
I don't feel like I'm accomplishing all I want to accomplish...
I don't feel like my presence is growing fast enough...
I feel like a failure the vast majority of the time.
When I saw others sharing their 2020 on social media, I felt like I had accomplished nothing compared to most of them...
When I actually started putting this list and page together, sharing all of the music, friendships, and achievements of 2020 - I started to realize just how wrong my perception of myself actually is compared to the rest of the world.
It's not something that I'll fix overnight, but if you're reading this, you're one of the people who has helped me keep going and stay alive.
Believe me, I didn't want to at a lot of points during the past few years.