Thomas Golubić is the music supervisor on The Walking Dead. Before that he placed music on Breaking Bad and Six Feet Under. Photo: Ashley West Leonard

Thomas Golubić makes a lot of mixtapes. But instead of making them for roadtrips, friends or significant others, he makes them for Rick Grimes, Walter White, Jesse Pinkman and the funeral home of Six Feet Under.

“Creating mixtapes is a small part of the music supervision process for a series,” said Golubić, a music supervisor with credits on both Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead. ”In essence, it’s a brainstorming exercise. … In the case of Breaking Bad, we frequently [went] to those early mixtapes to see if there are good ideas that we thought of early on that feel particularly prescient at the season’s close.”

Golubić’s picks have ended up accompanying some of the most climatic and/or intense TV moments for several critically acclaimed shows. Remember Sharon Van Etten’s eerie warning “everything changes” from The Walking Dead earlier this season, after a controversial decision by the character Rick? That was Golubić’s call. So was the track that played during one of the greatest series finales of all time: Sia’s tear-jerking “Breathe Me,” which ebbed and flowed in the background of the final Six Feet Under as the ultimate fates of its characters played out in an epic montage.

A long-time fan of Tom Waits, Golubić also tried to get the gravel-voiced singer’s “Big Black Mariah” on Six Feet Under for a scene where two characters dined in the afterlife, but ended up having to cut it for budgetary reasons. “I’ve waited for years for an opportunity to put Tom Waits in one of my projects,” said Golubić. So if you noticed that the character Beth on The Walking Dead just happened to sing not one but two Waits songs over the last two seasons — “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up” and “Hold On” — now you know why.