We’re talking EP’s. Shortplay albums. Not full lengths, but something different. No less important, and no less powerful. By no means, does a full album make an EP irrelevant, I chose to separate the two in an effort to shine a light on some smaller releases that might slipped by in the big year end album lists.
As opposed to the Music Videos list, here i’ll try to number the list, based upon preference and my number of listens. Instead of going for an even 10, I used Tumblr’s photo post number and left it as a top 9 for EPs.
Click title for band info and or purchase information.
9.) “The Night Before EP” by Stumbleine - Subtle, striking and completely original. Stumbleine are a trippy-dream pop band that uses hip hop influences to bring out hazy pop treats.
8.) “Undersea” by The Antlers- Not as immediately engrossing as “Burst Apart” but an exciting collection of four songs that seem to be pushing the band into interesting new ground.
7.) “Gallery” by Craft Spells - A collection of dreamy pop jams that carry more energy than a lot of today’s bedroom pop/ dream pop artists. It feels sort of lost in time, because I can easily imagine some outcast high school kid from 1989 putting these jams on a mixtape. They still sound fresh, but definitely indebted to another time.
6.) “Kid Games” by Airiel- Lovely, feedback heavy, ethereal shoegaze treats. Totally caught by surprise as to just how good this release turned to be.
5.) “End of Daze” by Dum Dum Girls - Impeccably crafted pop tracks that continue to delve into the darker territory that the band explored on the wonderful, “Only in Dreams”.
4.) “Silent Hour / Golden Mile” by Daniel Rossen - Grizzly Bear’s not-so-secret weapon drops a killer solo EP of dark, mysterious material that crosses grounds as varied as folk and prog experimentation. For me, this contains some of the best material that anyone in Grizzly Bear has released in recent years. It’s just a too short!
3.) “Hiding” by Tearjerker- These guys never disappoint. From their dreamy shoegaze sounds to their more jagged hypnagogic pop sounds, they just deliver. This EP finds the band branching out into more experimental sounds, and without fail, they nail every note.
2.) “Kindred” by Burial - A short but effective three tracks is all it takes for Burial to create a mysterious ghost world that is filled with shadowy sounds and eerie vibes. It feels lived in, and inhabited by an artist that is not content with stuck in place. “Kindred” finds Burial taking his sound to an even darker place than before, and coming away with something incredibly easy to listen to, but also challenging and rewarding all the same.
1.) “S/T” by Indoor Voices - I was a big fan of Indoor Voices’s full length, “Nevers”, but I was completely unprepared for how stunning I found the follow up EP. From the opening strum of “Still” to the closing hum of “Hung Out”, there is not a weak note to be found. The absolutely jaw dropping, “So Smart” is one of the best songs of the year, hands down, and the other three tracks that are found on the self titled EP aren’t far behind. It’s a flawless release and one that deserves be heard by anyone who who enjoys dream pop - or fuck, anyone who just enjoys good music. You will not be disappointed.
All right. That is it for my list of favorite EPs of 2012. Albums and Songs of the year still to come. Thanks for reading!