I’ve had the good fortune of being able to hear a great many EP’s and albums this year, so my top 5 EP list (as well as my top 10 albums list) will also include honourable mentions. So, here’s my top 5 EP’s of 2011, in alphabetical order:
41st and Home- Raised by Wolves
I love orchestral sounds. Whether it be Owen Pallett or Arcade Fire or Mark Berube, any artist or band that can successfully compose is one that sticks around in my books. 41st and Home changed a bit from their previous release and decided to experiment a little more. The result is breathtaking, and shows that this young band can only go great places in the future.
Carnival Moon- Our Little Hourglass
Did I mention that I like orchestral sounds? The first time I saw Carnival Moon live last year, it was simply Elaine Kelly-Canning on harp and David Scanlon on violin. Since that show, Kelly-Canning has grown extremely confident and has been helped by a full backing band. The result is the beautiful five songs of Our Little Hourglass. What really sealed the deal for me in regards to putting this album on my list was when I heard Carnival Moon’s “Ring Christmas Bells” on the Ho Ho Ho Canada III compilation.
Inlet Sound- Dream Awake
Laura has already written about why the EP is so great, so I want to share a personal anecdote of why this was my choice. A few months ago on a whim I played the song “Sing Me To Sleep” to a few of my friends who had absolutely zero idea who Inlet Sound were. The result: every single person who heard it ranted and raved about how amazing the song was. And if one song from Dream Awake could stir up the uninitiated, then the whole EP could probably do a lot more.
We Are The City- High School
Ordinarily I would cringe at the idea of an album called High School but We Are The City approach their EP with such precision and heartbreaking honesty that you can’t help but be drawn into their spell. Plus, their song “Happy New Year” was nominated for a Bucky for best lyric- “No I’m not here waiting on anyone…Especially not Jessica.” On top of all that Amazing Factory put together an incredible video series that added even more intensity to an already intense collection of songs.
Writers’ Strike- Stay Down
This EP felt way too short- only three songs! But good god are they catchy. The band packs everything that should be included in a song into each of their three songs. What comes out are three songs that I felt the urge to play over and over again at the point when I was reviewing it.