by Michael Thomas
It has been another year of new discoveries and releases from old favourites, and I realized that I’ve reviewed so much material this year that I’ll be listing my top 10 EP’s of the year, followed soon by my top 20 LP’s. Here are my 10, in alphabetical order:
After being enchanted by this Uxbridge, Ontario band’s wild sound at a show, I was happy to discover that their recordings are just as great. This five-song collection is full of subtle pop-rock that is sure to excite.
These guys are the best British band not from Britain. Their electronic rock pulses with fever and control. This EP is sure to be the soundtrack of many a dance party.
Dream Jefferson combine hip-hop stylings with extremely catchy electronic beats, and Manchester Blue is the latest recording that shows how slick this band is. The songs range from melancholy to hyperactive seemingly at the drop of a hat.
One of the things I love about Graham Wright is how little he gives a shit about conventions of recording. In March of this year, he got together with a few musicians and recorded a wonderful six-song EP that was released a week later, sometimes with Wright on vocals and other times not. Simple yet solid pop songwriting.
This was initially meant to be a teaser at a full-length to be released this year, but it’s enough to satiate hunger for this brilliant songwriter. In just four songs Klassen plays with a load of different instruments. Just try not to feel the enthusiasm surging through “Go To Me.”
The Meek- Songs That Travel in Waves
This one came onto my radar only a few days ago, but I’m glad it did. Mika Posen (Timber Timbre, Forest City Lovers) has put together a stunning collection featuring pretty vocals over plucked strings. It will quickly draw you into a rhythm, and I hope this is the first of many recordings to come out of camp Posen.
2012 has been a buys year for Papermaps, and in August they released the six songs that make up Inferior Ghost. The band has not lost its knack for catchy hooks and its image as a band that produces “picture-perfect powerpop.”
Loop pedals, if used properly, can create mesmerizing songs. Andrew Seale, the man behind Revelstoke, uses them to create four songs, each with its own contained atmosphere- hear the breeze of summer in “San Sebastian” or the crashing waves of “Dans La Mer (Howl For Sade).”
They are one of the most exciting bands right now, whether live or recorded. In a vast departure from their first full-length, Royal Canoe have shape-shifted into a beast that cannot be contained. “Bathtubs” is probably one of the best songs released this year.
A very aptly-named EP filled to the brim with wit and precision. Wide-Eyed Tour Guide do not mess around on this recording and deliver pristine songs that should satisfy anyone looking for some intelligent songwriting.