by Michael Thomas
Last year I listed my top 10 EPs. The year before it was five. This year I’ve chosen a happy medium. Here are eight (technically nine) EPs that impacted me significantly over the past year. In alphabetical order:
Beekeeper – Shout At People EP
This EP is a million things at once. It features a song that starts as 90s-grunge and becomes a good old-fashioned hoedown, with kazoos. It features a sweetly romantic song that talk about blood and structured bone frames. It asks the all-important question: “If we break up, who will keep the bees?” It’s a lot of things, and that’s what makes Shout At People so compelling.
Okay, this is actually two EPs, but separating them seems unfair. Transcendental Visits introduces the interstellar visitor that is Delta Will, and his modern approach to blues music. The album is sometimes sexy, sometimes inspiring of a dance party, sometimes just worthy of bobbing your head in appreciation of sweet riffs. It All Glows elevates that music to a new level, with warm guitars, wicked drums and an increased bit of passion.
ev ree wuhn – ev ree wuhn
From the ashes of Dora Alexander came this contemplative electronic group. Their craft is hypnotic stuff—their songs are slow build, but thrilling every second of the way. And as someone who personally love snapping my fingers to a good beat, nothing beats the timed snaps of “Paper Tokyo.” Good stuff.
HIGHS – HIGHS
Laura has already explained well why this EP is so special, so I’ll share a little anecdote that backs up her assertion; a while back, I posted the HIGHS song “Summer Dress” to my Tumblr. Most times the songs I put up don’t get any attention, but this time, one of my friends picked up on it, and it spread like wildfire among a circle of people. HIGHS are just that addictive.
Hush Pup – Darlene
I love Triple Gangers, so it only makes sense that the group’s Ida Maidstone would make equally compelling music as Hush Pup. I’ve described many an album as “dreamy,” but nearly nowhere does that word apply more than these three songs. I just want to swoon all day while listening.
Jay Holy – Skeletor EP
When Rebekah Higgs recommends you listen to music, you’d better damn well take her advice. Jay Holy makes funereal pop music like few others can. Over the course of the EP, you will groove; you will shudder; you will enjoy hearing songs about “living like skeletons.” You will be drawn to Jay Holy.
Warmly – EP
Some members of Code Pie got together in a “very relaxed environment” and recorded this quick but striking EP. “Monster” takes it easy with a chill bass line and deadpan vocals about a monster hiding in the closet, “(Stay)” is based around a piano and features a hint of sexuality, while “Yes/No” is a fun song version of an internal argument.
Rebekah Higgs – Sha La La
Speaking of Rebekah Higgs, here’s her EP that she dropped with no warning! Nothing prepared me for how immediately I’d be drawn to it, with her unbeatable “doo-wop psych pop” sound. No one makes anything like what she makes, and I absolutely can’t wait to hear what she plans to come up with next.