We’ve had top lists of singles and albums since the site started, but we’ve neglected an increasingly important part of the music industry: EPs. They are a chance for new artists to show the world what they are all about, and hence by looking at EPs we can see where music is headed and who might just be the next big thing. They also offer an opportunity for established artists to take a chance and explore something new without dedicating all their effort to a full album. Simply put, EPs are the lifeblood of the music industry, and here are the ones that impressed most in the past year:
10. Goodwood Atoms – Place
Combining atmospheric folk, cathartic indie rock, and understated electronica, Goodwood Atoms captured an expressive and enthralling sound with Place. This is definitely a band to watch!
9. TYPES – The Future is Close Enough
With this first release, Manchester band TYPES really impress with their own brand of post punk. Whether exploring more expansive and experimental sounds, or full throttle rockers, this is the sound of Britain’s future.
8. Courtney Swain – Growing Pains
As if releasing Land Animal with Bent Knee wasn’t enough to be thankful for, Courtney Swain has also blessed us this year with the melancholy Growing Pains. Although more stripped back and piano driven, it’s a brilliant example of her astonishing voice.
7. Haunt The Woods – The Line
Bringing together pastoral folk vibes, fantastic technical skill, and more than a few hints of the late great Jeff Buckley, Haunt The Woods have hit upon a winning formula. The Line was one of the best hidden gems of 2017 and I can’t wait to hear more from them.
6. The Glass Child – This Silence Now
Swedish singer/songwriter Charlotte Eriksson is easily my favourite discovery of the year. With This Silence Now, the stripped back winter vibes focus on the bare essentials and the key elements that make Charlotte so amazing; just her voice, her guitar, and her heartfelt stories.
5. Ren – A Calling From The Shore
With A Calling From The Shore, Ren offers one of the finest folk collections released in 2017. With tracks like ‘The Coast’ and ‘Late Night Drive’, his expressive songwriting and the ever-present sense of wanderlust that his creations pass on make this a truly heartwarming release.
4. Miccoli – 1/2
When this trio of siblings come together it’s like there’s magic in the air. With their debut EP they have crafted some of the best damn pop music going, and have shown everyone else exactly how it’s done. Miccoli have the potential to become a household name, and I’m so excited to see where their journey takes them next.
3. Ailbhe Reddy – Attach To Memory
Alongside some brilliant stand-alone singles, entrancing Irish artist Ailbhe Reddy has also wowed us this year with her latest EP. Bringing together a myriad of endearing little vibes and nuances, and drawing from a broad ocean of influences, she has crafted a sound that is entirely her own. One of the most exciting new acts around, her star is set to rise.
2. Ophelia – Ophelia
Terrific transatlantic duo Samuel Taylor and Rebecca Van Cleave offered up with their debut release a gold standard slice of Americana. Each superbly crafted track shows a different facet to their songwriting talents, and the EP boasts one of the best Leonard Cohen covers you’ll ever hear. Understandably their debut album Blackbox Memories is one of my most anticipated releases of 2018.
1. The Dear Hunter – All Is As All Should Be
After discovering The Dear Hunter last year, they have quickly become one of my all time favourite bands. News of their new EP however filled me with both curiosity and apprehension. The band’s ambitions created quite a challenge, as they asked for writing prompts from six of their biggest fans and wrote and recorded custom songs in their own homes. Despite all the obvious obstacles the release is a rousing success, expanding on their signature sound, touching on new ideas, and proving that they still have plenty of tricks up their sleeves.