Top Ten EPs of 2018

top ten epsThese lists aren’t final until they are up on the site to give a chance to those November and December releases that often get forgotten. That said, a basic list usually gets drafted quite far in advance as a guide. This list however is the exception. It took a long time to narrow down to a top ten, and even longer to decide on the final order. It’s been an impressively consistent year for EPs across the board, but after much deliberation I’ve settled on my final rankings.

10. TALMA – Out To Sea

Spandau Ballet meets Joy Division in the latest release from this London based outfit. Mature and melodic, but with just enough of experimentation to keep you on your toes, these guys put a unique twist on a classic sound.

9. Lokki – Cirrhi

Drew McFarlane of Glass Animals has really impressed with his first release under his Lokki moniker. It carries a classic feel that invokes the golden age of singer/songwriters, and grows on you a little more with each listen.

8. Cocoa Futures – Recovery

Indie pop, R&B, funk, synthpop. This release draws from so many sources, but at no point does it feel disjointed, nor does it ever feel like it is reaching too far. There are a lot of elements here I like, and they all manage to blend together perfectly.

7. NeoRomantics – Homecoming

This is a record that I never expected to love as much as I do. Even though it’s not quite my style I just can’t deny its brilliance. It just goes to show that talent transcends all style and genre boundaries. Easily one of the most pleasantly surprising releases of the year.

6. Claire Coupland – On the Other Side

This endearing Americana release shows that, when they’re done right, EPs can hold just as much sway as a full album. This lush and moving collection of songs feels meant to be and works together to make something greater than the sum of its parts.

5. Haunt The Woods – Circle

It doesn’t quite reach the same heights as last year’s debut EP The Line, but it’s a much more consistent release overall which is a far harder feat to pull off. Further proof that they are one of the best up and coming bands around right now.

4. Spielbergs – Distant Star

From this point onward, all of these EPs have taken the top spot in one incarnation or another of this list. Though it’s dropped a few places in the course of the year, Distant Star held first place for a long time. It’s such a diverse and immediate listen, and about as potent a mission statement as any I’ve heard from a new band. Their forthcoming debut is one of my most anticipated albums of 2019 based on what I’ve heard here.

3. Overjoyed – A Look of Fear, a Lack of Feeling

Slick musicianship, infectious melodies, charming ballads, effervescent rockers. This Swedish group have nailed this release on every level. I worry how they’re gonna top this as it’s better than the majority of indie albums I’ve heard in recent years. If this is a sign of things to come however then I feel they have the potential to create a truly classic record in the not too distant future.

2. Hozier – Nina Cried Power

It feels like an age since Hozier’s debut album, but if that’s because he’s busy behind the scenes making each new song as perfect as the four found here then he can take all the time in the world. Each track delights in its own way, and showcases a different side to his talents as an artist and songwriter. This EP doesn’t slate my thirst for new music, merely offering a taste that only makes me want more.

1. Sophie Morgan – Sons & Daughters

I honestly would not change a thing about this EP. It’s not a collection of singles, or an album with the filler trimmed away, or a gathering of musical odds and ends; all things that commonly plague EPs. These songs feel like they belong together. Sons & Daughters is the kind of record that you can just get lost in, the kind that soothes away all your worries and lets you see the world in a new light.