Friday, December 5, 2014

Jeff's Best of 2014: Top EP Releases

We kick off our Best of 2014 coverage today with a look at my favorite EP releases of the year. I'll count down a few highlights and leave a few others:

The Red-Headed Indian - Honey: I was really, really excited about this EP when it was first released, and I'm still really into it today. Every time I listen to it, whether in full or to the individual songs, I find something new to love and a new favorite song on the release (today it's "January"). Overall, this is my favorite non-album release this year by a wide, wide margin and I'm really excited to see what Caroline Kingsbury has coming up next.

Robyn & Royksopp - Do It Again: "Do It Again" might be one of my favorite songs of the year regardless of anything else, but this whole EP is a great mix of electronica and pop music that hopefully sets up more great collaborations like this. A great little dance EP that is just long enough to boot.

Lewis and Leigh - Night Drives: Every time I listen to this, I get surprised all over again. Not only is it a continually faithful slice of Americana music, but it's also a pretty fun quick hit of songs. None of them feel like filler and it makes me wonder if we'll see a full length. Definitely worth a listen if you haven't queued it up yet.

Allison Weiss - Remember When: As a fan of her album last year, this EP really solidifies her as an underrated songwriting talent. The first two songs on this EP feel radio-ready as is, and that my wife immediately felt like she had heard "Remember When" on a television show should tell you how ggood this is. I'll be hoping for big things for Weiss in 2015, but for now, this EP should hold everyone over.

SZA - Z: This EP (almost a full-length, in fairness), is a release that was pigeonholed a few ways. Mostly falling under the R&B umbrella, it's actually a pretty interesting electronic release that has a few songs that feel fully formed (most notably "Laura") and is a pretty great experience from start to finish. I'd love to hear what a full album would sound like from SZA as well.

Other EP highlights this year:

* Wild Leaves - Hello Sunlight
* Austra - Habitat
* Hem - The World is Outside
* Hollow Wood - Seasons EP
* Quiet Life - Housebroken Man
* The Colour and Sound - Peace of Mind

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