HEARING GOLD’S EPs OF 2012
Our EPs of 2012 list is an alphabetical compilation of the 10 EPs that were, and currently still are, our favorites of the year which found themselves on heavy rotation. We like to think this list, albeit not exhaustive or comprehensive, documents the various stages of musical innovation that we’ve come across throughout the year. These are EPs that we found most enjoyable, memorable, beautiful, heartbreaking, cathartic, and/or simply fun. Check out a selected track from the featured EP by clicking on the cropped album artwork and also be sure to check out our Tracks of 2012 list and LPs of 2012 list.
Blessin’ - No (self-released 2/21/12)
Denton’s Blessin' is a dream pop outfit that we've been able to keep tabs with since its inception up until their debut EP release, No, which just dropped a few days ago. This outfit creates a distinct sound all their own where each element in each track seems to consistently reinforce that which embodies Blessin’. The breezy guitar melodies coupled with a distinct laid-back vocal delivery are simple elements that do not seem to be reproducible by none other than Blessin’.
Four Visions - You & Me (self-released 09/26/12)
Brooklyn’s Four Visions (a.k.a. Daniel Abary) is an act that emits a type of immaculate beauty that is almost inconceivable to the ears. How anyone can construct such stunningly emotive pieces of dream pop as found in You & Me is beyond us. You & Me is a perfect journey through affectivity from start to finish. Four Visions recently took down the album from public streaming and download but we decided it was an album we couldn’t leave out mentioning as a highlight for the year.
Glam Shell - Soul & Stardust (self-released 05/04/12)
In a vast sea of talented producers and beat makers it becomes increasingly difficult for one single act to distinguish themselves from the rest. Louisville’s beat-maker Glam Shell (a.k.a. Drury Graham) on the other hand, readily debunks this statement. The producer released an absolute killer of an EP this year called Soul & Stardust, knocking it out of the park with hard-hitting hip-hop beats, ingenious sample use and brilliant song construction. This is definitely one of the more coherent and refreshing beat albums we’ve across this year.
Gorgeous Bully - Bullring (self-released 05/02/12)
Plymouth’s Gorgeous Bully (a.k.a. Thomas Crang) is a project that effectively satiates our thirst for lo-fi fuzz pop. His most recent EP Bullring in particular is a stunning effort in which its raw simplicity and catchy songwriting is its greatest pull.
Imprintafter - Kat Seckz (released by Young Latitudes 08/27/12)
LA’s imprintafter (a.k.a. Juan Avila) is another beat-maker that caught our attention earlier this year when we helped premiere some of his work. His official EP release Kat Seckz is a collection of beat and sample-driven pieces that are explicitly exuberant in demeanor and one can hardly deny its ability to stand in as an immediate pick-me-up.
Patchwork - Changes (self-released/released by Purr Tapes 09/01/12)
Patchwork is Nanaimo’s Garrett Lockhart whom we became good friends with over a short span of time after we came across his work. The young producer’s debut EP effort Changes is one that showcases an immense amount of potential. The beat work found in the tracks alone are incredibly telling of the producer’s seemingly intuitive knack and natural sensibility for beat-driven, electronic production.
Shlohmo - Vacation (released by Friends of Friends 02/07/12)
There’s no need to introduce the brilliant act that is Shlohmo. The highly acclaimed producer Henry Laufer's streak never ceases to end or impress and his Vacation EP is no exception. There’s an exploration of darker realms and moods in this one yet it’s still recognizably the skilled hand of Shlohmo. It’s no surprise that the talented producer nails every single element in the EP’s production either. Heavy rotation is inevitable.
Snacs - Whenever. (self-released 08/06/12)
New York’s Snacs (a.k.a. Josh Abramovici) is a producer that we’ve come to admire and be impressed with all the time. Everything the producer touches turns into a gorgeous ambient, sample and beat-driven opus that renders you speechless. His EP Whenever. showcases just a few of the various slick production skills he is equipped with but is nonetheless a very impressive effort from the producer.
Tear Jerker - Hiding (self-released 08/28/12)
Toronto-based shoegaze outfit Tear Jerker has been a long-time blog favorite and it only makes sense that their newest EP Hiding would make a memorable impact. Here’s yet another 4 tracks of brilliantly emotive songwriting with a distinct vocal styling that truly merits high acclaim.
Yume - Dreamt of U (self-released 11/01/12)
Yume, the 17 year-old New York-based producer that whisked us away with his track “Dreamt of U” earlier this year gave us much to dream about with the release of his EP of the same title. A delightful excess of dreaminess is at the EP’s core and beat production and sample use is ever so cleverly woven together in the soft fabric of each track.