HEARING GOLD’S HIGHLIGHTS OF 2011: EP’S
Here is a list arranged alphabetically, and by no means is it exhaustive, of 12 notable EP’s of 2011 that we consider to have been the most enjoyable, meaningful and on heavy rotation for us here at Hearing Gold this year. It was difficult to narrow it down to this list as we have many others we would love to include, but we’d prefer to keep things short and sweet this time around. As we have mentioned in Highlights of 2011: Tracks, most of these EP’s contain favorite tracks of ours which were previously excluded to avoid repetition. You can click on a cropped piece of the album artwork to play a selected track from the featured EP.
For some reason or another, we were unsure whether to include this EP on this list or not, but after re-listening to the whole EP again, it only took a second to completely change our minds. What can we say, this EP is just good and Beach Fossils just do it right every single time.
The title for The Bilinda Butchers' stunning EP is like a self-contained story that unfolds as you listen to each track. The dream-pop sensibilities woven throughout this collective piece are awe-inspiring and the EP sounds like it could act as the soundtrack of those angst-filled years of a teenager's life: Regret. Love. Guilt. Dreams. Perfection. This EP blew us out of the water.
This EP is chalk full of beautiful synth work and lush vocal melodies. Despite its attachment to the electronic genre which can sometimes be equated with dance music, listening to Equatorial Ultravox is like wrapping yourself in a warm, fuzzy blanket of Chad Valley-filled goodness.
Ann Arbor definitely has something special in their drinking water. Case in point, the EP My <3 by Ann Arbor native Chrome Sparks is one of the most interesting electronic albums we’ve ever heard in a while. Featuring the lovely vocals of Steffaloo on two tracks, this EP is more than extremely lovable.
The self-titled EP by Dempsey was our first introduction to the San Francisco duo and since landing upon it, we’ve found ourselves repeatedly listening to it more often than not. It was one of the most easy to listen to EPs within the chillwave genre which can sometimes lean towards being indistinctive but this EP stood out to us in a very good way.
Feelings 4 U is hands down one of our favourite releases through the amazing digital label Absent Fever. If we could sum up the EP into one phrase, we would say it’s one smooth piece of work filled with R&B flavours and samplings to make you move and groove and then some.
fthrsn's Hysteria is one of the more unique finds of the year with its unconventional pop and tropical infusions. This EP was a musical form of relief for us, offering a route of escape from the colder days of the winter months with its warm sounds and and ever-intoxicating vocal melodies.
Jensen Sportag are like the masters of disco-funk grooves. We’ve seen this through the countless remixes they have churned out this year where they have added their Jensen Sportag touch, from Madi Diaz’s “Down We Go” or Memory Tapes’ “Wait In The Dark” to name a few, and their very own Pure Wet EP which served as extension of this kind of sound that they are able to produce so well.
We were very impressed with Keep Shelly in Athens' EP In Love With Dusk released last year but the Greek duo have proven themselves once again in our eyes with the recent EP Our Own Dream which has have been making the rounds through the blogosphere this past year. We can only wait until next year for more releases from them.
It’s no surprise that Ski Lodge hail from New York because their upbeat self-titled EP sounds like those late night rooftop parties with a gorgeous view of the surrounding city. Its surf-pop, guitar led melodies and catchy hooks made this infectious EP really enjoyable to listen to—just the right kind of vibes for the warmer months ahead in the new year where we will surely be keeping an eye out for more sounds to come from this project.
Slow Magic's brief description for their EP is “sound made by an unknown imaginary friend” which is kind of the perfect way to sum it up—if you could translate the imagination of an impressively creative kid into music, it would sound like this. Magical and other-worldy is this EP from the mysterious producer who made a huge impression this year.
TV Girl has got just the right amount of pop sensibilities without sounding overdone. Just take a listen to their EP Benny and the Jetts, a refreshingly upbeat curation of samples by the San Diego outfit that will lift your spirits even if you’re in a foul mood. Every time we take a listen to the EP, we are only led to be more and more impressed which is why we had to get them on here.