This year, I decided to double up on last year's list of 5 favourite EP's. Why? Well, there are a few reasons, with the main reason already being stated in this year's bigger-than-last-year 'Favourite Songs Of 2013' post: there was a lot of good stuff that came out in 2013 and my original list size limitation was going to give me an unnecessary music blogger ulcer from stressing out about which ones to leave out. Plus, EP's are shorter than albums, so it just seems logical to make the list twice as big as my albums list (the plan for that is to still keep it the same size as last years… although I haven't finished that post yet, so we'll see). Of course, even after making this year's list a little bigger, there are still some great EP's that I had to leave off (but if you poke around in the 3 part 'Favourite Songs Of 2013' mixes, you'll be able to figure out which ones spent a good amount of time in my headphones).
So, without any further rambling on about list expansion reasoning… my 10 favourite EP's are below. I've wrote a few words and added my favourite tracks from each to try and entice you into joining me in enjoying the shit out of each and every one of these…
failure by mathew lee cothran // If this list was any longer, you probably would have found 2 EPs from the super consistent and prolific Mat Cothran. This year's elvis depressedly offering was another gem, but it was the 4 tracks released under his own name that struck the strongest chord with me. The track that sealed the deal (and my decision on which of his EP's landed in this list) would have to be the lovely 'I don't know', which is the perfect back drop for your next 1:40 staring out the window session. \\
Take Me To Church EP by Hozier // I don't watch much TV and I don't listen to the radio, so for all I know Hozier's track 'Take Me To Church' is being blasted all over those. That song is just too damn good to not have some Channel 4 executive placing it in the background of some show that would probably cheapen it's value to me, but since the only place I've been hearing the track is in my own headphones, I haven't tired of it one bit. In fact the whole EP is quite amazing, especially considering its surprising “pay what you want, even if it's 0” price tag. \\
always pretty EP by princess reason // Short and sweet (there are songs longer than this entire EP) and so perfectly lofi, this is exactly the sort of thing that will always end up on repeat in my headphones. You should go get this EP and put it on a repeat, and then if we ever meet in person we can bond over how we both spent all that time listening to ‘always pretty EP’ over and over again. \\
The Burning Dot p. by old amica // This EP sort of had an unfair advantage over all the other EP's on this list. You see, I came into pt.2 at the exact same time as last years pt.1, and the two EP's compliment each other very nicely when listening back to back. So I've kind of been listening to The Burning Dot as a full length. That being said, pt.2 is brilliant on its own and has really been suiting these colder months. Just remember that when you go get this one, get the other half too (they're both “name your price”, so absolutely no excuse for not having them both in your collection). \\
I Stood Among Trees by Wes Tirey // If I didn't know better, and if I wasn't friends with Wes on Facebook, you could put this EP on and tell me that you randomly found it in some dusty box in a thrift store and all you know about it is that the songs were recorded by some unheard of folk singer from way back in the day. And I would have listened to it and totally believed you (and I would have been secretly jealous of your amazing thrift store discovery and probably would have pretended that I had heard of him before). But, of course, that's not the case here. Wes is just an old soul with a true appreciation of the folk singer's of yesteryear, and you can hear the evidence of that all over this EP. \\
EP2 by ARMS // I've kind of been a fan of ARMS before ARMS even existed… as my discovery of Harlem Shakes (the band not the youtube craze) went almost hand in hand with finding out that they would be no more, but that guitarist Todd Goldstein was doing something called ARMS. So I went in thinking I already liked, and that turned out to be exactly the case. As the name would suggest, EP2 is the second ARMS EP, and it is just as excellent as the first one. \\
holy cross [ep] by Fog Lake // This EP takes me back to those old Myspace days. Perhaps I am misremembering 2007, but in my mind it was a time filled with bedroom artists innocently uploading their bedroom recordings and everybody bonding over the excitement of finding a bunch of people doing the same thing. Of course, Myspace died (ironically, Fog Lake's EP has landed on ‘the new Myspace's’ best Cassette Releases of 2013) and the internet has changed quite a bit. Now it seems like artists don't bond as much over each other's songs, instead, everybody seems a bit on their own, almost in competition with each other to try and get a positive mention from one of the millions of music blogs clogging the web. But I'm rambling and off point. This is a really great EP. And it proves that even though things have changed in how we interact, really great music is still getting made in bedrooms. \\
Duets #1-3 by The Weather Station // As the name of this EP suggests, The Weather Station has done 3 duets (hopefully what it also implies is that a #4-6 is coming). But what the title doesn't make obvious is how great those 3 duets are (also, you get 2 duets with each artist). The Daniel Romano duets were the ones that I went in the most excited about (and they definitely do not disappoint), but it's the 2 tracks with Baby Eagle that really hit with me. Perhaps it's because I hadn't heard of Baby Eagle before, so I didn't know what to expect before pressing play, but it's probably mostly because Brook and Branch is just a really lovely song. And then there's the Marine Dreams duets, which are also great. I guess what I'm getting at is the whole thing is brilliant. \\
Rocks & Gravel EP by Jake Klar // If you've been a frequent visitor of this site, you're probably already clued in to the fact that I'm a fan of Jake Klar's music. There's a slight tint of Justin Townes Earle in his tunes (check ‘Can't Help Thinkin' It Was Easy’ to hear what I mean), but Jake's music is a lot rougher around the edges than JTE; rougher in all the right ways (check ‘Rocks & Gravel’ to hear what I mean). The EP is only 5 tracks long, but it manages to check a lot of different boxes on my list of what kind of music I like. If you don't have this one already, go correct that now for whatever price you fancy. \\
Haunts [EP] by Tiny Ruins // It's impossible to talk about Tiny Ruins without mentioning “that voice”. I wouldn't say it is “out of this world”, but it definitely is “out of this era”. In fact, the only time someone else's voice has ever reminded me of Hollie is when I'm listening to someone from a much older school (the last time I recall this happening was when I heard those excellent lost recording's from Nick Drake's mom). But more than just a voice that never fails to completely mesmerize me (as if that wasn't enough), Hollie is also a songwriter of the highest class. And you can file ‘Haunts’ in the evidence folder that supports that claim, along with her previous offerings of ‘Little Notes’ and ‘Some Were Meant For Sea’ (and leave some room in the file for the new stuff she's currently working on). \\
There you have it, the 10 EP's that meant the most to my ears this year. If you need any more convincing, I've created a Songdrop playlist where you can listen to all 10 EP's in full (listen front-to-back or put it on shuffle). Considering that you can get 7 of these EP's for whatever price you fancy, I think you'd be a little foolish to not have at least 70% of these in your personal collection, but to each their own.
Feel free to drop any EP suggestions in the comments below and keep coming back this week for the other 2 parts of my ‘Favourite Tracks of 2013’ posts (here's Part 1) + my ‘Favourite Albums of 2013’ (and hopefully the angry internet nerd that's been DDoS attacking Squarespace the past few days will be in a D&D tournament the rest of the year and quit messing up my End Of Year post schedule),