The Wild Honey Pie

TOP 15 EP/7″ OF 2010

December 21, 2010 3 Comments

Best Songs / Best Albums / Best EP/7″

bestep2010 TOP 15 EP/7 OF 2010

After a ton of thought and internal bickering, we’re finally releasing our year end lists.  It took a good amount of time, and a lot of thought to figure all of this out, but I’m seriously happy with the lists we’ve put together.  2010 has been called a flop of a year for music, but when it comes to the EP/7″ category, I really don’t agree.  The follow are 15 of our favorite EPs and 7″ releases of the year.  Keep in mind, this is just our opinion.  Don’t take it personal that your favorite artist isn’t on this list.

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15. Shiv Hurrah — Self-titled EP

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Heart of Lead – Shiv Hurrah Heart of Lead – Shiv Hurrah (Free Download / Free EP)

With some more producing and mixing, Shiv Hurrah could easily get the attention they deserve come 2011. Their music is absolutely beautiful and is creatively donned with lyrics that are quite outside of the box. Shiv Hurrah gave me shivers down my spine as I was lying in my bed, staring at the ceiling remembering my time as a fifteen year-old- and that was a good thing.

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14. Active Child — Curtis Lane EP

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I’m In Your Church At Night – Active Child I’m In Your Church At Night – Active Child (Free Download / Buy)

“I’m In Your Church At Night” is the perfect first song to this six track EP. The echoed distance of the vocals and synth horn/organ elements give the sensation that Curtis Lane was recorded in the vast open space of a cathedral. While each song has a unique beat and feel, the cohesiveness of the EP makes it an absolute joy to listen to all the way through (which I’ve done quite a lot since its release).

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13. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. — Horse Power EP

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Horse Power EP is, I imagine, a fantastic preview of what this band is capable of producing on a full length. Consisting of only four tracks, each one uses simple elements expertly blended together to lull the listener into a state of relaxed contentment. Add to this a few NASCAR suits and trucker hats, and you have the ingredients to their fantastic live set.

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12. Parenthetical GirlsPrivilege II

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Parenthetical Girls EP TOP 15 EP/7 OF 2010

Young Throats – Parenthetical Girls Young Throats – Parenthetical Girls – (Free Download / Buy)

The Past, Imperfect picks up where “Someone Else’s Muse” left off. The EP as a whole is much more musically diverse and interesting to listen to. From the angry, aggressive feeling of “The Common Touch” to the electronic dance beats of “Young Throats”, the band seems to have woken up a bit for their second installment. Perhaps my favorite song, though, is “Present Perfect (An Epithalamium)”. Incorporating delicate chimes, light guitar riffs, and involved beats, the song builds to a roar for the chorus and transitions well from one movement to the next.

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11. Jenny O – Home EP

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Well OK Honey – Jenny O. Well OK Honey – Jenny O. (Free Download / Buy)

Each musical element of Home carries with it a unique and equal weight, which makes this simple EP electrifying to listen to. The jazzy baselines, twangy electric guitar, sweet acoustic guitar, affecting piano, and gentle drums are all relatively low-key, but come together to form something moving. Add Jenny O.’s effortless and elegant vocals, and you have music that is worth taking note of.

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10. Oberhofer — oOo0oOo0o 7″

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Away Frm U – Oberhofer Away Frm U – Oberhofer (Buy)

For someone that is just barely leaving the bloody claws of adolescence only to find himself entering the salivating mouth of showbiz, Oberhofer seems to be balanced and firmly grounded. Often, his lyricism gives us a glimpse of his psyche, which is, needless to say, far more mature than most 19-year-olds, let alone much older crowds. In his single “Awy Frm U”, he dives into the awful aura surrounding breakups, a department that is prone to whiny verses and shitty, sentimental choruses about how the other person sucks, however, demonstrating who the ‘bigger man’ is, Oberhofer offers the solution of learning from his mistakes and hopes to do better with whoever he may slay next.

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9. The So So Glos — Low Back Chain Shift

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Fred Astaire – The So So Glos Fred Astaire – The So So Glos (Free Download)

The energy of The So So Glos punk/pop/indie rock is a shot of adrenaline that I needed during the final stretch of CMJ.  I’ve listened to this EP countless times, and it keeps growing on me.  I love how these guys don’t try to play into indie trends, and deliver exactly what their fans are looking for and more.

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8. The Jezabels — Dark Storm EP

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Dark Storm EP from Australia’s The Jezabels, showcases lead singer Hayley Mary’s stripped down vocals which grabbed me the second I heard their 30 second sample on iTunes.  Relatively new to me, this band hit the #4 spot on the US college radio charts back in August of 2009 with their She’s So Hard EP.  Dark Storm is another dark offering featuring Mary’s unmissable swagger and forceful delivery.  Watch The Jezabels perform in our very own live session filmed around CMJ time here.

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7. CULTS — Self-titled 7″

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Go Outside – CULTS Go Outside – CULTS (Free Download)

The anomaly known as CULTS has exploded onto the scene this year after having their single, “Go Outside”, featured on Pitchfork’s Forkcast.  The New York based duo released the year’s happiest 7″ back on December 23, 2012 according to their BandCamp page.  The three songs on this self-titled release conjures memories of jumping rope in the schoolyard. It’s delightful.

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6. Tennis — Baltimore

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Marathon – Tennis Marathon – Tennis (Buy)

With their debut LP on the way in January, Patrick Reilly, Alaina Moore, and James Barone aka Tennis, are preparing for a monumental year.  Their 2010 EP Baltimore, which was not originally meant to be released as an EP, took the blogosphere by storm with its swooning 50s melodies.  Only three songs long, it’s an incredibly short taste of the sweetness to come.

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5. Girls — Broken Dreams Club EP

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Broken Dreams Club – Girls Broken Dreams Club – Girls (Free Download / Buy)

On Broken Dreams Club, Girls‘ latest EP, there is a great sense of maturity from the neophyte-type pitfalls that Album occasionally fell victim to. While it was still an amazingly strong album, given the catchiness and shock factor it had associated with it, it lacked any kind of tangible “album-for-the-ages” status. This 6-track series of songs, however, is naturally beautiful,  and the production value alone must have been astronomically high to get such a flawless sound recorded.

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4. ARMS — Self-titled EP

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Heat & Hot Water – ARMS Heat & Hot Water – ARMS (Download)

At first listen, one can see how this EP from ARMS could be born from thumbing away at an acoustic in a quiet bedroom. But more interesting than their conception is the noisy ambience that has found its way into the final incarnation of these tracks. Plucky guitars with stuttering delays, ambient falsettos, reverb soaked drum samples, and subtle mood inspiring bass lines convey a powerful feeling of solidarity and introspection.

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3.  Superhumanoids — Urgency

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Superhumanoids debut EP Urgency,  though,  is extremely promising and attention grabbing. With a very polished and diverse sound,  the 6 track release carries the weight and creativity of a full-length album. This feat is especially impressive considering that the band both produced and mixed the EP  themselves.

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2. JonquilOne Hundred Suns

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Fighting Smiles – Jonquil Fighting Smiles – Jonquil (Free Download / Buy)

Jonquil impresses with their ability to use haunting backing riffs on keys and/or guitars as foundations for their songs. They remind me of an afrobeat version of The Shins, combining excellent harmonies and various accompanying instruments which, when layered over the aforementioned backbone track, makes for very cool music. The reverb-filled, almost jammy lead guitar screams Vampire Weekend and Suckers while remaining original and absolutely thrilling.

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1. Sufjan Stevens — All Delighted People EP

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Heirloom – Sufjan Stevens Heirloom – Sufjan Stevens (Free Download)

As the EP title suggests, the primary focus of the album is on the title track.  Just as he did with “Chicago” and “Vito’s Ordination Song”, Stevens Stevens offers up two versions of the same piece.  The variations of “All Delighted People”, are largely similar, consisting of a more traditional and classic rock version. While the classic rock version emphasizes the boisterous horns and wailing guitar solo, the original gets an final, epic bridge with beautiful backing lyrics, “when the world’s come and gone shall we follow our transgressions or shall we stand strong?”. That line that is followed by “I tried to save the things I made but the twirled is a mess.” While Stevens is back with the same sincerity and poetic ingenuity, at times, he is clearly pushing himself harder than we have grown accustom to.

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Best Songs / Best Albums / Best EP/7″


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