Friday, December 18, 2009

Matt's Top 14 EPs of '09


Here's another for your list of lists Winston. I realized that I should give some love to the awesome EPs that came out this year as well as the albums. So without further ado, my top 14. That's right. 14.

Animal Collective: Fall Be Kind

I'm still convinced Animal Collective put this EP out to remind critics that they had a record out this year (who would forget?) for year-end lists. Yet, the motives do not take away from the fact that this was another excellent offering from the gods of indie rock.



Acrylics: All of the Fire

This band appeared on the radar in the spring with a few stand-out singles. The momentum continued for this duo (soon to be permanent full band) as they were signed to Chris Taylor's Terrible Records and released this stellar EP of well-written, 80s-inspired, pop-infused gems.



Best Coast: Make You Mine

Best Coast were one of the stand-outs from the cliched "summer/beach" movement that took up a lot of attention in '09. Yet, along with Real Estate, the songs here are very solid, and show a ton of promise. More to come in 2010 I'm sure.



Class Actress: Journal of Ardency

Class Actress were a late entry to the race. Also signed to Terrible Records, Class Actress are dead ringers for Glass Candy and Chromatics, but that doesn't make their songs less great. Again, another band to watch in 2010.




Delorean: Ayrton Senna

I honestly don't know too much about Delorean other than that they make infectious, dance-floor, elctro-rock jams, that really work well at parties that go past dawn. Not like I would know or anything.




Dinosaur Feathers: Early Morning Risers

Thanks to Pop Tarts Suck Toasted and The World in a Paper Cup for turning me on to this group of Philly acoustic-poppers. They purvey lazy, pleasant melodies that are at once arresting and extremely well-crafted.




Lissie: Why You Runnin'

Stark is heavy on the Lissie bandwagon. Check out our review. This EP heralds a new talent and force to be reckoned with. By far the most promising artist I've seen in 2009. Hands down.




Lissy Trullie: Self Taught Learner

This EP began what was to become a break-out year for Lissy Trullie. These songs eventually went on to become part of the excellent Self-Taught Learner LP, but the EP was so strong that it got everyone's attention and sufficiently whet their appetite for more from this fantastic new post-rock star.


Mountain Man: S/T

Thanks to Microphone Memory Emotion and Chocolate Bobka for these guys. Here is some of the most organic and well-written folk songs you'll hear all year. There is a strange ethereal quality to everything they produce, and the Vermont trios' vocals are utterly captivating and quite moving. Still haven't' seen them live, but I can imagine it's a thing to behold.

Pains of Being Pure at Heart: Higher Than the Stars

No one made it through 2009 without hearing about Pains. This EP could be called a victory lap, if it wasn't so goddamn good. The highlight here is the Saint Etienne Remix of "Higher Than the Stars." Worth the price of admission alone.



Sleigh Bells: Demos

Another late comer to the game, Sleigh Bells slowly released several demos which could constitute an EP over the past few months. The music is loud, trashy, catchy, annnnd LOUD. Fuck, even Sasha Frere Jones loves 'em. Did I mention that they're super buzzy right now? Yeah. That too. Oh well. It's good.


Tristen: Deceivers are Achievers
Full disclosure - Stark is in cahoots with Tristen. Does that make her EP less good? Not a chance. Tristen is the predominant talent in Nashville right now, in a field that's crowded and downright competitive as hell. Tristen turns out hand-crafted exquisite country-pop gems faster than us Yankees talk. And they are all amazing. THE artist to watch in 2010.



Washed Out: Life of Leisure

While the LP didn't deliver (like at all) this EP was a true standout in the EP collection. Call it chillwave or whatever stupid name the kids are calling it, this is good stuff, and some of the best in that whole weird genre. It's just great music, maaan.



Warpaint: Exquisite Corpse

This EP is filled with crazy, weird and boarder-line genius stuff. Most all of the time, I don't know what the hell is going on with Warpaint. I just like it.