Having compiled the ‘best of singles’ list for 2018, it is now time to turn our attentions to our top 15 favourite EP’s / mini albums for 2018.
For the purposes of this, such releases are defined as being between 4 and 7 tracks long and must have been advertised as released in 2018 on either Discogs or any of the major streaming sites.
I personally love EP’s as the labels tend to concentrate on physical releases of singles / albums, meaning that a lot of self-released nuggets are released digitally. So here are my 15 favourites for 2018 in preferential order, with representative tracks.
Thanks to all of these artists for some great music in 2018 !!!
1) The BV’s – Interpunktion (Kleine Untergrund Schallplatten)
It is hard to fathom that the BV’s have only been around for a couple of years considering their meteoric rise to take a place firmly at the centre of the critical acclaim radar of just about every blog owner and music webzine.
The fact that they just about managed to knock their label mates, Jetstream Pony (see #2), off the number 1 spot is testament to the brilliance of this young German/British act.
2) Jetstream Pony – Self Destruct Reality (Kleine Untergrund Schallplatten)
This Croydon/ Brighton four piece have immense pedigree with their members having played in bands such as The Wedding Present, Aberdeen, Turbocat and Trembling Blue Stars….I refuse to call them ‘veterans’ until they run out of ideas.
3) Seventeen Years Old and Berlin World – Object (Self Released)
I cannot remember how I stumbled across this Japanese four piece. I think it may have been a reader recommendation (so many thanks if you are reading and apologies for forgetting your name !).
They released an earlier EP in 2018 on the Chinese Sango Records label and then perfected their sound later in the year, with this more controlled and beautiful jangly shoegaze effort.
4) EggS – EggS (Howln Banana Records)
French label, Howlin Banana Records had a great year in 2018 and capped it off with this late released with this hazy, jangled psych-pop release. EggS are the only band to appear on both the singles and EP ‘Best of’s…’ for 2018
5) The Bascinets – 378. Vol 2 (self released)
Sometimes a band just makes you want to scream out all over social media…by the grace of the leaping lord Harry you simply have to listen this’.
There, I have said it. Now it is down to you lot to support this Columbus, Ohio four piece, and give their two brilliant 2018 EP’s repeated listens.
6) Nah – Summers Failing (Emma’s House Records)
If Summer’s Failing was a single, Nah may well have been another band that appears on both shorter format ‘best ofs’ for 2018…an absolute twee/indie-pop diamond of track, it is accompanied by tracks touching on traditional jangle-pop, indie-pop and gorgeous twee as everything good about the 80’s and early 90’s is bought back to life.
7) Lost Ships – Best Laid Plans (2018)
Lost Ships used to be The Kites in the early to mid 1990’s and this is the first music they have released since then.
Thankfully brilliance remains permanent and the title track is quite possibly the greatest track released this year! Now back in the studio, I cannot wait for more from this band.
8) Holm – Dappled (Tough Love Records)
Holm is the solo project of Danish multi-instrumentalist Mikkel Holm-Silkjær who is probably best known for his work with Urban Achievers and especially with Yung.
This EP is one of those releases that never quite lets you sit still and it is as disquitening as it is beautiful. This one may divide opinion straight down the middle, but I fall firmly on the brilliant side of the divide.
9) Beautyness – EP (See You Never Records)
Beautyness is the musical mastermind of Minneapolis based Alex Guderian and reminds me very much of Holm (see above) when he is at his jangliest.
Strangely sonic in their aesthetic, Guderian finds the write balance between janglepop and shoegaze.
10) Night Heron – I Heard You Dreaming (Self Released)
Gloucester, Massachusetts, is the base for one man project Night Heron…and that is really all I know about this artist, other than he is prolific releasing 5 EP’s since March 2018.
The best of these is no doubt I Heard You Dreaming which has the ability to make you flot off in some sort of jangling meditation.
11) Weekend Lovers – When U Weird (Self Released)
After several artist in succession that have made this best of list because of their beauty it is somewhat refreshing that the Weekend Lovers add a bit of overdue spit and snarl from behind their heart-shaped sun glasses.
This Tucson Arizona based band have an edge to their sound that is layered around a front woman (Marta DeLeon) that has the vocal presence to become a skew jangle-pop Blondie.
12) Dan Sweeney – Sweet Distractions (Self Released)
Dan Sweeney has that Connor Oberst / Bright Eyes feel to him whereby it takes repeated listens to decide whether the voice is either ‘too different’ or perfectly obtuse.
Stick with this EP and you will soon realise the voice is the perfect foil for his lyrical mastery and track development.
13) Grrrl Gang – Not Sad, Not Fulfilled (Kolibri Rekords)
I had a little spell late in 2018 where I was digging through and thoroughly enjoying all sorts of South East Asian indie-pop and it’s insistent jangle orientation.
Indonesian three piece Grrrl Gang stood out as being those that mixed anglophile indie-pop with the sort vocal essence that many of the areas female vocalists employ and was something of a winner for a Kolibri Rekords label who have become front runners in indie/jangle-pop scene of the region.
14) Neil Milton – Singing As You Leave (Too Many Fireworks)
Milton is a Scot living in Warsaw. However this album shows him still to be very much in touch with British cultural sentiment as he attacks Brexit and the armchair football fans of ‘glorious’ big clubs.
An absolute lyrical masterpiece this one.
15) Cozy Slippers – Postcards (Jigsaw Records)
Seattle based three piece, Cozy Slippers, wrap jangled riff drivenlead guitar melodies around muted chunky bass lines and dual delivery vocals. With the occasional addition of a third set of male vocals you would be forgiven thinking it is the exact recipe for a mess…
It’s not…it’s superb!