Over the four year tenure of this blog I have reviewed EP’s more than singles and albums put together…I love an EP. It tends to bring out the best of the genuinely indie artists who might struggle for funds and/or time, but still want to get their great new tracks out there.
These are the 15 acts / releases, in strict favourite order (none of this ‘no particular order nonsense’ for me!) who I felt excelled with their 3-7 track, EP offerings in 2021 !
Almost immediately, you’re met with the crisp jangling guitars of the album’s title track, featuring vocals that roll so melodically like the gentle waves at high tide washing over you feet as you stare into the horizon. From there you get more joy from “Midvert,” a mostly instrumental tune working with minimal vocal harmonies in the distance to add in nice pop texturing…” Austin Town Hall
“Whereas his other releases had loose themes that he wrapped his life observations around, this EP somehow feels like the odds and ends that did not quite fit on the previous releases. All perfectly erudite in their own sense, but imbuing the release with a sense of slightly existentialist scattershot, which somehow enables his perfectly strange sense of humour to thrive…” JanglePopHub
Armed with jangly lo-fi tracks coated with a strong indie attire, each track is respectively individual. Oozing with personality and showcasing their future is looking bright, while the track’s come across as demos – the overall performance of each one is garage rock infused…” Mogg Blog
Thankfully, the best of the release is the majoritive sound. Here Bloom, A Girl, So You Are Happy and Early Summer Days, juxtapose the sweetness of Lucie Too style Japanese guitar-pop, against the grumbling, jangly, fuzz laden melodies of the Hinds / Melenas sound. Such tracks are just swathes of subtle, indie-chic energy, imbued with asiatic, indie-pop saccharine…” JanglePopHub
“All the tracks have a whispered core, that evokes simultaneous inferences of Nico coolness and painful shyness, upon which various musical nuances are added. Opener, Spiral Notebook and the superlative Scroll Away The Night are all fluttered Sarah Records jangly, with excrutiatingly hushed Aberdeen sweetness added…” JanglePopHub
8. Fort Revere – Demos (Self released)
“This Demos EP, by newly formed (only started in May 2021), Rhode Island foursome, Fort Revere, forces me to bypass a natural arrogance, that generally concludes that demos should be confined to one of the 7,842,529 e-mails I receive around Bandcamp Friday and reluctanly revisit my attitudinal dysfunction around the whole issue…” JanglePopHub
7. Massage – Lane Lines (Mount Saint Mountain, Bobo Intergral, Tear Jerk Records)
The beauty never really resides, it just shifts in nuance. Stalingrad and I’m Going in a Field take on an echoed, lo-fi production, that is so stunning when the equilibrium between the dulcet sense of spacious and jangled riff lucidity are in total unison… JanglePopHub
“…Perhaps it’s the perfect sense of ‘burnished’ they always convey? This somehow seems to simultaenously dilute and accentuate the sheer sense of beauty they always provide courtesy of the ever present jangled riffs”… JanglePopHub
“… So, I’ve missed some things I new I’d love, and am just not getting to dive deep into them, like this Jetstream Pony mini-album, Misplaced Words. I saw it, I knew it would rule, but now I want to make sure you’ve got space in your world to spend some time here…” Austin Town Hall
The four songs featured contain a mix of jangle pop and twee with a heavily addition of alternative country – just check out Beautiful Noise for that last reference point. Vibrating guitars and Marquez’s words & vocal style means that it is likely that these songs will be easily remembered for a while yet…” Records I Like
1. Real Numbers – Brighter Then (Slumberland Records / Meritorio Records)
“Fittingly named Brighter Then, the new EP from Minneapolis’ Real Numbers polishes the band’s sound into the rosy reflection of Sarah records’ best, bringing to mind East River Pipe, The Field Mice, and quite honestly, Brighter…” Raven Sings The Blues