The closing moments of the year often brings the most exciting, stressful part of a music blogger’s life. That’s right, after ingesting twelve months’ worth of music into our ears it’s time to whittle them down into a cohesive list of our absolute faves. For some context, I had the first drafts of these lists back in September. It’s an arduous task, but one that comes with great reward and satisfaction and perfect justification to pick up a drinking problem. This, Ladies and Gentleman, is List Week!
After bringing the Top Singles of 2018 on Monday, here are the Top EPs of 2018! The EP really did a solid job this year, bringing forth a concise dose of good music throughout the last twelve months. Here’s 20 EPs I believe to be the best of the lot, and reckon you should be tempted to check out too. Let me know below if you agree, disagree, or think the list blows. List Week will be closed out with the Top Albums of 2018 on Friday.
SOUNDS GOOD’S TOP EPs OF 2018
TWENTY: OCEAN FLAWS – COSMIC TROPICS
Summery vibes from local lads Ocean Flaws kicks off the list with something that’s guaranteed to make you feel sunshine. Summer might be long gone by now, but this EP contains all the warmth and happiness that comes from the nicest season.
NINETEEN: I DON’T KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME – 1981 EXTENDED PLAY
IDKHow burst onto the scene with an EP that’s filled with Pop goodness from start to finish. Lead single ‘Choke’ is the obvious standout, but the remaining material also stands strong to deliver hooks aplenty.
EIGHTEEN: KAWALA – D.I.L.Y.D.
KAWALA became one of the most exciting new acts around this year, and their new EP D.I.L.Y.D. is everything you could want from an Indie band. Good vibes, scrappy guitar riffs and melodies that seem to slip into the horizon.
SEVENTEEN: BOYGENIUS – BOYGENIUS
The trio of Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus all got together one night and said “hey, so how can make people feel sad three times more effective than our own material?” and well, boygenius was born. An EP so good it landed on Pitchfork’s best Albums of 2018 list, and it’s certainly worthy of transcending those boundaries.
SIXTEEN: BIKINI TRILL – WASSUP, WE GOOD?
One of the coolest designed EPs of the year, Bikini Trill knocked it out the park with their debut. Laid back, smooth beats take you on a journey into space and time, flipping off reality as it flies past dimensions and all that makes sense to deliver something that’s mind-meltingly good.
FIFTEEN: NO HOT ASHES – SKINT KIDS DISCO
No Hot Ashes have been a favourite of mine for years and Skint Kids Disco reaffirmed my fangirlism for them. Despite being three songs long, the band do a brilliant job at packing it with venomous riffs, bold grooves and songwriting that absolutely warrants repeated listens.
FOURTEEN: BAYWAVES – IT’S BEEN LIKE
One of the most chilled EPs around. Baywaves delivered something that’s sunkissed and a little strange, but the result is a sound that’s drenched in rhythm and determined to meander them into your mind forever.
THIRTEEN: EXNATIONS – TINY SOUND IN THE DARK
POSITIVITY ALWAYS WINS and EXNATIONS proved that with Tiny Sound in the Dark. It’s an empowering listen that always stays strong in the face of fear, and delivers it in a way that actually makes the hips shake too.
TWELVE: SAM FENDER – DEAD BOYS
I’d known of the urgent need to check out Sam Fender primarily through Dale of Peanut Mixtape and I’m so glad I did. Sam’s career is beginning to take off in a big way and Dead Boys is an obvious inclination why.
ELEVEN: PLEASURE CRAFT – EP1
All aboard the Pleasure Craft! EP1 is a collection of tracks that are smooth beyond belief, and illustrates exactly what it would sound like to be on board the pleasure craft. The blend between RnB and Pop really shine throughout, and this EP’s responsible for delivering some of the sexiest tracks of the year. Raunchy.
TEN: TWO METERS – TWO METERS
From the pleasure craft all the way to rock bottom. Two Meters’ self-titled EP is a heart-wrenching listen that takes some of the worst experiences and projects it onto the listener in a way that makes you feel as if you experienced them too. The lyricism cuts through with a forwardness that’s brutal, and the instrumentation seems to envelop you’re entire being and refuses to let go.
NINE: DARMA – GLOOM
Gritty, naughty and possibly in need of a cuddle. Darma’s debut Gloom is a fuzzy descent into madness filled with numerous riffage along the way. Not only have the trio coined one of my favourite phrases in “Procrasturbator” but they’ve also fulfilled my needs to hear solid gold guitars too.
EIGHT: TWIN RITUAL – HAND THROUGH THE MIST
Twin Ritual’s Hand Through the Mist satisfied all sorts of needs for me. Bolstered by the storming single ‘Is It Paranoia’, this EP is one that delivers grooves right to your ears. It’s forever pulsating and exploring new directions, and it’s just dead good really.
SEVEN: CHILDCARE – LUCKYUCKER
Another EP that liked to dabble in the strange is Childcare’s Luckyucker. The instrumentals on this record are some of the most original I’ve heard all year, and the band did a fantastic job at allowing them to showcase their individuality while also sounding somewhat accessible too. The intro to ‘Put Down Your Pen’ still melts into the core and leaves me a little uneasy.
SIX: HOLLY REES – SLOW DOWN
As mentioned on the Top Singles of 2018, I’ve never felt so much adoration for someone who makes me feel so sad. Holly Rees knocked it out the park with her new EP Slow Down earlier this year, and produced a set of songs that spoke from the heart and left mine on the floor in a quivering mess. I’m not sure if I’ve fully recovered just yet, but the main thing to take is how much I wish to experience it all over again.
FIVE: PATAWAWA – BEDROOM
Patawawa were the first band to introduce their sound to the ears and left a huge impression. Lead single ‘Patagonia’ kicks off Bedroom in a way that lets you know it’ll be a good’un, and my god does this EP deliver. The trio unleash a set of songs that wriggle and jive their way into the hips and MY GOD DO THE HIPS NOT STOP.
FOUR: TANNERS – TANNERS
Tanners absolutely blew me away with a sound that seemed to expand into different realities. Her debut EP offers more explorations into said realities, and projects a sound that’s powerful, emotional and absolutely filled to the brim with anthemic tunes that’ll make you feel empowered like a mutha’.
THREE: THE PENNY ANTICS – NOT(e)WORTHY!
My baby boys. Of course I had to feature them on the list as not only are they sincere sweethearts and cherished little Doves but their new EP, NOT(e)WORTHY!, is also dead good. The duo from Essex have helped give me some of my favourite moments in music blogging this year and also brought a sound that’s absolutely ravaged with Punk goodness.
TWO: MINI MANSIONS – WORKS EVERY TIME
Mini Mansions are a band who have been slept on for the longest time, and it seems 2018 is the year in which finally people are starting to wake up. The trio have been responsible for some of the best sounding, weirdest Pop music in a long time and their EP Works Every Time is a concise collection of that. Lead single ‘Works Every Time’ is an atmospheric groove machine, whilst ‘Midnight in Tokyo’ offers a more frantic approach. It’s dead good. Mini Mansions are dead good. LISTEN TO MINI MANSIONS.
NUMBER ONE: THE PALE WHITE – TAKE ME TO THE STRANGE
…and taking the top spot are The Pale White with Take Me to the Strange! These guys have been producing a steady stream of music for a while now and they really seemed to hit their stride with this EP. They absolutely know how to deliver a solid guitar riff and all five tracks featured come prepared with their own taste of pure filthy riffage. Whilst the heaviness is there, there’s also a huge element of groove to the EP, meaning tracks such as ‘Wisdom Tooth’ and ‘Trapped Nerve’ are ballsy little groove machines in their own right.
Take Me to the Strange is an EP I’ve gone back to time and time again, and still remain blown away by the music. The riff to ‘Trapped Nerve’ especially does something to me that warrants a cold shower, but solidifies how much love I have for this EP.