Before I start this list I want you to know that these are in no particular order, each of these EP’s are great listens and this is simply to showcase which ones I feel have really stood out. It was incredibly hard making this list as I have listened to a lot EP’s this first half of the year, so there are ones that have unfortunately been left out! So, without further ado.
Sea Girls – ‘Adored’
Sea Girls have been on my radar for quite some time, and I thoroughly enjoyed their ‘Call Me Out’’ EP which they released last year. However, ‘Adored’ really was a 3 hit banger, as each song has so much about it. Their big sound could easily fill out big venues, just listen to the hook on ‘Eat Me Whole’ and you can easily hear what they’ve got to offer. Along with this, their live performances have been highly praised which only adds to the bands aura.
Youth Man – ‘Five Songs’
Since announcing their return to music, two-piece Birmingham band Youth Man have been highly anticipated. Their song style draw similarities from Drenge, another two piece band which carry a lot of angst and pace in their songs. Five Songs definitely is a flag in the ground to say that the band are back and hungrier than ever. The aggression that features on the EP makes the songs so intense, and ‘Constantly’ showcases this perfectly. Welcome back Youth Man.
SPINN – ‘SPINN EP’
Coming across SPINN this Year has been a delight, as their floaty rhythms and hooks have helped me along many of my car journeys. Their EP featured four great songs which really put them in the front of people. Most notably ‘After Dark’ which is arguably the band’s best song to date as you feel like you’re diving into the unknown when the songs first hits you. The bands also catered to the lighter side with happier songs like’ She Takes Her Time’ which really is an indie disco anthem at heart. Full Review.
Listen to the EP – SPINN – ‘SPINN EP’
Adam French – ‘You From The Rest’
Upon first hearing Adam French I was astonished that I never had the joy of listening to his music before, simply because of how good it was, it felt like he should’ve been getting regular plays on radio 1 already. This EP is a rich masterclass in songwriting, as he delivers 4 of the best tracks to feature on a single EP. His acoustic tendencies are enhanced with great instrumentals. Normally this is because of the lack in vocals, but that’s not the case with Adam as his warm voice puts a firm trademark on his songs.
Gender Roles – ‘Lazer Rush’
Since listening to this EP Gender Roles have become one of my favourite bands whom I haven’t had the chance to see live yet. Their brash punk roots and insane guitars show tints of The Cribs, which is why I initially gravitated towards them. Yet the band have their own style with tracks like ‘About Her’ and ‘Gills’ are fast and fun tracks with wall sticking chorus’, which I’ve come to learn is their forte. Cannot speak more highly of this EP, listen to it. Full Review.
Rascalton – ‘C S C’
Sticking with the theme of punky sounds I will slide on over to Glasgow punk band Rascalton who released a gem of an EP earlier this year. The frantic pace at which they move through this EP is invigorating, and gives you an uncontrollable buzz. ‘Told You So’ throws you into what Rascalton are all about, angsty vocals and mad riffs. It’s refreshing to hear 4 songs which finish under the 3 minute mark, because you never feel like it’s going on to long, and are always left wanting more.
Peach Club – ‘Cherry Baby EP’
This was the first EP that I had the pleasure of listening to this Year, and I still find myself coming back to it wanting to hear more. Peach Club really do the the Riottt Grrrl Sound justice as it is all over this EP, and the vocal performance across all five songs are incredible. They were even more incredible live. ‘Cherry Baby’ is the epitome of what Peach Club are all about, the story telling, the in-your-face guitars and impeccable vocals. Full Review and Live Review
Bryony Williams – ‘Conscious’
This EP caught me by surprise as I saw it being shared around twitter by my followers, and how glad I am to have found it. Bryony Williams creates her own world on this EP with it’s complete full sound and the far out vocals. It’s clear that her influences bleed into her music with Kim Gordon and PJ Harvey being her shining light of examples, but Bryony takes this on without turning into a cheap rip-off. With the beautiful sound of ‘Conscious’ really is Bryony’s best work to date, with her having so much more to offer.
No Hot Ashes – ‘Skint Kids Disco’
I’ve known No Hot Ashes for quite some time now which is a testament to the bands quality, as they’ve always produced a high standard of songs. This came to light when the band released their 3 track EP Skint Kids Disco which premiered everything that is good about No Hot Ashes. Their attitude comes through in every song, especially in the EP’s title track. What is most unique about the Stockport outfit is the vocals as Isaac Taylor delivers some rough vocals which brand their songs with the bands mark. Looking forward to seeing the band live later this year. Full Review and Interview.
I Feel Fine – ‘Long Distance Celebration’
I first came across I Feel Fine when I heard ‘Everyday Safari’ which I completely fell into because of their quality punk rock sound, which had something about it. Their shout down the door approach to songs work so well, and they knew that going into this EP. Each song shares that noise punk-rock combined with the shouting vocals. ‘Lifer’ really is the stand out on the 5 song track list, as it has a great building intro and breakdown. Also the band is from Brighton, which seems to be a breeding ground for great music at the moment – along with everywhere else.
The Modern Strangers – ‘Meltdown Mechanics’
I was always taught to reference my sources so I have to give a shout out to Robbie Warren for letting The Modern Strangers come into my musical life. Meltdown Mechanics is a talented piece of work which is reminiscent to some of the material the band HURTS put out some years ago. The slick looking band delivered a suave debut EP which featured some great synthesizers and vocal performances. ‘One Of My Mistakes’ has all the qualities of a summer tune, which is a contrast to the bands darker songs like ‘She’s So Cold’.
Remo Drive – ‘Pop Music’
After becoming a keen fan when they released their debut album ‘Greatest Hits’ last year, I was interested to see what Remo Drive had to offer with this EP. Pop Music is a 3 song hit-and-run which still elements of their pop punk flavour which they delved into on their debut. It was refreshing to hear Remo Drive release something like this, as it done the band a favour and kept them at the forefront of their fans minds. ‘Heartstrings’ really stands out on this one as a favourite and is deserved to be on this list.
Pale Waves – ‘ALL THE THINGS I NEVER SAID’
At the end of last year I said that it’s a really big year in 2018 for Pale Waves as they have a lot to prove to the World, as it seems they’ve been pushed some influential people in music. This EP ofr me was their first hurdle, and they leapt over it with ease as they back it up with the songs. It’s completely doused in productions with an extra coating of sugar, but the songs hold up. ‘The Tide’ is easily a floor filler and will resonate with a lot of young people, as well as ‘New Years Eve’. You can’t argue with good pop music. Full Review.
Fangclub – ‘True Love’
After their impressive debut album last Year I was hoping Fangclub wouldn’t rest, but instead continue their momentum by releasing more music Luckily they released True Love which has been another shot to the arm for the band as their grunge sound is perfect when it’s packed into 5 songs. ‘Knife’ is a solid opening track, and when you have punchy rock songs like ‘Smother’ and ‘High’ to follow it’s a winner. All of these songs could’ve feature on the album they’re that good – which shows they’re not resting on the laurels.
Michael Cera Palin – ‘I Don’t Know How to Explain It’
When I type that this was stumbled upon, it was genuinely stumbled upon. It was a night where I was just listening to all sorts of music just trying to find something new to cling to and there I found Michael Cera Palin. Released back in February the band unleashed five bursting tracks full of life that would engrain themselves in my brain. The standout track is ‘Portrait of a Man on a Couch with Cats’, not only because of it’s great name but because of it’s pop punk tendencies and heavy guitars – and the whole EP is like this.
Cassia – ‘Movers and Shapers’
At the start of the Year Cassia released ‘Come & Talk’ which won Single of the Week here at WFM – Read here. Since then the band have been breaking down doors at their live shows while continuing to release great music. Their EP release came at a great time, much like Fangclub they’ve built on their momentum. The tropical and upbeat sound which Cassia have adopted is all over the EP, from the moment ‘Sink’ hits you’re dropped on a mythical island to enjoy yourself.
Fuzzy Sun – ‘Want Love’
Initially it was the EP’s title track which gravitated me towards Fuzzy Sun, however it was the EP which made me become a fan of the band. Their elecrto-emotions on the title song is so good that it was whirling around my head for months “So tell me you want love!”. The EP very much builds a room of sadness for the band filled with desperation and a yearning for love and it’s a unique electronic universe.
Sick Joy – ‘Amateurs’
Sick Joy delivered a very thick and heavy debut EP, which completely does the band justice. For a band with only two members that make some amazing noise, ‘Smiling Shame’ has a manic switch from singing to shouting and it’s a joy to listen to. The band show some real promise with this EP, and you can see the songs being big winners at a live show because they have a rawness about them.
Sports Team – ‘Winter Nets’
‘Winter Nets’ is a very different to other EP’s on this list because of how unique the vocals are, as the lead singer delivers them in such a different style. The musicality on the EP is also interesting to listen to as it has some cool breakdowns as the guitars are just punchy and so poignant. Sports Team do everything they can to separate themselves from the pack, and they do in spectacular fashion, also with the recent release of ‘Kutcher’ you can be sure that you will hear off them before the end of the Year.
Glass Caves – ‘I Do’
Glass Caves have a very classy sound, from their vocals to their smart guitars they’re sound very tight and clean cut. The polished sounds come off very well in the EP, from the start with ‘I Do’ you already get the feel for what you’re in for. On this list they are one of the most oldest acts having released an album back in 2014, but this EP definitely feels like a fresh coat of paint for the band. The final track ‘Swim’ has to be the highlight with the angelic reverb and slow build it has a magnificent ending which is fitting for the EP.
That’s the end of the list I encourage you to take the time out and listen to all the EP’s listed as they are well worth your time. As I already expressed, unfortunately I couldn’t put more on the list but I wanted to stick to 20 so it didn’t become overcrowded! It’s only half way through the year so there’s another big 6 months ahead for more music to be released, really enjoyed making this list so I will be doing one again at the end of the year as I know there will be even more mind-blowing EP’s to be released!
Words by Alex Wise @AJWise
Would love to know your thoughts on the choices, so please leave your comments below!