Top 10 EPs of 2010

More so than any other year in recent memory, 2010 really felt like the year of the EP.  EPs are typically seen as dumping grounds for b-sides, remixes and generally unworthy material.  However, much of the best music I heard in 2010 came in EP form – be it sterling debuts from exciting new bands or dazzling new a-side material from established bands.  So, please, do not look at this list as some sort of consolation prize.  Many of the following 10 EPs rank as my most played music this year.

10. Moonface – Dreamland

“Marimba and Shit-Drums”

9. Hooray For Earth – Momo

“Surrounded By Your Friends”

8. The Tallest Man On Earth – Sometimes The Blues Is Just A Passing Bird

Download MP3: “Like the Wheel”

7. Dirty Projectors + Björk – Mount Wittenberg Orca

“When The World Comes To An End”

6. The Joy Formidable – A Balloon Called Moaning

Download MP3: “Cradle”

Download MP3: “Austere”

5. Girls – Broken Dreams Club

Download MP3: “Heartbreaker”

4. KeepAway – Baby Style

Download MP3: “Yellow Wings”

Download MP3: “5 Rings”

3. Active Child – Curtis Lane

Download MP3: “Wilderness”

Download MP3: “When Your Love is Safe”

2. Peepholes – Lair/Kingdom

Download MP3: “Lair”

Download MP3: “Airforce Trainer”

1. Zola Jesus – Stridulum/Valusia

Download MP3: “Night”

Download MP3: “Sea Talk”


Peepholes – “Airforce Trainer”
September 5, 2010, 4:06 pm
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I’m pretty baffled as to why this British duo hasn’t gotten more blog/press love.  Peepholes – Brighton’s Nick Carlisle and Katia Barrett – are responsible for one of my favorite songs of 2010, “Lair”, and are easily one of the most strikingly singular bands I’ve heard this year.  They’re following up their Lair EP with a split 12″ (w/ a.P.A.t.T.) – their side, Kingdom, is a six song “mini-album.”  Compared to the frenetic, brief songs on Lair, the jams on Kingdom are longer, more restrained and moody.  The opening track, “Airforce Trainer”, hints at a Fuck Buttons that has decided to write pop songs.  Overall, I can’t help hearing Peepholes as a more abrasive Sunset Rubdown.  Forget the name games, this shit is essential.  Grab it.

The Kingdom 12″ is out 9/27 on Upset The Rhythm and available now on iTunes.

Download MP3: “Airforce Trainer”

Peepholes – “Lair”
March 10, 2010, 11:33 am
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I just heard this Brighton based duo for the very first time this morning, but I’m already smitten (thx, Stereogum).  Band members Katia Barrett and Nick Carlisle share “singing, drumming, keyboards, Kaos pad, guitar etc” duties while churning out giddy noise-pop gems.  Stereogum’s mention of Lightning Bolt and Dan Deacon was pretty damn astute.  While I’m not a particularly big fan of either band, I can see how the hypothetical spawn of those two sound-worlds would result in something like Peepholes and it is all kinds of glorious.  Not to mention, the way the keyboard melody spirals endlessly like a glam-damaged carousel strongly recalls a Spencer Krug composition (always a good thing in my book).

The Lair 12″ is out now on Hungry For Power.

Download MP3: “Lair”

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