2009 was the year of the EP for me and here is why

Here we are at Day 12 (the last day) of the annual “Best of Blogger Crew” series and what a great year it was – 12 blogs in total including Slowcoustic participated and all came with game.  I can’t thank everyone enough who participated, so everyone please click on the sidebar widget to visit these fine folks at their fine music blogs.

Now that I am choosing my official version of “best of”, I have thought that this year seemed like it had a good share of EPs that were great.  Hell, some were frickin’ great.  Hence I thought that I would list for you the EPs that I thought really held up their initial promise of great music and are as good (if not better) than any album around.  If you are going to actually read this post (kudos to you) you will even get an opportunity to get free music – and more than just the mp3 downloads in this blog post.

Also a note that I might not post a track with each EP as they are limited in tracks in the first place and giving away one sometimes doesn’t make sense.  When it does make sense, you will be rewarded with great music below, read on friends.

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~The “It’s just as good as a full length album” awards
for favourite EPs of 2009~

This is a general order but not concrete, but if you are further down this post, I think your EP is pretty darn special.  Remember my little EPs, don’t let the LPs make fun of you…you are good enough, smart enough and gosh darn it, people like you!  So….

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Hezekiah Jones - Bread of Teeth

Hezekiah Jones“Bread of Teeth”

Late entry and also why it is starting this list (and the fact it has 4 songs, 1 more song and it couldn’t be stopped from placing higher…or lower I guess…!).  Why this guy is not famous is beyond me and “Traffic to the Sea” is such a great track that it propels this release into the top 10 alone. I think that song is in my top 10 favourite tracks of the year also, it is a fairly simple song, with building vocals to harmonies all the while keeping it incredibly intimate. Both “I love My Family” and “Sorry Waltz” are solid tracks and the only one I am still 50/50 on is “Iowa Alligator” as it is a bit of a knee slapping porch ditty that while good, sticks out just a little alongside the other three.  Head to his Myspace page to stream the tracks!

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Wentworth Kersey

Wentworth Kersey“(0)”
“Adore” (mp3)

This album is part spaghetti western, part psychedelic trip and part folk band.  There is ambient moments, which is rare for a folk or singer songwriter styled Americana release, and it is just odd enough to keep you listening.  You get a feeling that you are at an art exhibition that happens to have great Americana and wonder what the hell is going on.  This is one of the 3 EPs being released in their “O” series by Wentworth Kersey and comes highly recommended.  Click the “(O)” above to “pay what you want” download on bandcamp!

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hometfp_large

Eulogies – “Homespun Sessions”
“This Fine Progression” (mp3)
“Bad Connection” (mp3)

Basically the acoustic teaser to their 2009 full length “Here Anonymous” album release that in my opinion outshines the actual album. This would not be a surprise to many that I would think this way because simply it is the Slowcoustic version of the album. Maybe it was also the way they released one track (for free download) each week leading up to the album…great plan by the label and band, they get huge kudos from me for that.

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Basket of Figs

Basket of Figs – “Oh Eye, Oh Night”

Gothic and haunting can only start to describe this EP.  This recluse of a diva is based out of Toronto (I believe) and I think she is very much an artist in a true sense of the word.  You listen and know she feels the music and it oozes emotion, grit and absolute beauty.

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Joe Pug

Joe Pug – “In The Meantime”
“A Thousand Men” (mp3)

While Pug has a penchant for consistently touring, he also finds time to release a couple of EPs that were both incredibly solid. Both 2008’s “Nation of Heat” and 2009’s “In The Meantime” were basically from the same recording timeframe but released separately (I believe) and if I am also not mistaken were considered “out takes”. If these are Pug’s out takes, then this man is the next great folk icon. He just might be making a fight for this title regardless.

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White Pines

White Pines – “A Face Made of Wood”
“Speak With the Dead” (mp3)
{THIRD FROM BOTTOM ON LIST!!!!!!!}

Michigan brings a lot of talent to the table in general with the style of music I enjoy and White Pines continue this tradition. The album is distinctly Michigan to me, I don’t know why I think I know what that means, but the sound makes me think that. It could be the comparison to artists of similar ilk like Chris Bathgate, Fields of Industry, Annie Palmer, etc. They combine acoustic with electric and layer strings, harmonies and the vocals of Joseph Scott.  Seriously great stuff.

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Northeast Kingdom

Sarah Winchester“Northeast Kingdom Demos”
“Northeast Kingdom” (mp3)

As a member of the band “A Weather” Winchester is known for her ethereal vocals overtop beautiful indie pop songs. This “demo” EP from the Team Love Library is still carrying on this scenario, only it is over solo acoustic recordings. Bedroom folk at its finest.  This is one of the most stunning set of “demos” I have ever heard.  Love this EP.

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Nothing Broke EP cover

Meursault“Nothing Broke”
“Nothing Broke” (mp3)
“Nothing Broke (Toad Session)” (mp3)

All 5 tracks are inspired shards of the new UK Folk scene. I say “folk” as while they might be generalized by the term Folk, it may only be in the same way everyone was labelled with “Alternative” about 10 years ago. While there are definitely aspects of folk in the sound of this UK quartet they have an edge that I find in the UK scene (from way over here, I speak of which I don’t even really know) and I find it incredibly refreshing. This is maybe the best “sampler” to get into this band as admittedly it is Meursault at their most approachable as a package. You like acoustic guitar and beautifully crafted songs, then this is it for you, you are done, finished in finding great music. It is diverse enough to not feel like you have 1 song and 4 identical soldiers lined up, but it is similar enough that if you like a track you are most likely going to like them all.

There is another page to Meursault that is not shown on the EP and while not disappointed, I don’t think their penchant for a bit of keyboard would have found a place on this mighty 5 track gem. Once this gets you hooked, you can visit their previous full length album and see for yourself. It certainly makes me wonder which direction the new album slated for early 2010 is going to go…I await with baited breath.

If you read this far, I guess you deserve something.  The third person to email me at admin [at] slowcoustic [dot] com with the answers to the below get a Festive Best of gift!

the current home city of Meursault
the label that released this EP
the name of their previous album in 2008

If you complete this task and are the 3rd person to email, you will receive a copy of the Nothing Broke EP mailed to you at no expense, from us good folks at Slowcoustic.  I ordered the CD and had to have a 2nd copy and it is for you, my dear readers, so go on email me!  Sorry no music bloggers allowed – you know who you are… ;-)

~Smansmith

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