Best of 2011: Favorite EPs/Singles of the Year

Best of 2011 EPs and Singles

If 2010 was the year of the EP, 2011 was the year of the… not EP. While 7″s and Bandcamp singles haven’t killed the album off just yet, there was no shortage of tasty bite-size release this year.

Wet Years
10. Wet YearsSleepy Cove cassette
From the opening moments of “No Surf” — guitar murmurings that sound like gulls’ cries — Wet Years make their beach allegiance clear, but the band dips into reverb only for the final brushstrokes on an impressively vivid dream-pop watercolor.

Deepest Bison
9. Deepest BisonHaunted Tea Party EP
Promising stuff from a fresh folk soloist. Deepest Bison’s debut EP borrows a little from Sung Tongs and a lot from the weird, cobwebbed portions of your subconscious.
“Calico Ghost”: MP3 | BUY

J. Irvin Dally
8. J. Irvin DallySun Room single
Lovely, sprawling folk from one of the genre’s finest young singers. Bright enough to prescribe for seasonal affective disorder.

Little Horn
7. Little Horn Twelve EP
Craggy folk newcomers lay down the lush guitars and baritone vocals with Lullaby for the Working Class-level solemnity. No pressure, Midlake.
REVIEW | “Bridges Break”: MP3 | BUY

Brave Irene
6. Brave IreneBrave Irene EP
Rose Melberg, Rawkblog heroine, returns with a new band, a pair of keyboards and her noisiest collection in a decade. “No Fun” is, in fact, plenty of it.
REVIEW | “No Fun”: MP3 | BUY

Big Moves
5. Big MovesLanterns EP
The L.A. jazz-punks should be headlining Warped Tour next year. Or leading the first moon-mining expeditions in 2k20. They’re that talented.
LIVE PHOTOS | “Groundbreaking Studies”: MP3 | BUY

Jens Lekman - An Argument With Myself
4. Jens LekmanAn Argument with Myself EP
It’s pretty clear this is a warm-up for the Swede’s next album and it’s accordingly erratic, but the highs — “An Argument With Myself,” “New Directions” — are clever, warm and tuneful, a combination that’s increasingly a Lekman exclusive.
LIVE VIDEO | LIVE PHOTOS | “An Argument With Myself”: MP3 | BUY

Gruesome Flowers - A Tribute to the Wake
3. Beach Fossils/Wild NothingGruesome Flowers: A Tribute to the Wake split single
In which Beach Fossils discover that they have personality! Both sides are thorough jams from Captured Tracks, a aesthetically laser-focused label which could do no wrong in 2011.
Beach Fossils – “Plastic Flowers”: MP3 | BUY

LA Font - Sharks
2. LA FontSharks single
The Los Angeles garage band’s best cuts yet, especially “Lipsmack,” a b-side whose leather-gloved riffs hit you right in the face. (And, full disclosure, a song I was proud to premiere earlier this year.)

High Highs
1. High HighsHigh Highs EP
Imagine buying Radiohead’s first single in 1993. Imagine that they were already as good as “Karma Police.” Imagine that nobody knew who they were yet. Imagine that they were probably going to release the album of the decade next year. This is really happening.
VIDEO | ALL POSTS | “Flowers Bloom”: MP3 | BUY

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