2016 – E.P.s


Meursault photo by Andy Catlin

If 2016 brought me an uncharacteristic number of singles then the opposite was true of E.P.s.

With previous E.P. stalwarts such as Book Group and the Paranoid Style concentrating instead on albums, it was something of a fallow year for E.P.s. But I’ve still put together a short list of very diverse but excellent  records worthy of your attention:

  1. Meursault – Simple Is Good 

Although it would have been interesting to have seen how Neil Pennycook’s music would have developed as Supermoon, the very fact of the return of Meursault was something to celebrate.

Those celebrations attained real substance with the release of the ‘Simple Is Good’  E.P. in November – five and a half diverse songs which promise much for the new L.P. next year but, far more importantly, just deliver in the here and now.

Here’s the title track:

2. 50 Foot Wave – Bath White

A new 50 Foot Wave is always welcome and ‘Bath White’  was no exception and there’s  something fitting about the fact that their output arrives in short 5 or 6 song blasts.

Something of a rarity, I actually reviewed ‘Bath White’ here and at the time I said:

‘Bath White’ comprises 6 abrasive tracks featuring Kristin’s stop/start style of songwriting. Which isn’t to say that it’s lacking in melody in any way but it’s definitely a far more intense listen than the Muses’ last record ‘Purgatory/Paradise’.

Don’t see any reason to change that! Here’s an unofficial video for the title track:

3. Our Smallest Adventures – The Quiet Terror of Being Alive

The Fife based post-rockers finally delivered their second E.P. ‘The Quiet Terror of Being Alive’ and it was definitely worth the wait.

‘Quiet Terror’ is a record that features lots of different textures (cello and piano in addition to the guitars) often building to a suitably epic conclusion.

And if there’s been a more appropriate record title that sums up 2016 then I’ve yet to hear it. Here’s the sprightly lead track from the record:

4. The Van Ts – Coming of Age

The Van Ts have been garnering a lot of attention in the last couple of years with thrilling live sets of grunge/pop and records to match.

The ‘Coming of Age’ E.P. contained the single ‘Blood Orange’ and was another marker in the band’s upward trajectory. Hopefully 2017 will see the release of a debut L.P.

5. The Smart Set – Amore, Fatty!

The Smart Set is the brainchild of former Randolph’s Leap keyboard player Gareth Perrie and there’s no doubt that this E.P., his debut release, shares a certain joie de vivre with the Leap. Yet musically it’s a very different beast – indie-lounge pop with hints of the Chills and the naivete of 80s’ twee.

Here’s the lead track: