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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Music: The Best EP's of 2007

Here's my list of best EP's of the year. Do Extended Play releases even mean anything in the age of download-able music? Whether the idea is outmoded, there were at least five that were worth the time to find on iTunes or your local record store this year.

1) Yeah Yeah Yeah’s - Is Is

The meaning of Is Is depended on the listener. Recorded between last year's Show Your Bones and their debut LP Is Is splits the diff between the rawness of latter and the polished songcraft of the former. The blazing "Rockers to Swallow", the moody, driving "10 X 10" and the Banshees like "Down Boy" all rank among the band's best.

Here they are doing “Rockers to Swallow”:

2) Black Kids – Wizard of Ahhhs

Ah the free Internet download debut EP -- so much more convenient than Radiohead's "pay as you go" deal. The cringingly named Wizard of Ahhhs is delightfully tuneful and arch, an evocation of the glory days of early 80's britpop delivered with today's low-fi production that the kids like so much.

Here's a fan video for “I’ve Underestimated my Charm Again”:

3) Grizzly Bear – Friend

Grizzly Bear's "It Band" status lasted into this year with some freaky cool videos and this EP featuring heavily reworked versions of old songs and covers by the likes of CSS and Band of Horses. Here's a lamely static photo with “Little Brother (Electric)” playing over it:

4) Of Montreal – Icons, Abstract Thee

Everyone's favorite oft-nude marriage-challenged troubadour Kevin Barnes had enough tracks left over from his stunningly awesome opus Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? to create a companion EP of equal depth and arguably even more tunefulness. Angst you can hum to. Here's another dumb static image synced to “Miss Blonde Your Papa is Failing”:

5)Wire – Read & Burn 03
Wire is simply one of the most pioneering bands in rock, setting their own post punk course in 1977 that would reverberate through electronica, brit-pop, alternative, indie, and even math rock. Since the original band reformed earlier in the decade they have issued two other Read and Burn EPs (collected on Send) of hard edged churning guitar songs. This EP leavens the mix with electronic soundscapes more reminiscent of their mid -80's work while still keeping the spiky songwriting intact.

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