Thursday, 10 November 2011

Top 5 EPs of 2011

The end of 2011 is fast approaching, so what better time to look back on the best music to be released in the past year? This list looks at the EPs that got us here at Sound Influx excited and enticed us furthur into the worlds of these excellent artists.

                     5. Dum Dum Girls - He Gets Me High

This transitional EP between excellent fuzzy debut 'I Will Be' and the rather disappointing 'Only In Dreams' is a short but sharp treat for the ears. The scuzzy guitar riffs and bratty girl group attitude still rings out all over the 4 tracks on the EP. Title track 'He gets me high' is a standout, combining surf rock sensibilities with a laid back Best Coast stoned-out-of-their-eyeballs vibe. Elsewhere hints towards the more morbid lyrical themes explored on 'Only In Dreams' are explored on slow burner 'Take care of my baby' and a rousing cover version of the most quotable Smiths song 'There is a light that never goes out' no doubt capitalising on the runaway success of indie-cringefest film (500) Days of summer which popularised Morrissey's famous ode to being run over by a double decker bus.

                     4. Sissy & The Blisters - Let Her Go

Guildford based Sissy & The Blisters are by no means an original band. But with songs as good as the ones on this EP, they don't even need to be. Plucking elements from Garage-Punk bands like The Dead Kennedys and Indie poster boys The Vaccines & The Horrors equally, it's a delightful mix of growling instant fix pop songs. 'Got No Home' features Faris Badwan mirroring vocals lamenting over being 'So damn tired of being surrounded by you young people' over swathes of organ and backgrounds hollers of "Hey Hey!". While title track 'Let Her Go' sounds like a more desperate and exciting version of 'If You Wanna' by The Vaccines. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this EP is that it is their debut as a band. Exciting things lie ahead no doubt.

                          3. Toro Y Moi - Freaking Out
This EP is an excellent example of an artist proving all fans that doubted them completely wrong. Following a lukewarm reception for sophomore effort 'Underneath the pine' (which I personally think is genius) 'Freaking Out' well and truly set the record straight for Toro Y Moi fans. It took the funk from 'Underneath the pine' and combined it with the sheer dancability of 'Causers of this'. Opening track ' All Alone' sounds like the best disco in the world on acid, while 'Saturday Love' is affectingly open yet wonderfully easy to move to. 'Freaking Out' is a definitive reminder if need that Chaz Bundick is one of the most talented and innovative musicians in his field.

                          2. Alex Turner - Submarine
Despite being released all the way back in January, Alex Turner's Submarine EP has held up beautifully throughout the seasons. As well as being an EP packed full of wintery love musings, it's also the soundtrack to the independent film of the year, Submarine. Whilst Arctic Monkeys' Suck It And See was one of the hugest disappointments of the year, Alex Turner's solo career has shown that Turner is one of the most talented songwriters of our generation and the EP compliments the themes of Submarine as it shows that some teenagers think about love pragmatically and should probably have more fun instead of constantly worrying about the consequences.

   1. Fixers - Here Comes 2001 So Let's All Head For The Sun
I'm going to come right out and say, not only have Fixers made the EP of the year but they are quite possibly one of the most exciting bands to come out of the UK in the last decade. I may be slightly biased because I am pretty much in love with this band, but 'Here Comes 2001...' is mind-blowingly diverse and brilliant. 'Another Lost Apache' features deceiving barbershop harmonies at the start before erupting into a glorious blast of noise with vocals recalling singer Jack's all time hero Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys. 'Crystals' is a turgo charged nugget of pop gold, sounding like what MGMT should have done on their 'Congratulations' album. Closer 'Passages/Love In Action' is a completely bonkers exploration of rhythm in which the band plee in unison "We are the sun, we are the moon" over and over untill you believe them.

Alongside excellent yet criminally overlooked singles 'Swimmhaus Johannesburg' and 'Iron Deer Dream' Fixers single handedly out classed every other new band in the UK and it is clear that Jack Goldstein has more ideas in one song than many frontmen do in their whole discographies. With another EP released in Decemeber, with 2 already highly addictive cuts released online, it's surely only a matter of time before these musical geniuses take over the world.

By Toby McCarron

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