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GoldFlakePaintFavourite EP’s of 2013

At some point in the build-up to last years end-of-year shenanigans it dawned on me that the reason I disliked doing them so much was because I didn’t feel I in any way qualified to tell other people what the best album/EP/song of the year was. If you have a huge team who have have collectively listened to thousands of albums then it’s probably more justifiable but little old me? No way.

It seems like such a small thing but when I decided to simply label these features as ‘my favourite‘ rather than ‘the best‘ I was suddenly excited about all of this listodrama again. I’m particularly excited about this very list because, for me, the real gems of the last twelve months have been hidden in EPs rather than LPs.

So here, in no particular order, are my ten favourite EP’s of 2013. I hope you find something you like…

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Fog Lake | Holy Cross

Drenched in melancholy from the outset, this gorgeous EP stands the test of time because, at its heart, it’s really just a bunch of pretty pop songs. The instrumentation is the key; from the swathes of organ on Despondency, to the fruitful acoustic guitar of Seeds and the clattering percussion on All Broken, it presents a decidedly lofi but always richly warm backdrop to sum of the years most affecting songs. If these choices were numbered then Holy Cross would be probably be found right at the very top.

Download: Bandcamp

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Boy Friend | Secret City

A stunning collection from an Austin quartet who we first covered back at the start of 2012. Secret City is glorious; a late-night drive through dimly lit streets and four tracks of dark, electro emo-pop that will have your heart-racing from the first second and never let-up. The balance of light and dark is perfect and on tracks such as the sultry Labyrinth they sound ready-made for the big-league. Here’s to hoping.

BUY: Bandcamp | Cassette

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Princess ReasonAlways Pretty

This short and sweet EP came crawling our of California back in March and was one of the gems from the first half of 2013. It’s perfectly-titled too, because for all of its raw, lofi graininess it remains thrillingly charming and, yes, Always Pretty. In fact it’s these small embellishments that make it such a rewarding listen. It might only be four tracks and less-than-eight minutes long but that just means you get to start listening to it all over again more quickly.

BUY: Bandcamp

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Hibou | Dunes

Included on our most-recent compilation, Dunes is a thrilling EP out of Seattle chock-full of shimmering surf-y guitars, languid and affecting vocals and the kind of sun-soaked melodies that make your stomach ache for adventure. One of the most boldly impressive statements we had the pleasure of discovering and a genuinely exciting introduction to whatever comes next.

Buy: Bandcamp

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Theo Verney | TV

A raucous and thrilling six-track collection from Brighton’s Theo Verney that ended-up being the best release of 2013 on Italian Beach Babes, which says it all really. Shades of pysch-rock, loads of thick garage-y fuzz and a true pop-heart at it’s middle, all combine effortlessly and brilliantly from start to finish. Album now please.

BUY: Bandcamp | Cassette

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R.L Kelly | Life’s A Bummer

It’s six-tracks long but we’re going to call it an EP. Maybe it’s a mini-album. Who the hell knows or cares. Life’s A Bummer is wonderful. Wry, funny, clever and so full of world-weariness you’ll probably end up hiding in it for weeks, which is what we’ve been doing since stumbling upon it last month. Sometimes life’s a bummer but it’s all good baby. Amen.

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Trust Fund | Don’t Let Them Begin

“There’s power in truth. Trust Fund produces an honesty that we’re afraid to utter – even to ourselves. He produces honesty without the obvious cliches. He produces honesty with unashamed vigour. Don’t Let Them Begin is a journey through the frustratingly awkward phases of falling in love, finding your ‘path‘ and the mundanity of reality hitting you slap bang in the face...” – Sammy Maine [Continue reading]

BUY: Bandcamp

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/ please / | ep

“The abrupt ending of closing-track Gestalt reflects the EP’s somewhat mystical presence; it’s the kind of record that blurs and numbs your senses to the point where you’re not really aware of how lost in it you are until it’s suddenly gone. You return to normal life with nothing but an aching sense of solemnity, like recalling a half-remembered dream that dug up once-forgotten people or places.” [Continue reading]

BUY: Bandcamp | Cassette

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Elvis Depressedly | Holo Pleasures

The kind of record that slowly seeps in to your bones, Holo Pleasures is a grubby but infectious trip through layers of fuzz, eminently pretty instrumentation and sorrowful yet charming pop songs. It feels something like a hangover you’re more than happy to put up with because of the fun you had instigating it. “Kill me as I become the dull aching heart of everyone. Always real, always right, always alright.

BUY: Bandcamp

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Salt Cathedral | Salt Cathedral

Take Me To The Sea is a swift and winding river. A nimble guitar underlies the track, and constitutes its perpetual flow; dexterous taps and cymbals from the drums lend sharp details to the water’s surface. Then, we float into the fantastic climax, where swells of thick synths propel us forward. It’s a gorgeous, thrilling ride, and once again a track that doesn’t fit any one neat genre.” – Lee Adcock [Continue reading]

BUY: Bandcamp | Vinyl

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