Shorter than the album, lengthier than the single, the EP may still not be the most celebrated type of creative output, however, in today's age of streaming it has definitely gained back some of its lost ground.
D//E loves the EP as a format and 2016 saw the release of many of them that were worth of our attention.
Our list of ten follows below...
10. Ghost: Popestar
It's often that both fans and critics dis on those releases which are primarily comprised of covers. In the case of Ghost, the Swedish metal band who rose from the underground into the mainstream in only a few years, their 2016 EP was made of four covers and only one new song, but those new versions turned out impressive enough to keep our interest about the band alive and throbbing. When a band is able to support the theatrics and all the extravagance with equally exciting music, it's always worth the attention.
9. Fait: Sonder
Four-minute song structures, many layers of atmospherics and experimentation and lots of dreamy and cinematic qualities make up a recipe for another great release for Elise Higgins' Fait, who followed 2014's Atmosphere with another solid release. Sonder sounds rich and neatly produced as usual, and strikes as a moderately more optimistic record than Fait's previous offering.
8. Uniform: Ghosthouse
As raw, punk and hardcore as their sound might seem upon first listen, Uniform's buzz and attitude expands away to more diverse territories like heavy electronics, relentless industrial loudness, and even doom metal. While anticipating their upcoming full length which drops next month, Uniform's 2016 three-song EP is still a perfect example of the band's weird, dynamic sound.
7. Hollywood Burns: First Contact EP
Like a lost score for an Albert Pyun movie that never happened, First Contact EP is gutty and adventurous right from the beginning, and even though it often feels impulsive, it maintains its mystery mood and creepy, otherworldly atmosphere throughout the half hour of its duration. Darker than most synthwave releasesof the year, Hollywood Burns created a beast right off the bat. From the perfectly matching album art and visuals to the song titles, this release is a thoroughly realized concept by one of the genre's most promising up-and-comers.
6. Massive Attack: Ritual Spirit
Featuring the contribution of Tricky for the first time since 1994, as well as that of Young Fathers, Roots Manuva and Azekel, Massive Attack released their first new music in six years very early in 2016 and proved once more that the band who is responsible for one of the most influential music genres of the last thirty years is not ready to take off its crown yet. Backed by a couple of captivating music videos, Ritual Spirit came out as a noble addition to Massive Attack's celebrated body of work.
5. Drowse: Memory Bed
Largely written and recorded using one microphone, a laptop and an acoustic guitar during a summer spent working in Spain, Memory Bed, the latest offering from Portland's Kyle Bates AKA Drowse, is a beautiful, dark, three-song EP that stands out as probably the artist's finest release so far, enhanced with the expressive vocals of Maya Stoner of Sabonis who contributes her talents to all three tracks.
4. Botanist/Oskoreien: Ep3: Green Metal / Deterministic Chaos
Basically a double entry since it's two EPs combined as one release, the split between San Francisco's Botanist and LA's Oskoreien was one of the most impressive black metal highlights of the year. On Green Metal Botanist once again validates that he is one of the most prominent acts in modern black metal and raises the hopes and expectation for the future of his fascinating one-man project, while Oskoreien on his side offers a 13-minute epic, the title track, Deterministic Chaos, paired with a surprising and quite brilliant cover of Placebo's Without You I'm Nothing.
3. Lush: Blind Spot
Shoegaze legends, Lush, filled the late Chris Acland's position with Elastica's Justin Welch and released their first new material since 1996 in the form of the Blind Spot EP, produced by super producer Jim Abbiss and Ladytron's Daniel Hunt, a release that was most welcome by the fans and which earned the revived band some well-deserved critical acclaim.
2. Hollow Sunshine: The Bible Sea
Californian duo Hollow Sunshine, comprised of songwriter/instrumentalist Reuben Sawyer and vocalist/lyricist Morgan Enos, on their latest EP on Iron Pier delivered a gloomy version of pop music meets dark industrial beats and darkwave. Enos as a songwriter has previously operated as Other Houses and Hheaven dwelling mostly in power pop and psychedelia while Sawyer, an already well known visual artist and illustrator who has provided artwork for Deafheaven, Destruction Unit and Chelsea Wolfe, had also his own solo musical projects (Dry Insides, Florida Man and Blood Bright Star) with a wide range from ambient to punk.
1. Agoraphobic Nosebleed: Arc
It's been quite a surprise seeing the grindcore giants stepping up and excelling in sludgy doom songs that are much lengthier than what the band usually has to offer. The reason Arc is heavy as hell, not only in sound but in feeling too, is that singer Kat Katz based the songs on her relationship with her mother and her passing due to cancer after suffering from schizophrenia. The result, which is supposed to be representing Kat's musical background came out outstanding.