2019 End Of Year Lists: EPs Of The Year



The short and sweet EP format brought about some mighty fine releases in 2019, and some of the finest music we've heard all year. Composed mostly of up and coming acts, but also featuring longtime favorite veteran artists, our list of selected EPs of the year follows.




10. The KVB: Submersion




Out of the recording sessions of their latest LP, Only Now Forever, and paired with remixes and alternate versions of tracks from the album, The KVB's new EP attests that the British duo can be very engaging even on their secondary material. It's once more post punk and shoegaze welded together with lush electronics, and the outcome is in all respects complementary to their full length from last year.



9. Odonis Odonis: Reaction




A bit darker than their earlier outings and totally on par with their characteristic sound made of industrial electronica and EBM, Canadian trio, Odonis Odonis, add a touch of modern psychedelia into the mix, and deliver an intense, more goth-bent release, uneasy, yet, so well made, that could be appealing to audiences that go way beyond the band's inherent dark underpinning.



8. El Lago: Pyramid




Texan shoegazers, El Lago turn toward a darker, avant-garde direction, presenting an approach which seems utterly compatible with the straightforward shoegaze sound of their 2017 LP. Pyramid plays out like an exploratory, daring attempt by an auspicious band whose audaciousness payed off quite well from all appearances and sounds.



7. Drainage: The Younger // Older You




Heavy, sludgy and raucous like hell, The Younger // Older You is Californian trio, Drainage, at their most massive and substantial yet, as the band moved forward from their promising self-titled debut from 2017 to something engrossing and fierce, showing off their gift for engaging original heaviness, as well as their ability to redefine and reinterpret, owing to their brilliant Floor cover.



6. Mint Field: Mientras Esperas




One of the finest bands to have come out of Mexico in the last few years, Mint Field, cook up a sound that's steadily anchored on shoegaze and noise rock, but which also brings in pieces from psychedelia and krautrock to come up with an excellent result. Their follow up to their promising 2018 debut, Pasar de la Luces, is an EP that presents more of their louder and direct side, revealing the band's potentiality which shines as plain as day.



5. Bestial Mouths: INSHROUDSS




With more than a decade of dark artistry behind them, Bestial Mouths in 2019 are one of the steadiest darkwave acts out there, and their newest EP is full of incomparable blackness and intimacy. INSHROUDSS became the act's first release entirely written and conceived by frontwoman Lynette Cerezo who led Bestial Mouth toward a multilayered sound, intimate, well designed and vocally imposing at once.



4. Portrayal Of Guilt: Suffering Is A Gift




In less than ten minutes of relentless punk and extreme metal, Texan band, Portrayal Of Guilt, attack their listeners with balanced passages of chaos, atmosphere, attainable sludge rock and beautiful nihilism in its lyrical content, all of which give rise to one of the harshest releases of 2019. Portrayal Of Guilt are one of the most prolific acts of their kind, and while the brevity of this release can easily be translated as directness, it's also its main imperfection, since we can always use more of the band's wonderful extremity.



3. Ganser: You Must Be New Here




Chicago's Ganser followed the excellence of last year's Odd Talk with something that finds them in a more casual and lighter mood, but still hard hitting and all the way imaginative. The post punk quartet seems like an act tailored for eminence, and each new offering of theirs feels like an unflinching step toward that exact direction.



2. Isoberlinia: Isoberlinia




Electronic shoegaze found a fresh voice this year in the Swedish duo, Isoberlinia, who released their self-titled EP, earning comparisons to celebrated acts like Bowery Electric and Slowdive. The five tracks on the band's solid debut come together as a hazy and dazzling unit, overflowing with reverb and rich textures, while they all work equally fine as individual singles.



1. Foie Gras: Holy Hell




At her most accessible work thus far, Iphigenia Rose Lee thrives as a darkwave act, as she takes a bold turn from the more experimental/drone nature of her previous releases. Holy Hell is a superb amalgam of more than a few different styles blended together consummately, and despite of the immense darkness and extremity which lie within those six tracks, it all comes through very easy on the ear, very much dense and well grounded. This new approach in Foie Gras' creativity passes with flying colors on the EP format. A full length ought to be next.



In list form...

1. Foie Gras: Holy Hell
2. Isoberlinia: Isoberlinia
3. Ganser: You Must Be New Here
4. Portrayal Of Guilt: Suffering Is A Gift
5. Bestial Mouths: INSHROUDSS
6. Mint Field: Mientras Esperas
7. Drainage: The Younger // Older You
8. El Lago: Pyramid
9. Odonis Odonis: Reaction
10. The KVB: Submersion




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