TLMT’s Top 20 E.Ps of 2016

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With the holiday season here and 2016 winding down to a close the Last Mixed Tape has compiled its top 20 E.P’s of the year. See the full run down and playlist below. 

20. Kate Dineen – Great Escape
What TLMT had to say: “A moody record teeming with intrigue and foreboding, Kate Dinnen’s Great Escape is a very promising introduction that gives us just enough of the songwriter and her sound to be left wanting more. It will be very interesting to see how and in what direction Dinnen’s develops from here, but for now we have the wonderfully shrouded mystery of Great Escape.” (Review – here)

19. That Snaake – Blinded By The Smell
What TLMT had to say: “A ragged rough diamond of an E.P, That Snaake’s Blinded By The Smell is a well-defined garage-punk record filled with some stand-out moments. Upfront and abrasive, the E.P. is a compelling listen that insists you listen to it.” (Review – here)

18. Stomptown Brass – Locomotive
What TLMT had to say: “Expectations are usually misleading, often giving us a heightened (or ill-judged) opinion of what the truth will be. In the case of Stomptown Brass, I had them and their music wrong. Locomotive is a boisterous carnival of music that comes across fully on record. And given that the group’s subsequent live shows should be experiences in and of themselves. In short, Stomptown Brass have converted a non-believer.” (Review – here)

17. Girlfriend – 3am Rituals
What TLMT had to say: “Unfinished is probably the best way to describe much of 3AM rituals, but isn’t that kind of the point? The E.P. is the sound of youth, a young band finding their way (both musically and personally). It’s all laid bare, nothing is hidden. That’s the essence of it all, just how cut-to-the-bone it is. As a critic, I should rip apart the various flaws that populate this record. But I honestly don’t want to. Sometimes beauty is the eye of the beholder, and I enjoyed every minute of 3AM rituals.” (Review – here)

16. Junk Drawer – For The Cult Fat Guy
What TLMT had to say: “It’s a rare thing that an E.P. can work as full experience in and of itself. Usually the format is used as “sampler” of a bands overall sound. Junk Drawer’s For The Cult Fay Guy is one of the rare ones, a four-track journey that feels fully realised.” (Review – here)

15. Flecks – Girl
What TLMT had to say: “Girl is a sad a record, there’s no getting around that. But it feels like it’s earned the right to be. The isolation and heavy atmosphere of Fleck’s finely tuned synth-pop sound is of their own making and sets it apart from the plethora of atmosphere driven albums released. And as it the case with most good records, the devil’s in the detail or this case a simple lyric.” (Review – here)

14. Pine the Pilcrow – Pine the Pilcrow
What TLMT had to say: “Pine the Pilcrow doesn’t feel like a debut, nor do the band themselves sound relatively new. The music of Pine the Pilcrow is that of experience both in life and in art. The record says something, but it’s not a statement. It’s something much gentler than that, more personal, and that’s what makes the E.P. such an engaging and fulfilling experience.” (Review – here)

13. Hvmmingbyrd – Know My Name
What TLMT had to say: “Hvmmingbyrd may have changed course with Know My Name, but it’s a bold new direction for the duo. They could have played it safe, and kept down the road they were headed but instead the group decided to swerve off the path well trodden and into new sonic landscapes. And that in and of itself is compelling.” (Review – here)

12. Dott – Beverly Baldwin
What TLMT had to say: “Regular readers of TLMT will know just how predisposed I am to a record like Beverly Baldwin, which would lead me to be slightly wary of it. But, with this transitional E.P. Dott have done almost everything right. They’ve taken their music down to its bare bones and found a new direction that proves that more isn’t always better.” (Review – here)

11. Sister Ghost – In A Spell
What TLMT had to say: “In A Spell is a short sharp shock of record. The debut E.P. from Sister Ghost, the three-track record is a confident focused take on the garage-punk sound that sidesteps the scene’s many pitfalls by delivering a music that is both powerful and melodic.”  (Review – here)

10. Kobina – Sentinel Island
What TLMT had to say: “A strong thematic E.P, Sentinel Island is Kobina’s story. It’s ambigious, all we are left with is are the echoes, reverberant sounds of something that has happened (or is still happening) and in this way the record is made all the more compelling, and indeed relatable to such instances in our own lives.” (Review – here)

9. Rocstrong – SOWYG
What TLMT had to say: “So the triumphant arrival of Rocstrong begins with a bang and a clatter. SOWYG is the first step for a songwriter who could very well do great things if he continues down the path he’s currently threading. Time will of course, but for now we have a very promising prospect.” (Review – here)

8. Orchid Collective – Courage
What TLMT had to say: “Courage is a work of finely constructed atmosphere. With its wide-open production and ethereal tone, Orchid Collective’s music is one built upon an undercurrent of melodic weaving, rhythmical dominance and textural harmonics.” (Review – here)

7. Hilary Woods – Heartbox
What TLMT had to say: “Hilary Woods is a songwriter who occupies the periphery. Living on the outskirts of the Irish music scene and creating music that speaks to her own will and want (and indeed ours) Woods’ is allowed to deliver a sound untouched by outside expectation. Heartbox is the “other”, and in a world where the familiar is rewarded its promising to know Woods is out there doing things her way.” (Review – here)

6. AE Mak – I Can Feel It In My Bones
What TLMT had to say: “AE Mak are a joy to listen to. Everything about their debut exudes positivity, creativity and vibrancy, making the I Can Feel It In My Bones something you’ll want to return to again and again.” (Review – here)

5. Variant Sea – Fable
What TLMT had to say: “If Variant Sea’s debut Season of Mists was a journey through new unexplored soundscapes, then Fable is the destination. Arriving in a place that is cloaked in a darker atmosphere than its predecessor, the sound of Fable is that of deep lingering nightfall.” (Review – here)

4. Meltybrains? – Kiss Yourself
What TLMT had to say: “Kiss Yourself is all about atmosphere and colour. Resting on a bedrock of harmonically washing texture, the flourishes of light and dark that Meltybrains?  imbue into their latest offering is what makes the music so immersive.” (Review – here)

3. Thumper – Magnum Opuss
What TLMT had to say: “In a world where some artists are actively seeking to make themselves as generic and bland as humanly possible, Thumper are a band who could care less about what you’d like to hear, and instead give you what you haven’t heard before. Familiarity breeds contempt, and Thumper hate convention.” (Review – here)

2. Ailbhe Reddy – Hollowed Out Sea
What TLMT had to say: “Hollowed Out Sea is nothing else but Ailbhe Reddy, the E.P. is her. The words, the sounds, the voice, everything. That’s whats so exciting about it. For an artist this young to be this raw in a time where safety is rewarded above all else, is truly compelling. Come the end of Hollowed Out Sea, I wanted to hear more of the story, more of what follows. But I guess I’ll just have to wait.” (Review – here)

And TLMT’s E.P. of the year 2016 is…


1. Wyvern Lingo – Letter to Willow
What TLMT had to say: “Letter to Willow is a statement. It’s an affirmation of who and where Wyvern Lingo are right now. From the buzzing intro and big pop inflected chorus of the record’s title track, the E.P. is the sound of band in the midst of great creative inspiration brought on by simply making the music they want to make.” (Review – here)

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