EP Reviews

TLMT Readers Top 20 E.Ps of 2016

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Stephen White

The votes are in and the Last Mixed Tape readership have had their annual say in who is the TLMT Readers E.Ps of the year 2016. Check out the full rundown below.

20. 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.”

19. Sister Ghost – In A Spell
What TLMT had to say: “A straight-up no frills record, In A Spell is garage-punk done right. Sister Ghost’s debut outing is a mature one and now leaves the path open for the group to grow and evolve in whatever way they deem fit.”

18. 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.”

17. 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.”

16. All Tvvins – Unbelievable
What TLMT had to say: Unbelievable is a beast of its own making. Big, loud, short and unapologetic, the E.P. is All Tvvins showcasing just how ambitious they are with their music.”

15. 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.”

14. Stomptown Brass – Locomotive
What TLMT had to say: “Locomotive is an E.P. concerned with the essence of sound, the incommunicable feeling that music can give us when the right notes are played at the right time, and all the harmonics gather into one whole being.”

13. Orchid Collective – Courage
What TLMT had to say: “A wonderful joutney of pin-point musicianship and songwriting, Orchid Collective’s Courage is a record made by a band who get their sound, and know exactly how to use it and when.”

12. 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.”

11. 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.”

10. Thumper – Magnum Opuss
What TLMT had to say: “There in lies the importance of how Thumper go about their music. Every song on Magnum Opuss could be a hook filled indie-pop track if the band wanted it to be. The core ingredients are there. It’s the group’s decision to take these elements and rip them apart that makes them so different.”

9. Wyvern Lingo – Letter To Willow
What TLMT had to say: “Time changes us all and we must move with it or become prisoners of the past. Wyvern Lingo have chosen to push forward, plowing further into exciting new territory. All the pieces are in place for the group’s first full-length album, I will await with great expectations.”

8. Junk Drawer – For The Cult Fat Guy
What TLMT had to say: “Well crafted and ultimately satisfying, For The Cult Fay Guy is a strong introduction to Junk Drawer as band, whilst also standing as a record on its own terms.”

7. Meltybrains? – Kiss Yourself
What TLMT had to say: “A record that delviers a complete immersive experience for the lsitener, the world that Meltybrains? create in Kiss Yourself is easily one of the most detailed and engrossing ones this year.”

6. 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.” 

5. Just Mustard – Just Mustard
What TLMT had to say: “Just Mustard have all the elements to futher delve into the depths and posssibilities of their deeply textured sound. It’s big, bold and uncomprismising. And while songs such as ‘Ice Cream’ seem unfinished, there group’s new E.P. is a wake-up to the Irish music to start paying more attention to who they are and what there are about to do, and they most defintely have the Last Mixed Tape’s attention.”

4. 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.”

3. Variant Sea – Fable
What TLMT had to say: “Fable is cinematic. Playing like the score to a long forgotten silent movie played in an empty theatre, the music is mysterious yet communicative. It’s doesn’t need dialog in the lyrical sense, but instead looks to convey meaning through melody and harmony. A totally engrossing listen.”

2. In The Willows – Fallen Bird
What TLMT had to say: Fallen Bird is the sound of a band finally finding themselves. It’s been a learning curve for In The Willows dotted with some real high moments along the way, but Fallen Bird points to some very promising times ahead.”

And TLMT Readers E.P. of the Year 2016 is…

Pine 2

1. Pine The Pilcrow – Pine The Pilcrow
What TLMT had to say: ” 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.”

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