- Nathan Yoder
DC's Favorite EPs of 2021
Today's EOTY list is a short one, an interlude of sorts, highlighting just three mini releases.
DC heard a ton of EPs over the past 12 months and enjoyed a good number of them. But here at the year's close, three stuck with us, seeming to stand apart. These featured choices are so wildly different from each other, and honestly, it feels kinda strange to lump them together in a single post. But no matter, we loved them all.
So let’s get into our favorite EPs, ranked three to one.
3. DoomFolk StarterKit - SunFaded (instrumentals)
So it turns out we don't really know the difference between an LP and an EP. An LP is typically longer and has more tracks, sure, but there are plenty of examples of long EPs and short LPs. Anyway, we've seen DoomFolk StarterKit's SunFaded (instrumentals) classified as both in different places, so we just tossed it in the EP category in order to heap some praise on this beauty of a record. SunFaded (instrumentals) is an example of a release coming out at exactly the right time. This end-of-summer collection feels absolutely autumnal through and through. Just look at the artwork and song titles for goodness sake. We've been enjoying it deep into the year, and think that you'll love it too.
2. Sofia Kourtesis - Fresia Magdalena
We wrote about Fresia Magdalena's opening track a bit yesterday (it was one of our favorite songs of the year), but now want to honor her entire five-song release. Sofia Kourtesis, the Peruvian-born-Berlin-based artist picked up our spirits last spring with her uptempo dance tracks, and we were so grateful for the spark she provided at the end of a historically dark winter. Bells and chimes are broken up by trumpet blasts on By Your Side, delicate piano strokes carry us through Juntos, and ethereal vocals lead us toward ecstasy on the EP's excellent closer, Dakotas. Kourtesis gave us joy and movement in 2021, two gifts we cherished deeply.
Hyena is longer than a number of our favorite albums of 2021 (which we'll list tomorrow), and perhaps that is one reason why it stands out as our favorite of the year - there is just so much music to appreciate. Havadine Stone entrances us for a full 39 minutes of spoken word, sound collage, and delicate melodies. We wrote about Hyena in detail earlier this year (check out that post here), but need to reiterate what an emotional journey it is to sit with Stone's art. Stretches of drone wash over you, raw tearful refrains bubble up, and two stunningly beautiful piano constructions close out Hyena. It's those last two tracks that really do it for us. Play with a Bird in Aarhus followed by Hold It In might be the best back-to-back combo of 2021. But really, it's a marvel from start to finish.
Come back tomorrow for the main event: our top ten albums! But be sure to listen to (and maybe even purchase) the above EPs first.
Thanks again for following along!