Saturday, December 01, 2012

2012 In Music - EPs and mini-albums

At first I used to start my annual round-up with this category, so-titled as to avoid pedantic arguments about what strictly constitutes an EP!  Where a mini-album becomes an album is similarly obscure, is it the number of tracks or the overall running time?
It was a genre that I suspected might die out but I'm happy to report that a combination of circumstances has seemingly resulted in rather the opposite. This selection is a bakers' handful of ones that caught my attention during the year and subsequently have found myself listening to repeatedly. Another new development is that I hope to include links to tracks from at least some of the works mentioned.
  
The illustration associated with the first, Craze EP - I Am Harlequin, rather befits the arts-space that the artist seems to inhabit; one where nothing is actually quite what it seems.

My personal favourite is the last track 'Wild One'

The trio of  sisters Haim, with Dash Hutton on percussion, has been cropping up on any number of 'Ones to Watch in 2013' lists in the last month or so. With, I must add, very good reason. Were I to write such a list they would be on mine too. There's a thought; maybe I will.
Earlier this year the band released the Forever EP. As well as the d/l format there was also a very limited UK release on 10" vinyl and this is it.

  
The next artist is the first from this selection that I have actually seen playing live - at Deer Shed Festival 3 back in July though I was aware of Pip Mountjoy somewhat before that - and the first here that generally plays acoustic and solo. This is her first EP - although, at six albeit fairly short songs, it could be a mini-album.  It is available digitally but also on CD - this latter format being an entirely self-released and home-made work of art.
  
Lousiana EP - Pip Mountjoy



Pip Mountjoy at Deer Shed Festival 2012, performing one of the "new" songs.
  
Added 15 December 2012: her second EP, Your Skeleton,  is due out early in 2013 - February, hopefully.
  
This one is also self-released, by Devon-based artist Alice Jemima, and also available on CD as well as download. She is also a huge favourite amongst the writers of the blog Breaking More Waves, which I highly recommend too. Enjoy!
  


  
The following, again available on CD if you are lucky, was probably the first that I knew would be in this list. The good news is that the duo behind it are working towards an LP release of original material in 2013. In the meanwhile check out the 2009 LP One Light Is Gone.
  



Should you be wondering why my version is black and that next to the audio stream is red it is because these too are all hand printed. Mine is red for the track-listing on the reverse and white versions also exist. As of today (1 December) the CD is still available here.
Last, but certainly not least, is an artist who has just completed a pan-European tour, comprising about seventy performances, promoting this EP and also the very recently released d├ębut LP 'Under Mountains' (about which in due course).
  
Rachel Sermanni is another artist that I saw live at Deer Shed Festival.
You can get a free download of 'The Fog' (live, acoustic version), one of the four songs on the Black Currents EP, in exchange for your e-mail address, here.
  
Rachel Sermanni, live at Deer Shed Festival, July 2012.

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