Tuesday, December 02, 2014

My Music in 2014 - EPs and mini albums

Just four out of so many possibilities are included in this list but there could always be a 'part 2'. These are not in alphabetical order either but rather in ascending order of the number of times I think that have listened to them since I came to be aware/it was released and this is not adjusted for the time factor in each case - I don't keep statistics in that detail.  It is also less influenced by that which I have seen live but I have designs on that too.

  • Aimée - Codes
Originally the solo project of Aimée Mackenzie from Liphook, Hampshire, Codes is the latest EP and one on which she has been joined by younger siblings Freya (violin and backing vocals)  and Ross (cajón).
The first Aimée LP should appear sometime in 2015 and this is not only something I look forward to because I have never seen this outfit live either. It should not be a problem; Aimée is announced to play at Behind the Castle Festival, Sherborne, Dorset on 13 June 2015. Their music while predominantly acoustic is really quite a challenge to categorize, which is no bad thing I hasten to add, for it jumps styles and genres between, and sometimes even during, songs.

  • Cardboard Fox - Cardboard Fox
This is the most recently released of the four in this list and it is a début release of kinds - three of the four members of this acoustic quartet have featured in these pages as the still fully functioning Carrivick Sisters - Charlotte and Laura Carrivick and John Breese are joined by Joe Tozer on mandolin and acoustic guitar in Cardboard Fox.
Still very much folk based and with self-penned songs this is rather less heavily bluegrass influenced than the Carrivick Sisters' recordings.

  • The Black Feathers - Strangers We Meet
This is a duo that I have seen live twice in 2014 and I'm planning on making that three times at Nunney Acoustic Café later this week.
I'm rather hoping that Gloucestershire-based Ray Hughes and Sian Chandler's Strangers We Meet EP might presage, in a wholly good way however, an album sooner rather than later. I just have a feeling that it could be the start of something big. 
The Black Feathers, Cheese and Grain, Frome, 24 October 2014.

I have, unusually for me, chosen three acts based more or less in central southern England here. This next, although I was alerted to it by Folk Radio UK, comprises three young ladies from thousands of miles away.

  • Free The Honey - In Our Hands
Free The Honey is from Gunnison in the high mountains of western Colorado, USA. 

This EP had, in so far as I was aware until this week, no physical release and so it marked a rare foray into downloads as far I am concerned. 
This it seems is not true any longer. The rest of this shop looks fascinating too!

That it is my most played EP or mini-album of 2014 says a great deal. As I mentioned back in June it is a delight of unexpected twists and  turns. At seven tracks it is the only one in this list that truly counts as a mini-album although as strictly-defined EPs should have only three, not more or less, and all the above fail on that criterion: Strangers We Meet has five and the other two four tracks each. The really key thing and I think it important to the renaissance of EPs and mini albums in the last several years, is that there is no need for filler. New music, even just a small body of work, can be made available in a physical format, as well as on-line, as a unified whole far sooner and at less cost than heretofore.

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