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 TOP 20 EPs

 

 

Ibukun Sunday, “The Last Wave” | Bandcamp Daily

 

#10.

Ibukun Sunday

The Last Wave

Genre: Ambient, Drone

Progressive Electronic, Dark Ambient

Label: Phantom Limb/Spirituals || Country: Nigeria

 

Nigerian producer and violist Ibukun Sunday was supposed to stay two weeks in Ghana for a residency he worked on. Then COVID-19 hit, and two weeks became almost half a year in which he had to stay there.

His EP The Last Wave isn't about that specifically, but was apparently conceived during this time, and the connection sounds present in some type of way in the music. From soothing drones to dense arpeggiated modural synth passages, it's surely one of the most interesting ambient releases of 2021, one that can be relaxing but also unnerving.

 

Highlights: "Burn It All Down", "From the Ashes", "Saints and Sinners"

RIYL: Oneohtrix Point Never, Oliver Coates, Kali Malone, KMRU

 

 

Cobrah - Cobrah

#09.

COBRAH

COBRAH

Genre: Electropop, Hip House

Ballroom, Bassline, UK Bass, Bubblegum Bass

Label: self-released || Country: Sweden

 

Swedish vocalist COBRAH's debut EP didn't really grab me the way it grabbed many other people, but I did find a bit of potential in her that made interested in whatever she was going to deliver next... and I think this EP is all I wanted.
These five tracks are short and sweet bangers with an extremely focused sound, excellent production with enough edge to match COBRAH's own intense performances, turning it into an insanely fun celebration of lust and sexuality.

 

Highlights: "Dip n Drip", "Good Puss", "Bang", "Debut"

RIYL: Shygirl, SOPHIE, Azealia Banks, Myss Keta

 

ZULI - All Caps - Boomkat

 

#08.

ZULI

All Caps

Genre: UK Bass, Breakbeat, IDM

Grime, Glitch, Footwork, Breakcore, Jungle, Deconstructed Club

Label: UIQ || Country: Egypt

 

Egyptian producer ZULI had most of his gear stolen shortly after releasing his debut album Terminal. He had a project which he had to scrap because of it, with only one track surviving, as well as having to start his sound library back from scratch.
All Caps was born out of this horrible situation, but instead of being a dark or moody EP, quite to the contrary, it's probably one of the most fun releases he's ever done. With influences from early 00's breakcore, grime, jungle and footwork, it's one of his most dancefloor-oriented releases, with even some straight-up hilarious moments (in "Bro! (Love It)" specifically) and multiple headbangers. ZULI can't be stopped.

 

Highlights: "Tany", "Bassous", "Penicillin Dusk", "Bro! (Love It)"

RIYL: Andy Stott, Loraine James, Venetian Snares, Iglooghost

 

Tkay Maidza: Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 3 Album Review | Pitchfork

 

#07.

Tkay Maidza

Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 3

Genre: Pop Rap, Contemporary R&B

Trap, Neo-Soul, Alternative R&B

Label: 4AD || Country: Zimbabwe/Australia

 

The second part of Tkay Maidza's Last Year Was Weird trilogy, released last year indeed, was a breakthrough for an artist I constantly felt has been on the come up for many years. It was all the best of Tkay Maidza as an artist, as a rapper and as a songwriter elevated to the maximum, and got her a lot of deserved love and attention.
Is the final part of the trilogy as good as the previous one? No at least in my opinion, but it still closes it in a grandiose manner, with heavy hitting bangers like Syrup or Kim and gorgeous ballads like Cashmere and Eden in which she demonstrates her vocal prowess. if LYWW 2 was her demonstration of everything Tkay can do, LYWW 3 confirms it.

 

Highlights: "Eden", "On to Me", "Syrup", "High Beams", "Cashmere"

RIYL: Kelela, SZA, Rico Nasty, M.I.A.

 

Body Meat: Year of the Orc EP Album Review | Pitchfork

 

#06.

Body Meat

Year of the Orc

Genre: Glitch Pop, Alternative R&B

IDM, Footwork, Glitch Hop, Eperimental Hip Hop

Label: self-released || Country: USA

 

In 2019, Chris Taylor a.k.a. Body Meat put out Truck Music, a 20-minute-long album that saw him moving away the furthest from his early math-rock-avant-prog style into autotuned, glitch-y pop. The production remained as busy as it did on his earlier material though, in fact moreso than ever before.
His follow-up EP, Year of the Orc, is sound-wise contuining on that path, but with some moments inspired by Portuguese label Príncipe, PC Music, footwork and ambient music, featuring none other than the great Laraaji on its closing track. It's a fantastic follow-up to that record and makes me excited to see what's next for him.

 

Highlights: "Twigs", "4700", "My Brother Orchestral", "ULTIMA", "Ghost" 

RIYL: Giant Claw, Motion Graphics, Charli XCX, Injury Reserve

 

 

Jazmine Sullivan – Heaux Tales (2021, File) - Discogs

 

#05.

Jazmine Sullivan

Heaux Tales

Genre: Contemporary R&B, Neo-Soul

Spoken Word, Pop Soul, Pop Rap

Label: RCA || Country: USA

 

Sullivan had her break in the mainstream in late 00's as an R&B and soul singer, but after an underperforming album and period of inactivity she came through with one of the best R&B records of 2015, 'Reality Show', showing a sense of maturity in its songwriting and an incredible amount of power in her vocals.
However, 'Heaux Tales', her first release in 6 years, is probably her most ambitious to date. Notably inspired by contemporary hip hop and trap, its title is very apt as it narrates the stories of women about loss, love, money and hopes for the future, all of them tied to sexuality in way or another, often demostrated by short skits that can range from hilarious to devastating. Within 30 minutes or so, Jazmine shows a lot of range in terms of topic, sound and actual vocal range, because she simply is talented like that. Also is it an album or an EP? Nobody knows!

 

Highlights: "Pick Up Your Feelings", "Put It Down", "On It" (feat. Ari Lennox), "Lost One", "The Other Side"
RIYL: SZA, Solange, Lauryn Hill, Jill Scott

 

Blackhaine

 

#04.

Blackhaine

And Salford Falls Apart

Genre: Exerimental Hip Hop, Spoken Word, Drone, Post-Industrial

Industrial Hip Hop, Dark Ambient, Power Electronics, UK Hip Hop, Electroacoustic

Label: HEAD II || Country: UK

 

Multitalented British artist Blackhaine enjoyed quite a breakthrough year working with people like Space Afrika and perhaps more importantly choreographing a performance for a Kanye West - Donda presentation.

But And Salford Falls Apart is even darker than the works he collaborated in, which already dealt with a lot of grief and trauma, addressing the poverty in his native Manchester, as well as feelings of isolation and pain. Musically, it is inspired by British rap but colours so far from the lines that it often feels closer to a noise or drone release than vaguely anything related to hip hop, partly in thanks to Croww's and Rainy Miller's production. It is terrifying, tense, and a hell of a statement for such an artist.

 

Highlights: "Saddleworth", "Hotel", "And Salford Falls Apart", "Let Me Know"

RIYL: Injury Reserve, Puce Mary, Triad God, Aya

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#03.

Doss

4 New Hit Songs

Genre: House

Progressive House, Dream Trance, Alternative Dance, Electro House

Label: LuckyMe || Country: USA

 

In 2014, American producer Doss put out a self-titled EP featuring 4 ethereal trance music-influenced cuts that made her name as a legend among those who love underground dance music. But instead of following with that up an album shortly after or anything else, she went mostly silent, only collaborating with SOPHIE on a remix from her Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides album.
But earlier this year after much teasing she made a much-anticipated comeback with 4 New Hit Songs, a much apt title for an EP composed of four excellent tunes. Each with a very different identity and sound of their own, they're all tracks with the quality you would expect from her, exploring different genres of dance music to much success. Here's hoping there's more hit songs on the way.

 

Highlights: "Puppy", "Look", "Strawberry"

RIYL: SOPHIE, Yaeji, George Clanton, Underworld

 

 

a0132921489_16.jpg

 

#02.

Kero Kero Bonito

Civilisation II

Genre: Synthpop, Indietronica

Electropop, Deep House

Label: Polyvinyl || Country: UK/Japan

 

In 2018 pop trio Kero Kero Bonito released their second album Time 'n' Place, which explored darker topics and had a much more pessimistic mood and noisier sound in comparison to their earlier, almost innocent material. They followed it with an EP in 2019 called Civilisation I, a lot more electronic than their previous record but exploring themes of civilisation decay.

Civilisation II continues that path, and it would make sense for it to be also pessimistic given it was finished during quarantine, but instead it's probably one of their most hopeful, and even happiest releases ever. Like a mature, grown-up version of Bonito Generation that in spite of all the issues and problems in the world still tries to be happy and chooses to have faith in humanity.

 

Highlights: "The Princess and the Clock", "Well Rested"

RIYL: Magdalena Bay, Hot Chip, Gorillaz, Cibo Matto

 

 

a3773942778_16.jpg

 

#01.

Yves Tumor

The Asymptotical World

Genre: Neo-Psychedelia, Noise Pop

Post-Punk, Shoegaze, Post-Industrial, Noise Rock

Label: Warp || Country: USA

 

After signing with Warp Records and releasing their 2018 album Safe in the Hands of Love, Yves Tumor not only gained a much-deserved popularity, but also began approaching a more accessible sound and aesthetic. Last year, with their record Heaven to a Tortured Mind, they left behind most of their experimental sound for a more direct approach, fully embracing their rock, soul and pyschedelia influences.
Their most recent EP The Asymptotical World is an extension of that... but also not really. While Heaven to a Tortured Mind seemed to build on their softer side, this one feels louder, a lot noisier, truly living up to the combination of "noise" and "pop" to a certain extent, with songs approaching industrial rock, post-punk or even shoegaze at times. Now having a much stronger sense of songwriting than their early noise days under this moniker, it is exciting to see that no matter how popular or accessible their music can get, Yves Tumor is still willing to absolutely wild.

 

Highlights: "Jackie", "Secrecy Is Incredibly Important...", "Tuck" (feat. NAKED), "Katrina"

RIYL: David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails, Mercury Rev, TV on the Radio

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The massive acclaim for Heaux Tales, 4 New Hit Songs & Civilisation II :jonny5:

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Heaux Tales is truly one of the best records this year :jonny: BUT so nice to see some love for Reality Show too :alexz3: 

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the slays till your no. 1 (jk)... loved most of these. yves ep was pretty good but didn't listen much

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21 hours ago, TRF. said:

2. Kero Kero Bonito

Civilisation II

Whoa, I didn't know you liked them so much. Civilisation is in the Top 40 of my favorite albums of this year. :shutup:

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Here we go, EPs I know now. AND we had a very similar top 5! Amazing write-ups for the ones I know and at the very least let me check out that #4 from your list that I don't know. 

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On 12/18/2021 at 11:20 PM, Mr. Blue_Shirt said:

The massive acclaim for Heaux Tales, 4 New Hit Songs & Civilisation II :jonny5:

 

On 12/19/2021 at 7:56 AM, TheWayWeWere said:

Heaux Tales is truly one of the best records this year :jonny: BUT so nice to see some love for Reality Show too :alexz3: 

As they should!! Reality Show was a huge grower for me, didn't care much for it when it dropped but revisiting it multiple times it's like... yeah. She ate that :jonny:

 

22 hours ago, Tsareena said:

the slays till your no. 1 (jk)... loved most of these. yves ep was pretty good but didn't listen much

:rip: Well at least you gave it a try :celestial2:

 

21 hours ago, Sunderland 4ever said:

Whoa, I didn't know you liked them so much. Civilisation is in the Top 40 of my favorite albums of this year. :shutup:

I'm a huge KKB fan tbh :heart2:

 

21 hours ago, Sanguine said:

Nice top three, Strawberry SOTD like actually

 

Tkay as well :clap3:

Strawberry a 10/10 song naur it's true it's true

 

16 hours ago, Ewan Chaos said:

Here we go, EPs I know now. AND we had a very similar top 5! Amazing write-ups for the ones I know and at the very least let me check out that #4 from your list that I don't know. 

Glad you like this update more :heart: Idk if the Blackhaine EP will be your thing but check the song I linked and if you dig it check the rest :michael:

 

---

 

Next update will be later today with ALBUMS HONORARY MENTIONS... and maybe more? We'll see about that :keir:

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Barely watched any videos this year but I caught (or skimmed through) a few of these. Wild Side + Thot Shit :clap3: Yesss Chaeri! It was cool to see them finally get a budget. Bouncin and Good Ones :heart: || wtf I don't know ANY OF THESE [3] for first half of EPs. I liked Last Year Was Weird Vol 3! It's funny how everyone I've seen agrees that 2 was better than 3 nnn, I was hoping they'd get better with each release but oh well!

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I have to bookmark the videos list cause I really thought this year was underwhelming but might find interesting videos there. 

The Just For Me video though is REALLY well done, the whole 2000s concept was executed perfectly. :clap3:

 

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ALBUMS HONORARY MENTIONS

 

So, these are albums I thought were good but for some reason or another I couldn't find the spot for them in my year-end list... hope God forgives me :heart2: y'all should definitely check them out though!

 

Aaron Dilloway & Lucrecia Dalt – Lucy & Aaron (2021, Vinyl) - DiscogsCassandra Jenkins: An Overview on Phenomenal Nature Album Review | PitchforkDanny L Harle, crítica de su disco Harlecore en Mondo Sonoro (2021)Eternal Home | Fire-ToolzOxidized | Frontierer

 

Aaron Dilloway & Lucrecia Dalt - 'Lucy & Aaron' (industrial)

Cassandra Jenkins - 'An Overview on Phenomenal Nature' (singer/songwriter/folk)

Danny L Harle - 'Harlecore' (trance)

Fire-Toolz - 'Eternal Home' (progressive electronic/industrial)

Frontierer - 'Oxidized' (metalcore)

 

Brushfire - Album by G. Brenner | SpotifyKoreless / Agor – jenesaispop.comLana Del Rey – Chemtrails Over The Country Club (2021, Red, Vinyl) - DiscogsTrava Línguas | Linn da QuebradaAmazon.com: Life Support: CDs y Vinilo

 

G. Brenner - 'Brushfire' (art pop)

Koreless - 'Agor' (progressive electronic)

Lana Del Rey - 'Chemtrails Over the Country Club'/'Blue 'Banisters' (singer/songwriter)

Linn Da Quebrada - 'Trava línguas' (art pop)

Madison Beer - 'Life Support' (r&b/pop soul)

 

Makthaverskan: För Allting Album Review | PitchforkMica Levi - Blue Alibi | Références, Avis, Crédits | DiscogsMidwife: Luminol Album Review | PitchforkMIKE: Disco! Album Review | PitchforkJade 玉观音 | Pan Daijing

 

Makthaverskan - 'For Ällting' (post-punk/dream pop)

Mica Levi - 'Blue Alibi' (hypnagogic pop)

Midwife - 'Luminol' (shoegaze)

MIKE - 'Disco!' (experimental hip hop)

Pan Daijing - 'Jade' (industrial)

 

Perila: How Much Time It Is Between You and Me? Album Review | PitchforkGenius Traducciones al Español - Playboi Carti - Whole Lotta Red  (Traducción al Español) Lyrics and Tracklist | GeniusPrincesa Alba presenta su disco debut: Besitos, cuídateRonce – Malignant (2021, Vinyl) - DiscogsSega Bodega / Romeo – jenesaispop.com

 

Perila - 'How Much Is It Between You and Me?' (ambient/experimental)

Playboi Carti - 'Whole Lotta Red' (trap)

Princesa Alba - 'Besitos, cuídate' (dance-pop)

Ronce - 'Malignant' (asmr/death industrial)

Sega Bodega - 'Romeo' (alternative r&b/electronic)

 

Senyawa: Alkisah Album Review | PitchforkSleigh Bells: Texis Album Review | PitchforkSpirit of the Beehive: ENTERTAINMENT, DEATH Album Review | PitchforkSweet Trip – A Tiny House, In Secret Speeches, Polar Equals (2021, CD) -  DiscogsWoesum – Blue Summer (2021, File) - Discogs

 

Senyawa - 'Alkisah' (avant-folk)

Sleigh Bells - 'Texis' (noise pop/electropop)

Spirit of the Beehive - 'Entertainment, Death' (noise pop/neo-psych)

Sweet Trip - 'A Tiny House, In Secret Speeches, Polar Opposites' (dream pop/indietronica)

Woesum - 'Blue Summer' (cloud rap)

 

 

 

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Plus, some MIXTAPES!

 

4 REAL - Album by 454 | SpotifyBea Pelea lanza su segundo álbum Reggaetón Romántico Vol2 El ZoccoNOW That's What I Call R&B (2011, CD) - DiscogsUnlimited Ammo — Namasenda | Last.fm

 

454 - '4REAL' (plugg/cloud rap)

Bea Pelea - 'Reggaeton Romántico Vol. 2' (neoperreo)

Klein - 'Now That's What I Call R&B' (sound collage/r&b)

Namasenda - 'Unlimited Ammo' (bubblegum bass)

 

PinkPantheress / to hell with it – jenesaispop.comSassy 009 - Heart Ego - BoomkatSEMATARY - RAINBOW BRIDGE 3 | SEMATARYTisaKorean | mr. siLLyfLow Album Review | HipHopDX

 

PinkPantheress - 'to hell with it' (atmospheric dnb/r&b)

Sassy 009 - 'Heart Ego' (art pop/electropop)

Sematary - 'Rainbow Bridge 3' (trap metal/industrial hip hop)

TisaKorean - 'mr.siLLYFlow' (trap)

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chemtrails flopping better mean that the superior blue banisters will slay :fan: 

texis is so good tho! 

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'An Overview on Phenomenal Nature' and 'Life Support' were nice. If I had listened to the latter before, it probably would have made my Top 100.

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Chemtrails and Blue Banisters paired together :keir: Yeah they're pretty much on the same level, they have several highlights but they're not impressive as a whole. I need Lana to step her game up... Kiii I thought that NOW mixtape was an actual NOW compilation and I was like wait, what a random addition :skull:

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Cassandra Jenkins - 'An Overview on Phenomenal Nature' (singer/songwriter/folk)

Danny L Harle - 'Harlecore' (trance)

Lana Del Rey - 'Chemtrails Over the Country Club'

Sleigh Bells - 'Texis' (noise pop/electropop)

Sweet Trip - 'A Tiny House, In Secret Speeches, Polar Opposites' (dream pop/indietronica)

 

These were my favorites of your HMs! Honestly... nothing I'm upset to see missing, but would have expected a Lana song to be in your full list!

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On 12/19/2021 at 5:49 AM, TRF. said:

#01.

Yves Tumor

The Asymptotical World

T A S T E :flame: 

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Harlecore, Life Support & Texis, Unlimited Ammo, to hell with it on the HM list  :jonny5:

 

I haven't listen to Playboi Carti's album but i've seen a huge acclaim from crtitics and fans alike so i might to check it out

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Madison and Sleigh Bells getting a mention, both really cute albums :clap3:

Yves' ep was pretty good, especially Jackie :jamming: KKB's was decent but I preferred the first part :katie:

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On 12/21/2021 at 10:16 AM, Lazuli said:

chemtrails flopping better mean that the superior blue banisters will slay :fan: 

:doc:

 

On 12/21/2021 at 9:55 PM, Remmy said:

Chemtrails and Blue Banisters paired together :keir: Yeah they're pretty much on the same level, they have several highlights but they're not impressive as a whole. I need Lana to step her game up... Kiii I thought that NOW mixtape was an actual NOW compilation and I was like wait, what a random addition :skull:

LMFAOOOOOO and yeah I think that if you put the 5-7 best songs of each into a cohesive tracklist you'd probably have one of my fav Lana albums ever, as it stands rn... they're alright :michael:

 

On 12/21/2021 at 10:30 PM, Tsareena said:

an overview on phenomenal natures was robbed omg 

chemtrails, texis :clap:

It was one of the last cuts I made edjdjfnsjfdj :rip:

 

On 12/22/2021 at 3:23 AM, Ewan Chaos said:

Cassandra Jenkins - 'An Overview on Phenomenal Nature' (singer/songwriter/folk)

Danny L Harle - 'Harlecore' (trance)

Lana Del Rey - 'Chemtrails Over the Country Club'

Sleigh Bells - 'Texis' (noise pop/electropop)

Sweet Trip - 'A Tiny House, In Secret Speeches, Polar Opposites' (dream pop/indietronica)

 

These were my favorites of your HMs! Honestly... nothing I'm upset to see missing, but would have expected a Lana song to be in your full list!

Oh... she surely will be :keir:

 

First singles and albums update coming very very soon!!

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