Curating my “best of” lists has become extremely stressful, but in the best way: There are just too many choices now that my blog has grown so much! As we approach my first blog-aversary in October, I receive more and more submissions that I consider serious contenders for this list, and the decision gets harder. While I can only include my top three EPs, please know that if your band/your favorite band wasn’t included, it does NOT mean they lack in any way, it just means that the field is so competitive that only the best of the best (in my opinion) can be considered.
Everything about these records was analyzed, from the production of the EP as a whole to the quality of each instrument and vocal part in each song. Without further ado, these are my top three EPs from Summer 2019 submissions from June-August, excluding singles and albums:
3. Blvck Hippie by Blvck Hippie
“The first track of the EP is titled “Zoey.” The song begins with a balmy guitar line and well-placed, light cymbal work and a touch of percussion. The bassline is mellow and blends into the background, but still provides just enough support on the low end for the guitar to really work with the vocals to create the melody of the song. Josh’s voice is free-flowing and sweet, the perfect match for the style of the rest of the track’s components. The energy in “Zoey” is tangible in every piece of the puzzle, giving it a wonderful pace and stamina through the track’s transitions, of which there are many in its 5:48 running time. One of the best is the final section of the song, which allows the guitar to take on a new role: Instead of carrying its typical melody, the guitar is allowed to rise and fall in waves of emotion, almost becoming the wordless lyrics of the final moments of the track.
Putting the longest song first is an interesting artistic choice, but in the case of “Zoey,” the right one. Although we return to the same dripping, melodic theme throughout, the track doesn’t feel overly repetitive thanks to shifts in energy and its lyricism, with and without actual words.” —Sad Boys, Good Music: A Review of Blvck Hippie’s Self-Titled EP
2. Haven’t Found It by Elizabeth P.W.
“Many professionals in the music industry have earned the title, “Jack-of-all-Trades,” but Elizabeth P.W. has them all beat. “Elizabeth P.W. started her musical career as a trombone player” before “[discovering] her passion for storytelling through music while studying at New York University. She has since written the music for numerous short films, web series and stage plays. In fact, her music has been played at numerous film festivals, “including the Cannes Film Festival, Outfest, and Frameline.”
In 2018, Elizabeth decided to turn her debut single, “Anyway” into a “fundraising and awareness campaign to fight rare mutations of Cystic Fibrosis” with Emily’s Entourage, a non-profit. “‘Anyway’ is performed by two-time Tony nominee Laura Osnes (Grease, Cinderella, Bandstand), Gideon Glick (Spring Awakening, Significant Other), Christy Altomare (Mamma Mia, Anastasia), Javier Muñoz (In The Heights, Hamilton) and Sarah Levy (Netflix’s Schitt’s Creek).”
Between all of her other endeavors, Elizabeth still actively freelances as a trombonist, ukulele player, and music educator.
Clearly, Elizabeth is no stranger to the music industry, and it shows with her debut EP, Haven’t Found It.” —Review: Haven’t Found It by Elizabeth P.W.
1.Arrival by RAGS AND RICHES
“The Whitt brothers arrived to the music industry at the speed of sound, but they’re here to stay for the long haul. Their Lexington, Kentucky-based american pop-punk project, RAGS AND RICHES formed in 2017, and over the past two years, Tanner and Peyton have worked hard to “[discover] their unique sound, identity, and aesthetic.” The resulting debut single, “Speed of Sound” collected over 650,000 streams on Spotify and over 500,000 views on Youtube less than three months after its February 2019 release.
The brothers’ newest release is their debut EP, Arrival, an upbeat, well-produced record that could entice music lovers from various genres, including fans of groups like Boston Manor, Coldplay, Young the Giant, and Broken Field Runner.” — RAGS AND RICHES Has Arrived!