Perhaps out of all the lists we make at the end of the year, the EPs list best illustrates where our favorite music's been this year and where it's going.
The EP is a strange animal. No longer a format almost exclusively made up of fodder for discography completists, the EP has once again become a platform for artists to creatively (and commercially) explore new directions and sounds. No artist has exemplified this reassurance of the format more than Burial, who has ignored the LP since 2007 to release fourgroundbreakingEPssince 2011 (we haven't gotten a new one from Will Bevan this year, but who knows, it's still only December). In 2014, veterans like Röyksopp, Robyn and Panda Bear took note. Even some hip hop artists graduated from mixtapes to EPs and in the process released some of the best stuff the genre had to offer this year. But as usual, some of our favorite EPs of the year introduced us to some promising new talent like Shamir (who's mugging the camera above), Isaiah Rashad, Beach Slang, ZHU, and SZA. We eagerly anticipate full-length albums from these folks in 2015, but their not-so-modest EPs are not to be missed. Here are our 14 28 favorite EPs of 2014:
01 Royksopp & Robyn, Do It Again
02 Shamir, Northtown
03 Vince Staples, Hell Can Wait
04 Isaiah Rashad, Cilvia Demo
05 Panda Bear, Mr Noah
06 Baths, Ocean Death
07 Childish Gambino: Kauai
08 Beach Slang, Who Would Ever Want Anything So Broken?
09 Oneohtrix Point Never, Commissions I
10 Jacques Greene, Phantom Vibrate
11 Shlohmo & Jeremih, No More
12 ZHU, The NightDay
13 Ryan Adams, 1984
14 The Knife, Shaken Up Versions
Yeah, we know it's a cop out, but... shout out to Ben Khan's 1992 EP, Doss' Doss, Julianna Barwick's Rosabi EP, Kiesza's Hideaway, Kitty's Frostbite, Le1f's Hey, LIZ's Just Like You, Majid Jordan's A Place Like This, Róisín Murphy's Mi senti, Speedy Ortiz's Real Hair, SZA's Z, Tove Lo's Truth Serum, Yør's Lack of Being, and Yumi Zouma's Yumi Zouma. Phew.