2014 has come to an end. As per usual in the blogosphere, it is now that special time where we take a look back at some of the best, most noteworthy releases in the past year and then rank them on their greatness. First up, I’m counting down my favorite EP’s of the year. As always, this is just a reflection of my own personal taste so don’t come for my wig. Let me know what you think and feel free to comment below with your own list!
Honorable Mentions: Ferras – Ferras, Little Boots – Business Pleasure, Majid Jordan – A Place Like This EP, MOKO – Gold EP, DEV – Bittersweet July, Duke Dumont – EP1, and Kylie Minogue – Kylie + Garibay.
10. Meghan Trainor – Title EP: It’s not everyday an artist drops their debut single and then spends eight non-consecutive weeks at #1, becomes one of the best-selling singles of all time, and charts in 58 countries. Well that’s exactly what happened with Meghan‘s “All About That Bass,” which was later followed-up with with the release of her debut EP, Title, a stellar 4-track set packed with doo-wop-inspired pop jams that are just as sassy, sweet, and addictive as her big body-loving hit. Highlights: “Title” and “Dear Future Husband“
Pre-order Meghan Trainor’s full-length debut album Title on iTunes now!
9. SZA – Z: After amassing two self-released EPs, See.SZA.Run and S, as well as becoming Top Dawg Entertainment’s First Lady, SZA finally proved she was more than just another indie starlet with her third EP, Z! Though packed with a variety of influences, the R&B alt-pop diva manages to offer up a fresh futurist sound that’s strong enough to stand against some of the today’s top players while still staying true to herself. If you love yourself some FKA Twigs and Jhene Aiko, then SZA should be right up your alley. Highlights: “Childs Play” (feat. Chance The Rapper) and “Babylon“
BUY SZA’s third EP Z on iTunes now!
8. G.R.L. – G.R.L: These ladies may have suffered a tragic and devastating loss this year, but they at least managed to release one of the year’s unapologetically cheesy yet great pop offerings with their self-titled EP. Featuring top-notch production by hit-makers Dr. Luke, Cirkut and Max Martin, the thrilling and fresh 5-track set delivered innovative girl-power pop anthems that perfectly embody what these fierce ladies are all about. R.I.P Simone Battle. Highlights: “Ugly Heart” and “Don’t Talk About Love“
BUY G.R.L.’s debut self-titled EP on iTunes now!
7. LIZ – Just Like You: Being part of Diplo‘s Mad Decent label you’d expect lots of twerk-filled Block Party craziness. But while her label-mates were busy pouring out turnt-up-for-the-party jams, California-based princess on the rise, Liz had other things in mind when it came to her debut EP, Just Like You. The (free) 7-track set served all sorts of softly-sung throwback realness with its smooth, ’90’s R&B nostalgic pop sound made perfect with a modern twist. Highlights: “Say U Would” and “All Them Boys“
Download LIZ’s debut EP Just Like You for FREE on Soundcloud!
6. Grace Mitchell – Design: This Portland-based 16-year-old singer-songwriter may not have made the biggest noise this year but she truly is “One To Watch”. Her incredible debut EP Design, which dropped in mid-October, is an impressive and poetic collection of indie-pop numbers full of introspective feelings and soaring pop melodies, with a surprising sleek sophistication well beyond her years. She’s destined for big things! Highlights: “Broken Over You” and “Your Design“
BUY Grace Mitchell’s debut EP Design on iTunes now!
5. Florrie – Sirens: Flaw-free English singer-songwriter, drummer, and model Florrie did it once again with yet another set of pop jams packed with funky beats, catchy hooks and lyrical brilliance. The woman can simply do no wrong. Highlights: “Free Falling” and “Seashells”
BUY Florrie’s latest EP Sirens on iTunes now!
4. Betty Who – Slow Dancing: Just one year after breaking out with her shining debut The Movement, Betty Who came dancing back strong with a major label debut and 5 more fantastic pop gems on her glittering Slow Dancing EP. It served as a superb reintroduction and assured collection of songs that took us deeper into the world of the rising songstress. This one was for all the romantics out there and I was all about it. Highlights: “Heartbreak Dream” and “Silas“
3. Broods – Broods: This brother-sister duo quickly soared to international fame and acclaim with their unique twist of dark, ethereal alt-pop sounds. Their brilliant 6-track self-titled EP successfully proved why they’re very much deserving of all the attention. It’s without a doubt a stellar and cohesive set packed with emotionally layered, dream-like electronic gems. Highlights: “Bridges” and “Taking You There“
BUY Broods self-titled EP Broods on iTunes now!
2. Erik Hassle – Somebody’s Party: After taking a two year hiatus in Stockholm, Swedish singer-songwriter Erik Hassle returned to us with a fresh new record deal and some of his finest piece of work to date. The boy doesn’t get the credit he deserves. Highlights: “Pathetic” and “Ready For You“
BUY Erik Hassle’s latest EP Somebody’s Party on iTunes now!
1. Röyksopp & Robyn – Do It Again: Having already collaborated in the past before on Body Talk‘s “None Of Dem” and 2009′s brilliant “The Girl And The Robot,” there was nothing but high expectations when it came to Robyn and Norwegian electronic duo Röyksopp‘s mini-album entitled Do It Again. The release undeniably delivered a solid collection of five flawlessly-produced, and beautifully thought-out electronic numbers that had me going back for repeated plays again, and again, and again. Highlights: “Do It Again” and “Monument“
BUY Röyksopp & Robyn’s mini-album Do It Again on iTunes NOW!