From Mishka's Bloglin,
It used to be that EPs were considered "less than." A precursor to an album, an unfinished work, a place for cast off tracks that didn't quite fit anywhere else. But times, they are a changin'. We now live in a world built around instant gratification, where the ability to know what someone is doing at any given time is considered not an intrusion but a standard. We've all seen how this paradigm shift has affected the music industry.
The internet has made the release of music easier than ever, with independent artists able to work closely with boutique labels, or even self-release their work. From a consumer perspective, this is certainly an exciting yet daunting development. Though the access to new music is essentially limitless, choosing which artists to listen to has become borderline stressful. Especially when confronted with a full length LP, many listeners may choose to skip over a new artist that they haven't heard of, simply because there is no time to spare.
With LP sales becoming a less and less viable commercial option, artists have taken to releasing multitudes of tracks online, seemingly at random. In an environment in which "stardom" can be determined by a blog or a retweet, artists are clamoring for any foothold. Tracks are nice, but music is not at a point (nor am I sure it will ever be) where we want to (or should) move beyond collections of songs. So we have the EP: the black sheep made paragon.
2010 has seen young artists embrace the EP like never before, with many of the most buzzed about bands having yet to release a full length. But these EP's are not the samplers of yesteryear; rather, they are fully realized and polished packages, simply shorter. It's almost a game: to try and distill your sound into the strongest 15-25 minutes possible, to leave the greatest effect over the shortest time.
With some artists (James Blake and Zola Jesus to name a few) releasing multiple EP's in a year, it has done nothing to diminish artist output. It instead has just organized it into easily consumable packages. Freedom from the LP has allowed artists to present works that are stronger separated from the padding that is so often shoehorned into albums. For many emerging genres (Witch House, Future House), the EP has become the vehicle of choice to convey their music and ethos: short and sweet.
To create our top 25 list, all of our music bloggers/reviewers were asked to submit their own individual lists of their top 15 EPs for the year. Then based on their individual rankings and frequency of appearances across multiple lists, our master Bloglin top 25 EP list was created. So, without further adieu, here are The Мишка Bloglin's picks for the Top 25 EP's of 2010.
See The Bloglin's Best of 2010 :: Top 25 EPs