Top 10 EPS of 2013

With more and more artists choosing to test the waters of public interest with EPs prior to releasing full-length efforts, we couldn’t resist compiling a list of our favorites in 2013. Many of the EPs listed below offer up our first tastes of the band releasing them, while others are between-album teasers to keep us interested…and interested we are.

Check out LA Music Blog’s favorite EPs from 2013, and be sure to keep an eye out for these artists in 2014. We expect big things from them all.

#10 Tie: We Are Twin – We Are Twin

We Are Twin EP

LA’s WE ARE TWIN splashed onto the scene in 2013 with their self-titled debut EP, a tight five-song collection showcasing singer Gabi Christine’s dynamite vocals and the band’s unique pop-synth-blues sound. The combination of a powerhouse female singer, fresh, interesting songwriting, and supremely talented instrumentalists promises that when it comes to WE ARE TWIN, the best is yet to come. Check out their incredible live performance on the LA Music Blogcast if you need further convincing. – Megan Driscoll

Listen: “True Love

#10 Tie: Hunter Hunted – Hunter Hunted

Hunter-Hunted-Hunter-Hunted

Formed in just January of this year (previously they were of Lady Danville), Hunter Hunted is on the cusp of big things. Their eponymous Hunter Hunted EP is full of hard-driving rhythms that literally set a heart to racing and help propel their bright, poppy harmonies. Hunter Hunted is an airy California confection, as if The Beach Boys took up residence with Local Natives. Their 5-song offering is unshakeable and exhibits intoxicating amounts of anxious energy just waiting to explode into a full-length debut. – Marni Epstein

Listen: “End of the World

#9: David Byrne & St. Vincent – Brass Tactics

st-vincent-david-byrne-brass-tactics-ep

David Byrne & St. Vincent collaborated on 2012′s Love This Giant, and it was just ridiculous. Their combined voices and intricate horn arrangements made for an unusual, beautiful, and quirky sound, and Brass Tactics offered us another glimpse at the collaboration. Lead-off track “Cissus” has a dark, droning sound, bringing together the duo’s voices and mysterious-sounding horns. The rest of the EP is a collection of remixes and live tracks from their previous releases. Check it out when you’re ready to get a little weird. – Gerry Doot

Listen: “Cissus

#8: Kitten – Like a Stranger

kitten_like a stranger

A favorite here at the LAmb, LA locals Kitten headlined the Troubadour, toured with Charli XCX, and released another impressive EP this year, shortly after the release of which the majority of the band parted ways with frontwoman Chloe Chaidez. This isn’t the first time the group has undergone a major lineup change, though, and with a debut album scheduled for release next year, let’s hope the newest incarnation of the post punk-meets-New Wave pop project is the one that leads Kitten into our full-length albums of the year list in 2014. – Kristin Houser

Listen: “Like A Stranger

#7: Banks – London

Banks London EP

Banks has had something of a breakout year in 2013. The R&B singer from LA recently won “best album of 2013” on iTunes, so it’s not like I’m the only one saying that London is a good record. The production is a dark thing. Jamie Woon, Sohn, and Lil’ Silva did a great job matching Banks’ cool delivery of a relationship gone wrong. Sexy music with a bite. What’s not to like? – Marcus Slater

Listen: “This is What it Feels Like

#6: Skrillex – Leaving

Skrillex Leaving

In 2013 the biggest name in EDM released his sixth EP, Leaving, first exclusively to members of his label’s subscription service and then to the Internet at large a day later. If your soul cries out for doorframe-rattling bass drops and the catchiest of catchy beats, then this EP should do you quite nicely. Clocking in at not even thirteen minutes, Leaving is short and sweet, only three tracks long. However, thirteen minutes at full volume — because how else would you listen to Skrillex, after all? —  may be about all your windowpanes and your neighbors can take. – Megan Driscoll

Listen: “Scary Bolly Dub

#5: In The Valley Below – Peaches

In the valley below peaches

I came to love In The Valley Below while catching their umpteen shows at the Echo Park and Silver Lake clubs. They eventually garnered my and the rest of the city’s support and put out their incredible EP Peaches. The duo of Angela Gail and Jeffrey Jacob have a knack for exploring the seedier side of life and intricately melding that melancholy with a quietly building bravado. A little bit ’70s bluesy alt-rock, a little bit ’00s folk revival — 1900s, that is — Peaches is as good as gospel. – Marni Epstein

Listen: “Peaches

#4: Phantogram – Black Out Days

Phantogram EP

Phantogram does two things really well for an EP. The first is it provides listeners with a good sonic appetizer for the project’s urban, shoegazey sound. I defy you to not get hyped up at the chorus of “Black Out Days.” Phantogram is a four-track course in how to appeal to different musical tastes while maintaining a single identity. The second thing the EP does really well? It makes me want another album. – Marcus Slater

Listen: “Black Out Days

#3: Dear Boy – Dear Boy

Dear Boy

LA locals and LA Music Blogcast vets Dear Boy have gained attention taking on residencies and climbing KROQ’s Local’s Only charts. Their self-titled EP is the perfect indie-pop, dance floor-friendly party soundtrack. At 20 minutes, Dear Boy is impressively consistent for a debut effort, flowing from one track to another effortlessly. Paired with striking music videos, the EP is one that leaves us thrilled for the project’s next release. – Angelica Corona

Listen: “Oh So Quiet

#2: Brick + Mortar – Bangs

Brick + Mortar Bangs

While their 2013 EP, Bangs, arrived three full years after the group’s debut release, New Jersey drum and bass duo Brick + Mortar was my favorite new discovery of the year, thanks in no small part to my husband/LA Music Blog co-founder Mikiel Houser’s repeated insistence that I check them out. With seven solid tracks clocking in at 24 minutes, Bangs was long enough for me to fall in love with the band’s explosive, emotional style but short enough to leave me dying for more. Here’s hoping 2014 brings a full length. – Kristin Houser

Listen: “Bangs

#1: Chvrches – Recover

CHVRCHES Recover

In anticipation of their mind-blowing debut full-length, The Bones of What You Believe, Scottish electro pop trio Chvrches made their official entrance into the music world with a bang thanks to the March release of their Recover EP, which features three tracks and two notable remixes of the title track. The band shows off their versatility in just a short amount of time. “Recover” bubbles and shines brightly, “Now is Not The Time” glistens and pops, and “ZVVL” is a roller coaster ride of emotions. All in all, Recover not only served as a great opening act for The Bones of What You Believe, but is also a dynamic, special piece in its own right. – Sarah Bellman

Listen – “Recover