It often happens that with an Extended Play version, they feel at a disadvantage. Not staying long enough to leave real footprints or a repository for singles who have already been lucky enough to leave one. However, it’s important to note the artistic merit of the shorter versions, often providing condensed and enriching introductions to an artist and their voice. With so many artists coming out with bigger, more unwieldy projects, it’s nice to stand up for those that were brief and fulfilled their ambitions without finding other needed pieces. Here are my Top 10 Best Extended Games of 2020.
Hayley Kiyoko, I’m too sensitive for this shit
Released on January 14
Despite the general mediocrity of her music, Californian dream-pop artist Hayley Kiyoko offered a considerable surprise when she released one of the most catchy, groovy, and playful synth-pop sets. I have no hesitation in describing them as Hayley’s five strongest songs to date. The influence of his contemporaries is sometimes evident, but the original and pleasant sound comes with such charisma and presence, and not without expressive and creative innovation. When it comes to millennial pop music, the portrayal and cute personality offered here make I’m too sensitive for this shit stand out from the pack.
Hayley Williams, Petals for armor I
Released on February 6
Hayley Williams also offered a rewarding change of direction in 2020, which took advantage of Paramore’s hiatus to release a debut solo project, which she broke new ground on with this EP. From the first single and opener Simmer, Radiohead’s influence was clear, but he’s an inattentive listener who fails to notice that Williams has taken the style in a more catchy, approachable, and warmer direction than Yorke and co, leaving his own distinctive imprint with handwriting. biting and an expressive and dynamic voice. Armor petals sees Williams flexing sultry muscles his work with Paramore never allowed, and it’s a vital experience that bodes well for any potential future side projects that might take him.
Haru Nemuri, Amourtheism
Released on March 20
From his triumphant opening brass and sudden transitions into shrill synth chords, it’s immediately clear that Japanese noise rock artist Haru Nemuri has also developed his sound in exciting new directions. The invigorating style with which she has marked albums like Harutosyura and Mother Heart Atom is still very present on Amourtheism, but this time accentuated with detours, like the uplifting intro, the glamorous and graceful title track and the perky and eccentric “Riot”, which marks Amourtheism as one of the most daring and exciting music of his career, while demonstrating, like Black Dresses, that with the right composition, noise rock can be as catchy as the most accessible pop radio.
Dirty headlamps, Open windows
Released on March 27
The first of five EPs released by indie folk-pop group Dirty Projectors in 2020, Open windows offers a beautiful window on a serene and delicate interior world. New band member Maia Friedman takes center stage on the project with a happy, textured voice stealing the show on the punchy and sweet Aimee Mann-style “Overlord.” Vagabon’s Oliver Hill string arrangements add a rustic, layered sweetness that gently underpins David Longstreth’s songwriting. The second EP the band released is also a little less captivating, and the band found an exciting chemistry in their recent varied and eclectic production that maintains a captivating energy without sacrificing a sense of authenticity.
Joey Bada $$, The Light Pack
Release July 17th
Joey Bada $$’s return to center stage after a three-year hiatus may be the shortest EP on this list, but that doesn’t really matter when this list is focused on quality rather. than on quantity, and the three pieces here are each spellbinding. The production he puts together is superb, glamorous and jazzy, with pianos, chopped samples and vibraphone galore, and his magnetic verses stacked with memorable and moving lyrics and flow. Among rappers, Joey has a rare talent as a singer, beautifully showcased on the middle track “No Explanation”, which is topped off with a quintessentially Pusha T feature. It’s a terrifically assured comeback that creates a hype. for another complete project in the future at the level of ALL AMERIKKAN BADA $$.
Lupe Fiasco & Kaelin Ellis, lodge
Release July 24
About as ambitious as an EP can be, this project associates producer Kaelin Ellis with rapper Lupe Fiasco, for whom it stages jazzy and smoky a series of gnomic and poetic allegories. Drawing inspiration from subjects as simple and haphazard as dinosaurs, modeling or shoes, Lupe continually re-approaches her subjects in as many different as they are pleasurable, emerging with a project that is both eccentric and hypnotically poignant. Crystal Torres’ soulful performance on track “SLEDOM” is just one of the highlights of this weird, esoteric and humorous project that only adds weight to Lupe’s legendary hip-hop underdog status. .
BACKxWASH, EP STIGMATA
Released on August 4
After the success of his Polaris Prize-winning album, God got nothing to do with it, leave it out of it, Zambian-Canadian rapper Ashanti Mutinta teams up with producer Ada Rook (whose own EP, separated from her twin, a dying android arrives on a mysterious island was also a candidate for this list) to continue mixing horror rap and metal music with this vitriolic four-track EP. Rook and Mutinta are a perfect match, with Rook’s cavernous and punchy metallic riffs providing a perfect home for his bombastic presence.
Mutinta’s other collaborators are also well placed, with Devi McCallion, Joni Void, Camp Blood, Deathirl, and Alekto all matching her dynamic and fearless energy. It’s especially joyful to hear Black Dresses somewhat reunited, with Devi’s eerie trance singing a sinister addition to the ferocity that surrounds him. From the fantastically assured mix of styles to impeccably crazy performances, EP STIGMATA marks another in a long line of creative peaks for BACKxWASH and is the first among the best EPs of 2020.
Released on August 24
In the underground, rapper Sadistik released two of the best mini-projects of the year, the sister albums Delirium and Elysium. Each project offers a distinct side to the Seattle rapper, with Elysium the sky at Deliriumit’s hell, and it’s the darker and tearful aspect of the rapper that has always seduced more. On dark, sobering pianos and rustic percussions, Sadistik’s tense and dejected lyricism continually finds its rise in pure lyrical creativity and the innocent pleasure of loud strings.
His abstract lyrical styles are on another level, comparable to Aesop Rock in the way he is able to reconcile his lines through these rhymes and he approaches the project with the vision and ambition of a full album and the samples of the Anne Sexton’s poem “Wanting to Die” put on such a poignant and thoughtful scene. Like all of the projects highlighted here, it may be short, but it feels like another creative watermark for the artist nonetheless. .
Tobe Nwigwe, CINCORIGINAL
Released on December 6
True to its name, Tobe Nwigwe’s teaser to his CINCORIGINAL The album offered a taste of five tracks, almost the first five on the album, barring an interlude. Each track presents Nwigwe in an incredibly different light, but in each one he finds a place to shine. The production is fantastic from start to finish, but maybe the real selling point here are the phenomenal features of Royce Da 5 ‘9, Black Thought, Big KRIT, D Smoke, Fat and DUCKWRTH and Johnny Venus, whose voice harmonized with Nwigwe is sweet as butter. Royce’s conspiracy theorist bars can be hard to swallow, but it’s hard to deny that his verse is amazing in more ways than one and Nwigwe’s playful chemistry with Fat on the opening track is a total winner.
Release December 10
In the introduction, I described the use of some EPs as a kind of resting place for singles that have already had their cultural moment. Of all the EPs included in this list, the one from JPEGMAFIA EP! most closely matches this description. Of the nine songs included, eight had already been released as a single, making the EP’s release only a way to consolidate products from that era of his career, drawing a line below. However, it helps that he does, as his 2020 non-album singles have easily been some of the strongest material of his career, and some of the best and certainly the most unique singles of 2020.
So these are my top ten EPs of 2020, are you angrily clenching your fist at what I haven’t listed? Let us know what would have been in your Top 10 in the comments or on social media. I wish you all a very happy new year 2021.