My Favourite EPs from 2014

EPs, or “extra plays”, are recordings of three to five songs. They are an increasingly popular way for indie artists and record labels to introduce music at a much lower cost/risk than a full album. For the cost of whatever drink people buy at Starbucks, EPs provide me with low-cost access to great music by new artists.

In no particular order, here are my favorite EPs in 2014[1].

Kwabs – He is my favorite current singer not named Adam Lambert. With three fabulous EPs (Pray For Love, Walk, Wrong or Right), he should have just released an album. One reviewer described him thusly:[2] “His earth-shattering baritone knows no equal.” I can’t agree more.

JettaStart a Riot – Wow. Just wow. Is she rock? Is she R&B? Both, I guess? Why does it matter when it’s this good?

Laura Welsh Laura Welsh – She’s an electro-soul singer who is a cross between Jessie Ware and Florence + the Machine. That’s a good cross.

Ella Eyre Deeper – My daughter Cassandra heard her and said, “Amy Winehouse meets Adele.” In other words, she’s d#@n good.

Ferras Ferras – I discovered him from an Adam Lambert tweet[3]. I can hear Adam singing each of the five songs on this EP. No wonder he likes Ferras.

Melanie Martinez DollhouseThe Voice may eventually find their first breakout star in the little girl with the two-toned hair and gapped teeth that the viewers sent home in 6th place in Season 3. She has a major label deal, a lot of industry buzz and increasing attention from radio.

Versa Neon – One of my fave bands that were dropped from their label when their new project took an electropop turn from their pop/rock beginnings. That’s a shame because this three-song sampler of their new sound is really good. Band member Blake Harnage went on to produce the Pvris album that’s on my 2014 favorites list.

Cathedrals Cathedrals­ – Imagine The Civil Wars as an electropop group with occasional and unexpected shots of early U2 rock. One writer calls this San Francisco duo’s music “danceable, head bob-able, simultaneously otherworldly and more-human-than-a-lot-of-electronic-music.”[4]

Zarni Honest Company[5] – Bad timing for Zarni that Sara Bareilles got to be Sara Bareilles before Zarni could be. My Girl Zarni doesn’t just write songs. She writes word pictures set to music.

Let me also put on your radar a couple of other U.K. singers that have only released singles:

Ella Henderson Ghost; Yours – U.K. pop/soul singer. Ghost, written by hitmaker Ryan Tedder, is currently #19 and rising on the USA Today Airplay chart. Her album drops in the U.S. on January 13.

Becky Hill – In the U.K., singers often build their careers by singing on other people’s records[6]. While she’s only had a minor hit under her own name (Losing; Caution In the Wind failed to chart but I like it), this Voice U.K. semi-finalist has had two big hits with Wilkinson (Afterglow) and Oliver Hedson (Gecko) and a lesser hit with Rudimental (Powerless).


[1] The first four artists are from London, where I want to live with so much great music coming out of there. Hence, “favourite” EPs.

[2] I always look for an excuse to use the word “thusly”.

[3] It’s a universal truth: when Adam Lambert tweets about somebody, they’re always awesome.

[4] Emma Silvers,

[5] This blogger provided financial support for the creation of this excellent, praiseworthy CD. She put me on the guest list for a show in Seattle. And her mother has plied me with chai tea lattes. Despite my complete lack of objectivity, Zarni is a wonderful singer-songwriter.

[6] Sam Smith is a perfect example with great songs by Disclosure (Latch) and Naughty Boy (La la la).

Explore posts in the same categories: Reviews

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: