EPs, eh? These things aren't really mentioned all that much in the real world, in amongst the thickets of people, the majority of people most likely, whose top priority is not finding all the new music they can possibly find. Because when you do make looking for new music a priority, you'll come across a lot of EPs. Why?

Maybe it's because they're bitesized. Before a band or artist reaches a certain power level, before they have the real tenacity and determination it takes to get down to making an album (not a mixtape), an EP is an attractive proposal. Wikipedia tells me that an EP is defined by it either having four songs or lasting 25 minutes or less - that's a UK-only definition though. Wikipedia also told me that EPs were firstly popular in the punk scene, which is nice because I've always thought of the EP as having a kind of DIY-ethic behind it.

And what is almost every new artist who uploads music to SoundCloud and Bandcamp, or even sticks their new music on iTunes, who are these people if not a new generation of DIYers? And what is the EP if not, for the most part, an emblematic medium for these exponents and components of new music today?

So here are the various flagships of various artists, 20 of them to be precise, which have sailed bravely to our hearts in a gargantuan, ubiquitous sea, one of whole flotillas of other ships that bob around, sail just as bravely, but that sometimes do not ever see another shore.


20. Evy Jane - Closer
Rdio / Spotify / Amazon

Our Thoughts: "Closer is an EP that has been moulded together by clever production and immaculate attention to detail, just take 'Sosoft' and the way the layered vocals echo and pan through the speakers, that has an ultimately haunting effect, that is also subtly seductive in its delivery."


19. Wolf Alice - Creature Songs
Rdio / Spotify / Amazon

Our Thoughts: "Creature Songs features a more aggressive edge that marks itself on the EP's opening two tracks, and overall the EP is another refreshing sample of a group who carry an infectious energy."


18. Lolawolf - Lolawolf
Rdio / Spotify / Amazon

Our Thoughts: "Lolawolf experiments with a smorgasbord of diverse flavours on this EP, and while each track stands out on its own, all of them are perfectly laced together. From what I can hear, the EP is packaged with enough samples that people of different tastes will all want to get a lick of."


17. Moonface - City Wrecker
Rdio / Spotify / Amazon

Our Thoughts: "The more you listen to this collection of songs, the more it develops. Upon first listen, it is almost overwhelming and confusing in how it builds and expands into this beautiful mountain of sophisticated agony via magical melodies, nurtured lyrics. Yet it is clear that there is a strong sense of confidence in how Moonface is continuing to develop as an artist and songwriter."


16. TĀLĀ - Alchemy
Rdio / Spotify / Amazon

"Making our top EPs list, producer/singer-songwriter TĀLĀ's Alchemy EP is thirteen minutes of mysterious, spiritual dance bliss. Impossible to pigeonhole and therefore brilliant, each of the four tracks is an individual gem. Opening track 'Alchemy' begins lo-fi and mystical before exploding into a beautiful, evocative ethnic chorus, with underlying fast-paced beat-pad providing the track with a heartbeat. 'Black Scorpio' follows suit with the same intricate Indian influences and percussion weaving their way through the powerful dance beat. One of the standout tracks of the EP is the reworked classic 'Everybody's Free', twisted until almost unrecognisable, with the low, rumbling bass contrasting with the euphoric gospel chorus. The EP closes with trance-like 'Unfinished Business'' echoing vocals and relentless beat. Flitting between dance, pop and something else entirely, there is something undeniably magical in TĀLĀ's second EP that should not be overlooked."


15. DOSS - DOSS
Rdio / Spotify / Amazon

"Released at the start of this year on Acéphale Records (acéphale means "headless"), this is the self-titled debut EP from Doss. Who is Doss? Doss is from somewhere in America, maybe. And Doss says, "100% REAL EMOTION ☆ NO TROUBLE • NO LIFE" in their Twitter bio. Your guess may be as good as mine. But enough of that. The music itself. The Doss EP. It's unique. It's future-facing, but with one foot decidedly in the past. It sounds a little Hed Kandi crossed with retro-futurism - not in a '60s way, but in a late-'90s, white-walled, plasma-screened, skin-hugging body-con latex-ish fashion sense, a rush forward into the far reaches of the future. More The Fifth Element than Star Trek, basically. It is filled with bouncing bulges of bass, clattering rave-style beats, plumes of modulating synth, droplets of tropicalia in the form of steel pan melodies; always feeling like a beautification of reflective moods, a euphoric shell for icy-cold sadness, whispered singing jostling with pitch-shifted vocals reaching the very vault of heaven. After the mid-tempo-ness of the first three tracks, closer 'Extended Mix' will - like leaving a party on a high, at its peak, on a good note - stick in your mind, but only vaguely, so you go back and listen from the start again. Get ready to either dance madly, drift into an introspective malaise, or both, because this music certainly abides by the 100% real emotion disclaimer."


14. Bibio - The Green
Rdio / Spotify / Amazon

Our Thoughts: "It's a mini-rarities collection-cum-extended single, with Silver Wilkinson cut 'Dye The Water Green' spearheading the EP, and archived material padding out the rest of the space. They're not selected willy-nilly though, with Wilkinson carefully curating The Green. All the 'extra' cuts were handpicked to complement the lead single; noises chosen to accentuate the nuances and sounds welcomed to the fold that provided contrast."


13. Speedy Ortiz - Real Hair
Rdio / Spotify / Amazon

Our Thoughts: "If Speedy Ortiz are 'slackers', they're not not some Nietszche-misquotin', conspiracy-theorisin', piff-slingin' con artist, but rather that hood-lidded savant who turned up to morning lectures behind dark glasses for three years, who started writing at 2am for noon hand-ins, then left the place with honours to their bloodshot eyeballs. Most importantly, Real Hair resolutely refuses to collapse under the weight of its own wordiness. It's clever, sure, but it's high-grade, pedal-hopping rock music by the same token."


12. Andrew Ashong - Andrew Ashong
Rdio / Spotify / Amazon

"Fresh material from the London producer and singer-songwriter has been tantalisingly slow in arriving this past year. A three track EP of sun-kissed soul-jazz jams is all we have for now, but it's the stuff of dreams; warm and laid-back beats with sleek instrumentation and vocals that sit comfortably between Roy Ayers and Floating Points. Blessings from Gilles Peterson, Theo Parrish and Bonobo, a Best Live Act nomination from DJ Mag and shows with Lauryn Hill and Luaka Bop's live celebration of William Onyeabor offer more than a hint a new force in UK music is on its way."


11. Girlpool - Girlpool
Rdio / Spotify / Amazon

Our Thoughts: "Through Girlpool's seven tracks, the band grow into their make-up as a two-piece with aplomb, complementing each other with both voice and instruments. With this much anger, unapologetic social commentary and ambition crushed into just sixteen minutes, the promise of more to come from Girlpool is irresistible."


10. Panda Bear - Mr Noah
Rdio / Spotify / Amazon

"Panda Bear's surprise new EP was used as a promotional tool for his forthcoming new album, but that didn't stop our readers (it popped up time and time again in our Readers' Poll), or our staff, from falling in love with it.


9. Yumi Zouma - Yumi Zouma
Rdio / Spotify / Amazon

Our Thoughts: "Yumi Zouma's EP is wonderful. It's a delightful taster of what's (hopefully) to come - and let's hope sooner rather than later. As many have already noted, this is summer music and just as Theme Park did last year, Yumi Zouma would be utter fools not to consolidate their dominance in the genre by dropping something else around, say, July."


8. 100s - IVRY
Our Thoughts: "It's simply all too easy to get entirely immersed in 100s' vividly depicted façade; such is the detail and audacity in IVRY's debauchery. I honestly planned to give this two listens at most, but ended up playlisting every song and buying Ice Cold Perm soon after. He has production savvy, a unique swagger and every rap blog weak at the knees for his forthcoming LP - with Fool's Gold now calling the shots it's becoming difficult to see anything other than royal flushes in the future."


7. Oneohtrix Point Never - Commissions I
Rdio / Spotify / Amazon

Our Thoughts: "Commissions I, which is released as part of the Record Store Day 2014, is an incredibly complex, layered and contextual piece of work comprising of art commissions, where the background knowledge of the arts and artists with which it is associated prove to be equally important to understanding the music."


6. The Knife - Shaken-Up Versions
Rdio / Spotify / Amazon

Our Thoughts: "In some respects then Shaken Up Versions is the album that fans expected. It's certainly far more accessible, and much more ingrained in traditional dance and electronic styles, but it still has that unfamiliarity that remains The Knife's trademark. Rather than being a companion piece to Shaking the Habitual, Shaken Up Versions feels like an album in its own right, an essential addition to fans' collections, but also a good starting point for anyone who is still unfamiliar with the band and looking for an entry point."


5. Mokadem - Mokadem
Rdio / Spotify / Amazon

Our Thoughts: "Mokadem should be the benchmark from which we judge house music from now on. It's forward-thinking without being alien, it's multi-purpose, never lingering too long in one area, and, vitally, it's ruddy addictive, demanding countless replays like a spoilt brat on My Super Sweet 16 demands a car. It's hypnotic, entrancing - you'd be glued to the dancefloor all night if Mokadem just span it on repeat."


4. Kero Kero Bonito - Bonito Recycling
Rdio / Spotify / Amazon

"The first time I heard Kero Kero Bonito, I couldn't help but stifle a giggle. Intro Bonito, the album that introduced them, landed like a perfectly pre-fabricated Far Eastern waving cat toy. The EP that followed, Bonito Recycling, featured a lot of their friends on remix duty and was equally brilliant. Is it all a joke? Or are we just not advanced enough to understand the genre that this branch of goggle-eyed weirdo pop will eventually spawn? The answer, you have to imagine, lies somewhere in between."


3. Baths - Ocean Death
Rdio / Spotify / Amazon

"Despite being described as a "companion piece" to his 2013 full-length Obsidian, you'd be making a rather huge mistake in thinking Baths' Ocean Death EP was a collection of tracks from the cutting room floor; an afterthought. This is Will Wiesenfeld proving that he can destroy you with slices of minimal techno, just as easily as he can destroy you with the thought-provoking electronics he's steadily become known for. Truly breathtaking."


2. Le1f - Hey
Rdio / Spotify / Amazon

Our Thoughts: "This EP makes for a tantalising listen as it's clear that there is much more that has been held back from us. With each release so far he's been able to surprise, seduce and tease just a little bit more. He might still see himself as the "elephant in the room" right now, but when Le1f finally makes his mark on mainstream music, you can be sure it'll be huge."


1. Lydia Ainsworth - Right From Real Pt. 1
Spotify / Amazon

"On Right From Real - Pt. I, Ainsworth delicately and precisely carves up four judiciously inspired tracks, covering electronic, orchestra, and dream pop in one intricate package. It's so affirmatively tight that it almost seems inhuman. How could one person have such a handle on all these textures and progressions and come off genuinely interesting? Often times when artists try to play with so many features, the weight of the effort overwhelms the actual product. On Right From Real - Pt. I, each succinct movement matters."