Swear I'm not Paul: List: Top 20 EPs of the 00s

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Friday, December 4, 2009

List: Top 20 EPs of the 00s

My end of decade lists continue. But each day, we get nearer and nearer my list of the best 100 albums or so of the 00s! As I'm busy typing that list, I've split this into two halves. The second half, i.e. the top ten, features some fine blurbs, in case you decide you might have to buy some of these half-albums. Also, I left off Ryan Adams' Love is Hell EPs, as they would've held the top two positions, and will be high up my album list, as one sole album.

20. Bright Eyes - Four Winds (2007)
19. The Tallest Man on Earth - The Tallest Man on Earth (2006)
18. Bon Iver - Blood Bank (2009)
17. Gemma Hayes - Work to a Calm (2001)
16. Gorillaz - Tomorrow Comes Today (2000)
15. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - IsIs (2007)
14. Ben Nichols - The Last Pale Light In the West (2009)
13. Mumford and Sons - Mumford and Sons (2008)
12. Jill Andrews - EP (2008)
11. Fleet Foxes - Sun Giant (2008)

10. Joanna Newsom - Joanna Newsom and the Ys Street Band (2007)
Not only is this Joanna Newsom's beautiful follow-up to Ys, but it's also the best named release of the decade. A genius titled EP which contains three gorgeous, encapsulating songs. She's a marvellously consistent artist, and I can't wait to see what the next decade has in store for her.

9. Iron and Wine - Woman King (2005)
Sam Beam is also one of the most consistent artists around, and Woman King may well be his finest ever release under the Iron and Wine moniker. He's also fantastic live, so if and when he does return, I advise you to go to see him.

8. The National - Cherry Tree (2004)
The Virginia EP narrowly missed the top twenty here, but this is their better short-length record. Cherry Tree signalled the brilliance that was yet to come from the National on their excellent Alligator and Boxer full lengths.

7. TV on the Radio - Young Liars (2003)
Another teaser EP, this one showed glimpses of what TV on the Radio would come to be. Even still, it's a fantastic release, and one any artist would be delighted to have in their canon. Check out the excellent 'Staring at the Sun' and the phenomenal 'Blind', a seven minute tune which feels like it ends too soon..

6. Richard Hawley - Richard Hawley (2001)
This decade has been Hawley's decade. He has stood out on his own. Previously a session musician, his self-titled EP, with songs like 'Naked in Pitsmoor' and 'Coming Home' showed that Hawley could be the Roy Orbison of the 00s.

5. The Gaslight Anthem - Senor and the Queen (2008)
A lot of these EPs are teasers that the best is yet to come from an artist, but Senor and the Queen contains a lot of the Gaslight Anthem's best work. Overall it's their best ever release, mainly because of the song 'Blue Jeans and White T-Shirts'.

4. Kings of Leon - Holy Roller Novocaine (2003)
They weren't always pop darlings, you know? Long ago, before X Factor wannabes sang their songs, Kings of Leon were a fantastic rock band, up there with the White Stripes and the Strokes. They weren't polished in any way. They were raw, and they rocked. Hard.

3. Bloc Party - Bloc Party (2004)
I first downloaded this in 2004, on a recommendation from NME before their debut album was released. It was incorrectly titled Banquet EP, but that is mainly the reason it was so good. That one song. 'Banquet'. Perhaps the best rock song to come out of England this decade. And that includes everything Pete Doherty was involved in too.

2. Fight Like Apes - How Am I Supposed to Kill You if You Have All the Guns?
The best EP to come out of Ireland this decade? Certainly. Might well be the best EP to come out of Ireland ever. It also had a more normal souning name than any of their other EPs. It quickly sold out everywhere, and a wave of hype followed the band everywhere. It was truly deserved, as no-one can argue with songs like 'Battlestations' and future single 'Jake Summers' He's the man...

1. Arcade Fire - Arcade Fire (2003)
This is what good EPs are all about. Also known as the Us Kids Know EP. It introduced the world to the fascinating Win Butler and Rene Chassagne, and contained no songs that would appear on their debut album Funeral. (Although 'No Cars Go' was later re-recorded for Neon Bible). It's the perfect EP, as its unique tracklist makes it worth owning, as much as a full-length album.


b said...

very cool list. i'm partial to In the Reins myself.

Ronan said...

Thanks Ben. Some of those EPs are even much better than the artist's actual albums. No filler!