Nick’s Top 5 EPs of 2015

Posted: by Nick

Caravels/ Octaves – Split

A band parting ways just as they begin to realize their full potential seems to have become a bittersweet norm. In 2015 we said farewell (for now) to Las Vegas outfit Caravels, whose unique brand of melodic and emotional hardcore is among some of my favorite music, period. The bright side is that they left us with one more thing to remember them by. The two Caravels songs on this EP, complemented by a great side by Octaves, are among the best tunes the band has created, showcasing their ineffable blend of beauty, grit, and desperation in its most highly realized form. They will be sorely missed.

Moses – The Library

There are some great things happening in Michigan right now, and if you don’t know you soon will. One of my favorite releases of the year comes from Moses, who have reinvented themselves with this EP, thematically inspired by Stephen King’s IT (one my own all time favorite novels). The best parts of Modest Mouse, Minus The Bear, and especially mewithoutYou (methinks there’s an “m” theme here) seem to influence this band, but their sound is entirely their own. The Library is an exciting release that sees this band poised to do great things.

Botanist – EP2: Hammer of Botany

Botanist is among the most compelling innovators of metal in recent memory. Otrebor, the sole being behind this project, has proven his meddle with an invigorating sound of black metal influenced rock, granted a distinct otherworldly quality by the use of the hammered dulcimer. This EP – expanding upon the ongoing themes of floral, verdant vengeance – contains some of the best music Botanist has given us so far. It is a darkly sublime listen.

Touché Amore, Self Defense Family – Self Love

Collaborative efforts are often a mixed bag, as likely to yield a muddled mess as a masterpiece. The joined forces of Touché Amore and Self Defense Family proved to be something closer to the second. The aptly titled Self Love doesn’t make the mistake of trying to meet in the middle of two different groups, but rather seizes the chance to create something wholly original. These two songs capture a brief and explosive moment in time – auditory lightening in a bottle.

Jr. Clooney – Jr. Clooney

I saw Jr. Clooney well before the release of this EP, and had my fingers crossed that any recording the band might make would reflect the ability and energy displayed in that riveting live set. Thankfully, this self-titled EP hits all the right notes and captures the jazzy, twinkly excellence that had me floored that first night. This is a solid debut from a promising group, built to impress.