– “Counting the Ghosts”
Iamthemorning surprised us with a Christmas-themed EP, and it was quite a treat. I loved the emphasis on ghost stories, a lost Christmas tradition in my eyes, and I appreciated both the original compositions and the covers of classic holiday songs. This is one to buy and turn on during a family holiday gathering. Maybe you will make some fans of iamthemorning that way.
9. New Ghost – “Future is Dead”
While it lacks some of the creativity of the band’s debut album, this EP has grown on me. It is certainly a groovy, well-composed affair. For me, this release proved that the band has legs for future output.
8. Hyco – “Leylines”
I was stunned by this second EP from Hyco, formerly called Navigator. This is fairly long for an EP at 5 songs and over 30 minutes in length. It plays somewhat like an album, then. And in this musical space, the band explores folk and jazz right alongside some fresh prog metal. It’s a great release that I feel needs to be heard by progressive music fans.
7. inFictions – “Alphasand”
This latest offering from inFictions sees the band as they grow and mature in their craft. “Alphasand” is highly melodic, ambient, and majestic in its soundscape. The band manages to insert their indie and psychedelic influences, as well, making for a very satisfying EP.
6. Diamond Kites – “Working Life”
Diamond Kites are a band from my hometown of Akron, Ohio. Featuring Jeff Klemm of Maid Myriad, this is about as catchy and energetic as local rock gets (we tend to be more melancholy around here). All three songs are monsters that will have you singing along in no time.
5. Thevon – “The Monster’s House”
Wow, Thevon’s debut EP absolutely caught me off-guard. I wasn’t expecting such a well-crafted display of mood and instrumentation. With bits of quirk and loads of musical space, this is a haunting progressive metal offering that you will want to hear over and over again.
4. Frost* – “Others”
Frost* needs no introduction, and this EP is master class, to say the least. This, too, is long for an EP at over a half-hour in length with six tracks. Each and every track is a crazy trip, too, with the band reaching into more visceral and electronic territory. This is one release that Frost* fans shouldn’t miss.
3. Stabbing Westward
– “Dead and Gone”
The return of alt-industrial legends Stabbing Westward was something I never thought I’d see. They have been a favorite band of mine for many years. And, even after so long, the band still has it. This EP is so incredibly nostalgic, as that old sound is still there, yet the band have evolved, as the electronic remixes on the EP can attest. I have listened to this release non-stop. I can’t wait to see what a full new album may bring.
2. Basic Television – “One”
Featuring Anadale of the band Jolly, Basic Television’s debut EP immediately had my attention. This project offers a dark synth pop/rock sound that is hypnotizing and thrilling. It flows with Gothic blood in its veins, too, which is a big attraction for me.
**1. 49 Burning Condors
– “Truths and Roses”**
Speaking of Gothic, this debut EP from 49 Burning Condors is an absolute delight. It revels in a vibrant Southern Gothic tone that feels alternative, folk, and indie simultaneously. There is a Deep South sound here that isn’t often explored in the genres I tend to like, and it is done very well with amazing vocals and vivid performances. I wouldn’t have expected to be so attracted to this type of music, but here I am.
I love these lists – got enough to keep me finding new music til next year – thank you.
If I could have my cake and eat it, there would be a link to the piece that you feel best exemplified your decision…..but I realise I am pushing my luck!
Keep up the great work, this old progger is on a wonderful journey of discovery 👍