10. Apparitions - Labyrinth Ear
9. Awkward - San Cisco
8. Deep Space - Eisley
7. Dead Letters - Stromkern
6. Continued Silence - Imagine Dragons
5. Aurorae - Amethystium
Straight from Norway, Amethystium is from the genre of music I consider my favorite: new era. For lack of a better description, new era is a brilliant hybrid of electronic sounds and classical orchestration and Amethystium displays this extremely well. Unlike many of the artists fond here, Amethystium has a wide collection of music already and I fully intend to explore it more upon my return.
4. Elenowen - Elenowen
3. New Light - Moving Mountains
Here they are again, the creators of my #1 2011 album with an acoustic EP of some of their best tunes. Moving Mountains already has a unique sound, but I was surprised how unique they remain in acoustic mode. At the same time, the mood is both reminiscent of my time with their old music and surprisingly fresh even though the songs aren't. Spectacular.
2. The Ludlow Thieves - The Ludlow Thieves
Ever been on noisetrade.com? It's a place where low-name or overly generous artists can put up their music for free to get their fame ball rolling; it's one of my favorite things ever and, believe it or not, I got all four of these top EPs for free on the site. The Ludlow Thieves is something I wouldn't have considered buying and may have even avoided initially, but oh how it's grown on me. Their style of folk has a strange beauty about it that's best kept away from explanation. You simply must try it out.
1. The Change - Churchill
Churchill! Each year has its spotlight new bands, and Churchill is one of them this time around. Another male/female duet champion, this band's talent in composition is to be envied. Each one of it's five excellent stand-alone songs makes The Change a comprehensive look at what the group can pull off. Something a little jazzy here, a little lovey-dovey there; some heavy stuff and some downright gorgeous stuff...Churchill has made one of the greatest marks on my 2012.
EPs are easy to overlook, but they're a valuable part of any artist's growth and experimentation. Please, if you find any of this music remotely interesting, do some YouTube searching. At no more than $5 a piece, these are all smart purchases.