Closing March with the best EP’s I’ve been listening to this month. Some recent names and a couple new ones to get added to your lists.
Grove – Queer + Black
So starting off with a big one and the first 10 of the year from us, Grove’s “Queer + Black” is an absolute masterclass in UK electro, sampling garage, jungle, drum ‘n’ bass and plenty more. A celebration of black identity at its heart and the many different aspects of ‘being black’, exploring queerness, taking up space and the joy that is often overlooked when discussing blackness in the UK and across the world. From the absolutely filthy opener of ‘Sticky’ to the hypnotic beats of ‘Black’, all the way to the anthem that is ‘Fuck Ur Landlord’, “Queer + Black” is the most ‘punk’ record we’ve heard so far this year.
Psyence – Reality or Design
Hailing from Stoke-on-Trent, Psyence’s work on “Reality or Design” is pure top notch. Each track is a ferocious display of British rock music, with the opener ‘Dirty Gonzo’ delivering punk-rock, while ‘Tusk’ and ‘Marmaleade’ go for pure alternative. A barrage, an onslaught, a full-on attack of unadulterated rock, adjectives are pointless here. Grab a speaker and turn it up, get your head swinging and enjoy this phenomenal display of British rock at its best.
Social Contract – Buzzards Wake
With Social Contract’s monstrously big punk tracks (in both sound and length), you’d be surprised at first to realise that this five-track EP comes in at under twenty minutes. The two shortest tracks ‘lock24’ and ‘prayingstone’ don’t even tally up to the less than five minutes of ‘The Floor’ a bellowing, heavy sweeping post-punk brute. Yet the EP’s shortest tracks allows the singles on “Buzzards Wake” to truly let loose, making the post-five-minute long tracks feel more manageable and the entire collection worth constant repeating.
PROM – PROM
PROM’s debut screams internet vibes, from TikTok-ers and YouTube comments spamming “✨this song✨”, “✨here before they become massive✨”, to each of their EP’s dream-fuelled pop tracks. Lead single ‘Friends’ was an absolute knockout and has been sitting atop my ‘On Repeat’ for a solid month now, but on ‘Tearing me apart’ and ‘Make a good thing last’, the transatlantic trio showcase their love of pop music, crafting beautiful online-pop that already sounds timeless.
Blessed – iii
Upon hearing the Canadian groups work for the first time, I was overjoyed to find a backlog of previous singles and an album filled with their intricate art-rock style. “iii” and its experimental style is just as erratic as it is well configured and pieced together beautifully. The EP as a whole is one long continuation of thinking a track is about to finish before its second part kicks in, often become more manic and jubilant before a brief pause before falling further into this descent of utter madness.