Before I post some favorite songs from 2022 or rank my top albums, let’s spend some time with the little-appreciated category of EP’s. If there are too many songs for any human to listen to in the modern world, there are also too many EP’s, extended singles and “mini-albums” (WTF?). But you’ll miss some serious tunes if you don’t at least sample some of the releases on my list of 2022 best alternative EP’s.
A couple of caveats, the EP is not my preferred release — ultimately, to me, too short for a sustained musical statement. Also my batting average finding great EP’s is not great. Possibly terrible. So my list is just that, a list. Only roughly catalogued in order of badassery. There are just too, too, too many EP’s out there that I didn’t or couldn’t take the time to sample. I don’t presume here to rank the very best.
Having said that, dear reader, these EP’s are absolutely worth your music dollar this Christmas.
Shoken Boys – The Shoken Truth EP
Something about Shoken Boys being an indie band from Israel seems super-exotic AMIRIGHT?!
The truth is, Tel Aviv is a city/metro of almost 4.5 million people. So rock is probably pretty urban and looks not unlike a show in LA. What are the chances Shoken Boys grace our shores playing this delicious shambolic jangle they’ve been putting out since 2019? A tour or supporting role in ‘Merica? Maybe not great. But what a treat to know kids 6,968 miles from Utah are falling in love with the same Shoken Truth EP as you and me.
Buy The Shoken Truth from Bandcamp and be someone’s Secret Santa.
CIEL – Not in the Sun, Nor in the Dark EP
Not a little akin to 90’s ikons Lush, CIEL crushed it with their 2022 Not in the Sun, Nor in the Light EP. From Brighton, England — but also all over Europe — CIEL mixes Michelle Hendriks’ voice with gorgeous power pop, lite shoegaze and moments of four-on-the-floor beats. Invite your friends over, crank Not in the Sun and remind yourself 2023 only gets better from here!
Here is the bangin’ title track, “Not in the Sun, Nor in the Dark.”
CIEL’s tremendous EP is available as a stocking stuffer at Bandcamp.
Senica – Passing Tide EP
Can someone help me with Theo Tudor’s exquisite voice here? I cannot quite place the Manchester band Tudor takes me back to. From Christchurch, Senica is 100% at the top of my EP list this year. I love everything about Senica’s evocative, desperate sound. And they’re shape-shifters. Although I’m dropping “Now Crystalline” here for you to sample; other songs from the Passing Tide EP are dystopian indie Radiohead.
Don’t wait for Senica’s full length debut. Tell all your friends you heard them first on the Passing Tide EP.
Healees – Healees EP
Like almost every year since…oh, 1993 or so…2022 wasn’t a real triumph for the shoegaze movement. How about a light in the darkness, Healees from Paris, France. They’re not doing anything terrifically groundbreaking here. Just creating tight harmonies around a wall-of-sound that make you want to cry. Also I would cynically note this EP is like 33 minutes long, so basically an album.
Here is “The Garden” from the June Healees EP.
The Sundries – Full of the Joys of Spring EP
London’s indie pop The Sundries turn up the sunshine on September’s Full of the Joys of Spring EP. Full of pop nuggets and indie handclaps, The Sundries’ The Joys of Spring EP four songs burst with life. Their breakout in 2022 was the sardonic “David Letterman,” speaking to 80’s kids everywhere.
“I stopped taking my pills.
They told me I was ill.
What did they know?
They were just making me fat.
David would not like that,
He likes me just so.”
Still, the title track “Full of the Joys of Spring” best encapsulates The Sundries sound.
2022 best alternative EP’s
Don’t be fooled by the “EP” label from a band that you’ve fallen in love with. Even if it’s not a full album, it may still top your list of 2022 best alternative EP’s. For good measure, here are three more EP’s that you can’t go wrong with!
- The Black Watch – The Neverland of Spoken Things EP
- The Valery Trails – The Introvert Blues EP
- The Death of Pop – For a Minute EP