TOP 20 EPs of the Year 2019

Finally continuing with the year-end lists. Sorry for the delay. The flu took its toll. I was only away from work for two days, but damn it’s been hard to fully recover from this one. Going straight from the flu bed to the Christmas rush at work didn’t exactly help and probably delayed the recovery a bit. Anyway, I still try to get these year-end lists quickly done within a week or so and then either quit, take a break or move on to 2020. Not a whole lot of writing here, because I just want to get these done.

Starting with my favorite international EPs of the year. A couple of disclaimers. None of the Erin Enderlin EPs are here, because the songs came out on the album later in the year and it will make the aoty list. Courtney Marie Andrews acoustic EP and Erin Rae 4-track demos are also missing even though I love the songs as much as you can love songs. They were just more important in 2018 when the album versions came out. These three would have all been really high on the list. As usual, the numbers here are mostly arbitrary and just helping me to count to 20 with my limited math skills. Music is love not a competition. And I’m sure I forgot something that should have been here. Sorry in advance. And of course this is just a tiny fraction of all the great releases. I’m just one man and there’s tons I have not even heard once let alone enough.

20. Molly Taylor – Summertime Blues (2019)

A brand new favorite Molly Taylor from Baton Rouge, Louisiana starts the list with her excellent debut EP Summertime Blues.

Molly Taylor at Facebook
Molly Taylor Website

19. Charlie Whitten – Tiny Horse (2019)

Something little different but equally gorgeous from a long time favorite songwriter Charlie Whitten from Nashville, Tennessee.

Charliet Whitten at Facebook
Charlie Whitten Website

18. Kate Teague – Kate Teague (Muscle Beach Records, 2019)

Back to the new favorites and onwards to Oxford, Mississippi. Kate Teague’s wonderful self-titled debut EP came out in September on Muscle Beach Records.

Kate Teague at Facebook

17. William Alexander – Garlic Pickin’ Time (Green South Records, 2019)

Some wonderful Australian old time folk singing and songwriting from William Alexander.

William Alexander at Facebook

16. Flora Hibberd – The Absentee (Clear Light Records, 2019)

A dark and haunting EP from Paris-based songwriter Flora Hibberd.

Flora Hibberd at Facebook

15. Logan Ledger – I Don’t Dream Anymore (Rounder Records, 2019)

I was so eager to hear a whole album from Logan Ledger, but having to settle for a great EP is quite alright. The album should arrive in 2020.

Logan Ledger at Facebook
Logan Ledger Website

14. Drew Danburry – Pallid Boy & Spindling Girl (2019)

One of those that got way too little recognition on this blog during the year. I’ve been listening to Drew Danburry for 15 years or so and this EP is one of his best works.

Drew Danburry at Bandcamp

13. Lydia Cole & Hailey Beavis – Among Horses IV (Son Canciones, 2019)

Among Horses collaborations have all been great and this one by Lydia Cole & Hailey Beavis follows that pattern. So wonderful.

Lydia Cole at Facebook
Lydia Cole Website
Hailey Beavis at Facebook
Hailey Beavis Website

12. Malin Pettersen – Alonesome (Die With Your Boots On, 2019)

Magnificent Norwegian americana from Malin Pettersen.

Malin Pettersen at Facebook
Malin Pettersen Website

11. The Rumblings of Spring – The Rumblings of Spring (2019)

New project from one of my long time favorite Canadian songwriters Matt Paxton.

The Rumblings of Spring at Facebook

10. Wojtek the Bear – Old Names for New Shapes (Scottish Fiction, 2019)

Some perfect indie pop from Glasgow, Scotland. Wojtek the Bear released four awesome pop singles in 2019 and Scottish Fiction later released them as a four-song collection.

Wojtek the Bear at Facebook

9. Tiffany Williams – When You Go

A really moving EP from singer-songwriter Tiffany Williams. Big Enough to Be a Mountain is one of my favorite songs of the year and everything else is almost on the same level.

Tiffany Williams at Facebook
Tiffany Williams Website

8. Johanna Samuels – Have a Good One (Basin Rock, 2019)

A marvellous EP from LA-based songwriter Johanna Samuels.

Johanna Samuels at Facebook
Johanna Samuels Website

7. Philippe Bronchtein – Oregon Air (self-released, 2019)

Philippe Bronchtein (who used to worked under the moniker Hip Hatchet) quietly released an awesome EP in the summer.

Philippe Bronchtein at Facebook
Philippe Bronchtein Website

6. Charlie Marie – Charlie Marie (2019)

Excellent classic country from Nashville via Rhode Island by songwriter Charlie Marie.

Charlie Marie at Facebook
Charlie Marie Website

5. Matthew Ryan – Fallen Ash & Embers (2019)

Songwriter Matthew Ryan released one of my favorite songs of the whole year, but it’s not on this particular EP Fallen Ash & Embers. You’ll find that later from the songs of the year list, but there’s plenty to love on this great EP too. In fact, I think I love this song Warm Lightning just as much. All Matthew Ryan’s 2019 songs can be found from a collection called The Future Was Beautiful. Super highly recommended.

Matthew Ryan at Facebook
Matthew Ryan Website

4. Kathryn Legendre – Making It Up (Shotgun House Records, 2019)

A wonderful country EP from Austin, Texas by songwriter Kathryn Legendre.

Kathryn Legendre at Facebook
Kathryn Legendre Website

3. Carla Geneve – Carla Geneve (Dot Dash Recordings / Remote Control, 2019)

Singer-songwriter Carla Geneve from Perth, Australia is one of the new finds of the year of me and I really love her self-titled debut EP. The final song I Hate You (For Making Me Not Want To Leave The City) has been my biggest favorite from the start, but 2001, Things Change and Yesterday’s Clothes are also brilliant songs.

Carla Geneve at Facebook

2. Twain – New Miami Sound (Keeled Scales)

Twain will rule these year-end lists and you’ll find the songs of Mt Davidson from the forthcoming aoty and soty lists too. Oh and if I did that decade list too, Twain’s 2017 album Rare Feeling would be among the top picks. New Miami Sound is kind of a side C of Rare Feeling and contains songs from the same sessions that didn’t make the cut for one reason or another.

Twain at Facebook

1. Black Sea Dahu – No Fire in the Sand (Mouthwatering Records, 2019)

My favorite EP of the year is No Fire in the Sand by a Swiss indie folk band Black Sea Dahu. The band led by singer-songwriter Janine Cathrein created a poignant and deeply captivating EP. How You Swallowed Your Anger and Thaw were some of my biggest song addictions of the year and the rest are almost equally brilliant. A treasure.

Black Sea Dahu at Facebook
Black Sea Dahu Website

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TOP 25 Finnish Albums of the Year 2019

Starting with this pointless year end routine. So between now and Christmas, there will be a lot of lists. Well at least unless this flu really kicks in badly. I will do these rather quickly this time and don’t write a lot of ramblings, because a) life has been hard for a couple of months and I just want to get these done b) the music matters not the ramblings. I’m starting with the Finnish albums of the year. It was a great year and I could have easily come up with at least 10 more that I really liked. There’s some sort of vague order, but the numbers are mostly there to just help me count to 25 with my non-existent math skills. So don’t focus on them too much, because depending on a day any album could move like seven places up or down and even flipping it upside down wouldn’t make much of a difference. Music is love and not a competition and every year I think about moving on to unranked version. Still I feel that even the vague order can be helpful to the reader. Especially because unlike myself, some folks have a life and don’t have time to listen to all and everything and my lists tend to be on the long side.

There will be a playlist of Finnish music when I make the songs of the year list. This ongoing playlist will have songs from most of these, but some might be missing because I haven’t updated it as well and frequently as I should have. Anyway, here’s 25 Finnish albums that I loved during 2019. I hope I didn’t forget anything important.

25. Pasi Salmi – Preerian upottaa kuu (Way Beyondo Records)

Pasi Salmi at Facebook

24. M – Näytän missä asun (Solina Records)

M Website

23. Anne-Mari Kivimäki & Palomylly – Hämeen lauluja (Kihtinäjärvi Records)

Anne-Mari Kivimäki at Facebook

22. Knipi – Knipi (Fried Music)

Knipi at Facebook

21. Tomi Nordlund & Syvä Joki – Viisi vuotta myöhemmin (Soit Se Silti)

Tomi Nordlund & Syvä Joki at Facebook

20. Pekko Käppi – Finnish Folk Songs Vol 1. (Helmi Levyt)

Pekko Käppi Website

19. Joose Keskitalo – En lähde surussa (Helmi Levyt)

Joose Keskitalo at Facebook

18. The New Magnetic North – Letters on the Floor (self-released)

The New Magnetic North at Facebook

17. Antti Autio – Pihalla tuulee taas (Soit Se Silti)

Antti Autio Website

16. Baby Sweetcorn – He Laughs He Learns He Loves (Way Beyondo Records)

Baby Sweetcorn Website

15. Litku Klemetti – Ding Ding Dong (Luova Records)

Litku Klemetti at Facebook

14. Lokit – Lokit LP (Joteskii Groteskii / Combat Rock Industry / Roku Records)

Lokit at Facebook

13. Janne Tapion Sisäinen Avaruus – Maapallon hautajaiset (Lumpeela julkaisut)

Janne Tapion Sisäinen Avaruus Website

12. Verões – Verões (self-released)

Veroes at Facebook

11. Hullu Ruusu – Rehab (Helmi Levyt)

Hullu Ruusu at Facebook

10. Salaliitto – Puolet (Soit Se Silti)

Salaliitto Website

9. Viitasen Piia – Meidän jälkeemme hiljaisuus (Texicalli Records)

Viitasen Piia Website

8. Maustetytöt – Kaikki tiet vievät Peltolaan (Is This Art!)

Maustetytöt at Facebook

7. Hulda Huima – Maa (Helmi Levyt)

Hulda Huima at Facebook

6. Iron Country Sisters – The Blue Hidden In (Soit Se Silti)

Iron Country Sisters Website

5. Sur-rur – Hattarahiukset (Joteskii Groteskii / Roku Records)

Sur-rur at Facebook

4. Räjäyttäjät – III (Ektro Records / Räjä Records)

Räjäyttäjät at Facebook

3. Liila Jokelin – Kaamos on huono esileikki (Helmi Levyt)

Liila Jokelin at Facebook

2. Kielo Kärkkäinen – Keitä me olemme (Texicalli Records)

Kielo Kärkkäinen Website

1. Ylva Haru – Linnut (Soit Se Silti)

My favourite Finnish album of the year 2019 is Linnut by Ylva Haru. It came out in early January and stayed with me throughout the year. This beautiful folk album resonates with me deeply and gives me a lot of those this is exactly how I feel moments and (or even more so) this is how I should feel moments. An absolute treasure of an album.

Ylva Haru Website

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Sidney Lindner & The Silver Wilderness Collective, Heather Valley, Flora Hibberd and Josienne Clarke

A couple more quick round-up things, but in a few days I start scraping together the EOTY lists. First we are heading over to New Hampshire to revisit the Sidney Lindner & The Silver Wilderness Collective album Summer Ghosts/ Nightfalls that was co-released by Burst & Bloom Records and Broken Sparrow on the 13th of September. I’ve loved Sidney Lindner’s songwriting since I heard The Shining Example Is Lying on the Floor by The Hotel Alexis back in mid 00s and therefore this is really a big one for me. Here’s a couple of personal favorites from the new album with the Silver Wilderness Collective. You & Me Kid from Bandcamp where you can buy/hear the whole thing and a music video for the opener Sweet Brother. Ryan Prows also directed a must see epic three part short movie for album tracks Mother’s Tongue, You & Me Kid and Who Are You When No One’s Looking. Start from here and check out the whole story.

Sidney Lindner & The Silve Wilderness Collective at Facebook
Sidney Lindner & The Silver Wilderness Collective

From the long time favorites to the new favorites and across the border to Hamilton, Ontario. A little over a month ago, I stumbled upon a music video of Heather Valley singing a song called Lovejoy and I instantly loved it. The interest grew even higher when I read the premiere interview where she named some of my biggest favorites like Jason Molina and Jennifer Castle as her influences. The album Desert Message followed on the 22nd of November and it was able to match my high expectations. Here are the wonderful singles Lovejoy and Ohio River, but make sure you hit the bandcamp player links too to hear/buy the whole great record.

Heather Valley at Facebook
Heather Valley Website

Next this dark but beautiful blog entry takes us to Paris, France. Songwriter Flora Hibberd is originally from London, but resides in Paris these days. Her powerful debut EP The Absentee came out on 1st of November on ClearLight Records / Declared Goods. All four songs are strong and haunting, but here’s my personal favorite As Long as There Is Night.

Flora Hibberd at Facebook

The last one for tonight comes from Rothesay, Isle of Bute, Scotland. My blissful obsession to the new Josienne Clarke album In All Weather is rising all the time, so I have no other choice than share this brand new video for song called Host along with another big favorite called Dark Cloud. This remarkable record is now out on Rough Trade.

Josienne Clarke Website
Josienne Clarke at Facebook

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