Continuing on with our “Best of” lists for 2017, here are the Best 15 EPs released by American artists, as well as a few more that deserve mention. You can find the complete reviews of each EP in our Get it or Forget it columns.
Honorable Mention – Red Hymns self-titled EP; Helen Culver Seven Year Glitch; After Hours Radio What Happened?; Broken Bellows The Card Table; Life Lessons Best When in Motion
15. Sam Marine, Big Dark City – Definitely a surprise, this five song EP was obviously the result of an artist who has learned how to become part of the local community and reach out to them for help when needed. We think you’ll be hearing a lot more from this artist in the future.
14. Surf Rock is Dead, We Have no Friends? – A perfect combination of American and Australian ingenuity, this was another surprise this year with a huge potential.
13. Eli Raybon, Green – This 20-year old Southerner has risen to the challenge and has set the bar high for subsequent projects.
12. Mare Island, Eponymous – Likewise this Bay area band has some large footprints to fill in the future with this amazing debut EP.
11. Ben Anderson, YouTopia – Indie label Chromodyne chose wisely in signing Anderson, and his four-song EP shows great promise.
10. Riley Smith, self-titled – Riley Smith has made quite a name for himself as an actor on such beloved programs as Frequency and Nashville. He can now add accomplished musician to his resume, as this EP was simply amazing.
9. Ryan Sims, My Side of the Story – Another rising star in the country music field had a lot of help from his friends, including Jason “Slim” Gambill, Darryl Jones, Kenny Aronoff and Kim Bullard. They helped him achieve a breakthrough sound that will have him rising up in Nashville in no time at all.
8. Jacquie, The Only One – She survived NBC’s The Voice and a bad experience with the music industry to come back stronger than ever as an indie artist. Can’t wait to see what’s next from this future superstar.
7. Social Repose, Empress – Nearly 300,000 Facebook fans can’t be wrong about this one, and their latest EP proved just how good they are.
6. Matt Westerman, Life Out Loud – One of LA’s brightest rising stars, Matt Westerman has a very promising future ahead. We truly believe the sky is the limit for him.
5. The Khourys, Good Stuff – Sisters Guila and Jahnna will surprise you – imagine one doing vocals and one doing rap – the combination is heaven’s nectar. They are just as good in concert.
4. RVBY My Dear, Cycles – Australian born and Brooklyn based musician Gabbi Coenen blew us away with her sophomore release. Watch out for this one.
3. Alex Mabey, Enough – An alumni of the Durango Songwriters Expo, Mabey seems destined to follow in the steps of another famous alumni, Meghan Trainor.
2. Katie Costello, New World – A perennial winner of many awards, including the LA Music Critic Awards, Costello brought us both an EP and an album in 2017, and both were superb. Here’s of taste of what makes this artist so great.
1. Vinnie Paolizzi, Kids – Biggest surprise of the year was receiving an EP from this young self-promoted artist that simply blew us away. We are dying to see what comes next from this young man.