Fred Hystere’s #1 EP of 2011: Southern Shores “Atlantic”

Believe it or not, 2011 was one the best years ever for new talent in the music industry. Of the many great things to happen in music this year, the emergence of the EP was one of the most interesting. The EP (which stands for ‘extended play’) is basically a mini-album, and it’s become a way for major labels to test the waters and wet the whistles of an artist’s fanbase. But it’s also the best (and most affordable) way for independent artists to release their music. These are my Top 10 EPs of 2011.

Fred Hystere’s #1 EP of 2011 is…………………………(yes, I’m this much of a dork)…………..drumroll please……..Southern Shores “Atlantic”!

My infatuation with daydreaming is a common theme throughout many of my posts about music – and no one allows me to do it more than Southern Shores.

Out of any artist I heard in 2011, no one came close to touching the unique tropical flavor that Halifax-based Southern Shores created with their debut EP, Atlantic. (Yes, I just said ‘tropical flavor’ and ‘Halifax’ in the same sentence.)

It’s interesting to me that Atlantic ended up being my #1 EP of 2011 simply because their music is a largely instrumental affair – something I RARELY get into. But the songs on Atlantic are so unique in style, that if you put on your headphones and close your eyes, before long you’ll feel as though you’re sitting in the middle of a native celebration in a remote village located on any one of a number of tropical islands around the world.

The diversity of sound on Atlantic is breathtaking and you will find it categorically IMPOSSIBLE not to smile while listening to each song. If that’s not enough to convince you, consider the fact that Southern Shores are signed to Cascine, a label with THE BEST ear for new talent ANYWHERE.

If you’re in good mood, be prepared to have it enhanced – and if you’re in a bad mood, get ready to literally feel the stress melt away. Check out Atlantic below. Enjoy!

*Southern Shores’s new EP, Atlantic, is out now via Cascine.

http://southernshoresmusic.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Southern-Shores/148367388549736

https://twitter.com/#!/southernshrs

http://soundcloud.com/southernshores

 

Southern Shores “Atlantic”

 

Fred Hystere’s #2 EP Of 2011: LESANDS “Sweet Skin”

Believe it or not, 2011 was one the best years ever for new talent in the music industry. Of the many great things to happen in music this year, the emergence of the EP was one of the most interesting. The EP (which stands for ‘extended play’) is basically a mini-album, and it’s become a way for major labels to test the waters and wet the whistles of an artist’s fanbase. But it’s also the best (and most affordable) way for independent artists to release their music. These are my Top 10 EPs of 2011. #2 is LESANDS “Sweet Skin”.

If I were to craft the perfect male solo artist for my taste it would be LA-based LESANDS. Hands down. He perfectly embodies everything that personally attracts me to a male solo artist. From the daydreamy fantastical production, to the hint of 80s magic he sprinkles throughout each of his songs, LESANDS’s beautiful EP, Sweet Skin, was a frequent companion for me during the exciting adventure that 2011 turned out to be. His music wears beautifully with repeated listens and I’ve never even remotely found myself sick of hearing that understated-yet-stunning voice of his.

My favorite track of all is “Easy To Please” but the whole damn thing deserves your ear and your money – it’s only a few bucks! Check out Sweet Skin below.

*Lesands’s debut EP, Sweet Skin, is out now via sensibility music LLC.

http://www.facebook.com/lesandsmusic

http://lesands.tumblr.com/

https://twitter.com/#!/lesandsmusic

 

Fred Hystere’s #3 EP Of 2011: St. Lucia “St. Lucia”

Believe it or not, 2011 was one the best years ever for new talent in the music industry. Of the many great things to happen in music this year, the emergence of the EP was one of the most interesting. The EP (which stands for ‘extended play’) is basically a mini-album, and it’s become a way for major labels to test the waters and wet the whistles of an artist’s fanbase. But it’s also the best (and most affordable) way for independent artists to release their music. These are my Top 10 EPs of 2011. #3 is St. Lucia‘s self-titled debut.

St. Lucia is a Brooklyn-based solo artist who has created one of the most breathtakingly gorgeous tropical pop records in recent memory.

It may sound corny, but one of the things that I love the most about St. Lucia is that everything seems possible while listening to his music. Maybe it’s because I’m kind of a romantic beach bum at heart, but in the next few years I envision myself living somewhere warm; near the water and writing all day for a living.

His songs makes me incredibly hopeful for the future and happy to be in the present. There’s an innate romance to his music that went unparalleled for me in 2011 and left me dreaming about dancing around the beach at night.

You all need this EP. Every song is amazing. Buy it when it comes out.

*St. Lucia’s self-titled debut will be out soon (?) via HeavyRoc Records. (The press release said it’d be out last week, but I can’t find a link! I’ll update this post when I have one, though.)

http://www.facebook.com/stlucianewyork

https://twitter.com/#!/stlucianewyork

 

St. Lucia “We Got It Wrong”

 

St. Lucia “The Old House Is Gone”

 

St. Lucia “All Eyes On You”

 

Fred Hystere’s #4 EP Of 2011: Capital Cities “Capital Cities”

Believe it or not, 2011 was one the best years ever for new talent in the music industry. Of the many great things to happen in music this year, the emergence of the EP was one of the most interesting. The EP (which stands for ‘extended play’) is basically a mini-album, and it’s become a way for major labels to test the waters and wet the whistles of an artist’s fanbase. But it’s also the best (and most affordable) way for independent artists to release their music. These are my Top 10 EPs of 2011. #4 is Capital Cities‘s self-titled debut.

Capital Cities is an LA-based electropop duo, comprised of Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian.

There’s a pretty interesting electropop scene sprouting up in LA, which is a town that I’ve historically not been a fan of whatsoever. I’ve tended to not really be into many of the bands that have come out of LA over the years, but this current crop of up-n-comers, lead by artists such as Capital Cities and Lesands, has had me excited all year.

I knew I’d end up writing about Capital Cities immediately upon hearing their self-titled debut for the first time this past spring. They combine of groovy pop production with simple-yet-profound lyrics to create the type of hook laden, harmony filled songs that’ll have you putting the top down on the nearest convertible and driving on daydreamy excursions around town. If any of that sounds like the perfect winter escape (because it sure does to me!), have a listen to their irresistible EP below. My favorite track is Love Away, but the whole thing is perfect.

*Capital Cities’s self-titled debut EP is out now via Lazy Hooks.

http://capitalcitiesmusic.com/

http://www.facebook.com/capitalcities

https://twitter.com/#!/capitalcities

http://capitalcities.tumblr.com/

 

Capital Cities “Capital Cities”

 

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