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Posts Tagged ‘Sun Giant EP’

Written for the Yellow Bird Project:
December 1st, 2008 by themiddledistancerunner…

Well folks, the year is winding down once again. I feel like just a few months ago we were ringing in 2008, but the truth is that another year has passed us by. This will be my first post in a series of posts celebrating “The Best of 2008”. To start off the series, I’d like to talk about my favourite EPs of the year. There have been quite a few EPs released this year to keep us going while we await new full lengths from our favourite artists. Artists such as Andrew Bird, Final Fantasy, The Decemberists, Antony & the Johnsons, Animal Collective and Coldplay have all released EPs this year. Some have been better than others, but they have mostly been solid. So here is my list of the Best EPs of 2008:

5. Animal Collective – Water Curses EP

Starting out the list is Animal Collective’s Water Curses EP. The first two songs on the 4 song EP are amazing and the last two are just so so, but what makes this EP so special is the title track of the EP, “Water Curses”. This song is among my favourite all-time Animal Collective songs. They could have just put out the EP with this being the only song on it and I would still consider it a great success. I may be building this song up too much. You’re probably going to listen to it and be like…”Ok it’s not that good”. So forget what I just said. This EP is terrible. “Water Curses”? Awful, Awful song….

Animal Collective – Water Curses

Animal Collective Myspace

4. Andrew Bird – Soldier On EP

Next we have the brilliant multi-instrumentalist/whistler extraordinaire, who is back with this excellent little EP to tide us over until his next full length album, which will be entitled Noble Beasts and is slated for a January 27th, 2009 release. I have this feeling that nothing Andrew Bird puts his hands on can turn out bad. I have loved pretty much everything I have ever heard from him and this EP is no exception. “The Water Jet Cilice” is pure beauty in song. Check it out.

Andrew Bird – The Water Jet Cilice

Andrew Bird Myspace

3. Stars – Sad Robots EP

I absolutely love this EP. Stars have always brought the drama and this EP is no different. It is comprised of 5 new songs and a new live version of the Stars classic, “Going Going Gone”. I was also lucky enough to be able to see Stars perform some of the songs from this EP live in New York City a few months ago. I am really eager to hear what the next Stars album will sound like. I really hope it goes in the same direction as this excellent EP.

Stars – Undertow

Stars’ Myspace

2. The Decemberists – Always the Bridesmaid (A Singles Series) EPs

This is a series of 3 EP’s of odds and ends that obviously wouldn’t fit on the new album that the Decemberists are working on entitled Hazards of Love, which will be released in March 2009. Colin Meloy has always been a fan of the EP, releasing a number of them before this one, including his Colin Meloy SIngs series, in which he covered songs of Morrissey, Shirley Collins and Sam Cooke on three EPs. This series of EPs is quite spectacular if you ask me. I really like every song on them. My favourites would have to be “A Record Year” off of Volume 3, and the cover of the Velvet Underground’s “I’m Sticking With You” off of Volume 2. Valerie Plame is also a pretty awesome song. You can find that one of the first volume.

The Decemberists – Record Year

The Decemberists Myspace

1. Fleet Foxes – Sun Giant EP

And the winner is….of course! This one’s a shoo-in. Just an amazing EP from start to finish. “Mykonos” is still arguably my favourite Fleet Foxes song period. It looks like Fleet Foxes are going to clean up this year in most of the “Best of 2008” lists. Check in soon to see if they top the list of best song of the year, or best album of the year.

Fleet Foxes – Sun Giant

Fleet Foxes Myspace

Honorable mention goes to the Another World EP by Antony & the Johnsons, the Plays to Please EP by Final Fantasy, and the No Way Down EP by Air France.

So Fleet Foxes take best EP of the year…what a surprise. These guys are just amazing. I really hope they keep it up on whatever they decide to release next. The next thing I’m working on is my list of the top songs of the year. After that I will reveal my list of the top 20 albums of the year. It’s actually quite fun to look back and see what you really listened to a lot of during the year. You should do it too.

What are your favourite EPs of the year?

Until next week…

The Middle Distance Runner

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I know this is my second post about Fleet Foxes this week. But I have been absolutely obsessed with this song ever since seeing them perform it live. It is now by far my favourite song off of their Sun Giant EP and may even be my favourite Fleet Foxes song period. Go see this band live.

Fleet Foxes – Mykonos

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This was one hectic night of concert going. I had tried to buy tickets numerous times by calling Divan Orange and asking how to buy and every time the girl on the phone would tell me the only way to get tickets is to buy at the door. So this is what I did, but by the time I arrived at 9:00 PM (for a 9:30 start time with 2 openers) the show was sold out. After befriending some Swedish fans who had a sign that said “We Came All The Way From Sweden For This Show, Need Tickets” I simply waited until the time was right. Lead singer Robin Pecknold got the Swedes in, but I was still ticketless and very much wanting to see this show. So between the first and second act, I took my girlfriend by the hand and we simply walked in. To our surprise nobody stopped us, and that was that. We were in.

Boy was I glad we got in. What a show! I had seen them play once before at La Sala Rossa and while it was a great set, they were opening for Blitzen Trapper, there wasn’t that many people there and they didn’t really make a connection with the audience like they did last night. It was one joke after another at last night’s concert. The band had the audience cracking up on many occasions and vice versa. And the music was just superb. They played most of the songs from their Sun Giant EP and self titled debut LP. The highlights for me were “Mykonos”, “Blue Ridge Mountains”, “He Doesn’t Know Why” and a stunning version of “Oliver James” in which the rest of the band left the stage as Robin belted out the song, really showcasing his vocal abilities. The crowd cheered for what felt like 2 full minutes after the song finished.

If you have a chance to see Fleet Foxes play in the near future you must do so! As good as they are on the album, their live show is just something else. I have a feeling this is the last time I will see them play a small venue like Divan Orange. They are already playing Bowery Ballroom in New York, which is a pretty big venue. Next time they come to Montreal they will probably play La Tulipe or something of that size. If you were at the show last night you should feel lucky to have been a part of it.

Here is a video and a half from the show last night. My phone died half way through “Your Protector”. Sorry. But I got the whole “White Winter Hymnal” for you.

White Winter Hymnal:

Your Protector (first 2 minutes):

The show was so good, you almost forgot about how disgustingly sweaty you were throughout…..almost.

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Summer is officially here! And what better a way to ring in summer than with my first ever monthly mixtape! This mixtape is composed of the songs that I have been listening to most over the past month. As you can see, my musical choices are very seasonal. Pretty much all of the songs on my mix are happy summer jams. But don’t worry, it wont always be this cheery (just wait until fall). So enjoy these tunes, some old, some new, all very appropriate for partying the night away (or slip n’ slide).

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1. Fleet Foxes – She Got Dressed
This remains one of my favourite Fleet Foxes songs, even though the full length is brilliant. It is the first song off of their self titled EP that was released in 2006. I actually prefer this EP to the critically revered Sun Giant EP. Anyways, this is an awesome song. At least i think so.

2. Coldplay – Viva La Vida
So far this is the track that I really like on the new Coldplay album. It may have something to do with this amazing Apple Ad. Nevertheless, great song. Now the question remains…is this for real?

3. CSS – Rat is Dead (Rage)
This is the first taste of the new CSS album. I like this song a lot. Hopefully the rest of the album will be as good. I had a dream last night that Lovefoxxx quit the band and that she wasn’t on the new album at all. Weird.

4. The Ting Tings – Fruit Machine
Catchy little summer jam. I don’t care what Pitchfork says, these guys are awesome.

5. M.I.A. – Paper Planes
I’m kind of obsessed with this song. This and “Jimmy” are pretty much the only songs I like on M.I.A.’s new album, but this is song is just gangsta!

6. Hot Chip – Ready For the Floor
This song just kicks ass. As does Hot Chip’s (not so) new album.

7. Cut Copy – Feel The Love
I fell in love with this song a few months ago and then I totally forgot about it. Until I was out shopping in NYC and i heard it in the store Forever 21 (I was waiting while my girlfriend was trying on clothes), and I couldn’t remember how I knew it or who it was by. So after much thought I finally remembered that is was Cut Copy. There’s nothing I hate more than hearing a song, being able to sing along, and having no clue what it is.

8. MGMT – The Youth
I have finally succumbed to MGMT. Ever since I saw them open for Of Montreal 3 years ago, I have been seeing their name pop up here and there but I never really took notice, because of that performance that I didn’t really care for. It turns out they actually make some pretty nice music, as I have recently discovered. This is song is pure greatness.

9. Rose Melberg – Each New Day
This is just a completely beautiful song, by one half of the Softies. I honestly can never get enough of the Softies.

So there you have it. I hope you like my first ever monthly mixtape. If you would like me to send you a copy of this mix just give me your email and it’s yours.

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