Another year has come and gone, and with the end of another year comes end-of-year lists. Many bands got their start this year with their debut EPs, many added more releases to their discography, and there were a lot of noteworthy releases from throughout 2019.
15. LONG GONE "SOMETHING BETTER"
From first listen, I instantly really enjoyed the debut EP from Long Gone, titled “Something Better.” The band can very clearly write some memorable songs, and it shows all throughout the EP. From more upbeat pop punk tracks (‘Heads Down,” “Moving On”) to hard hitting ballads (“Remember”), this EP is extremely memorable, a lot of fun to listen to, and makes a fantastic debut.
14. EMPTY "FROM A CHEMIST'S POINT OF VIEW"
Prior to their debut LP, metalcore band Empty released a brilliant three-song EP that foreshadowed what was to come and showed the high amount of potential they have. There’s a great mix of heavier moments that will have you headbanging along (“From A Chemist’s Point Of View”) and melodic choruses (“Slow Death By Fluorescent Lighting”) that will blow you away and these three songs collectively make up a really solid release that is a great example of Empty’s sound.
13. SLEEPTALK "DESERT DAZE"
Sleeptalk went in a bit of a different direction with their sound on their new EP “Desert Daze.” The more upbeat lead single “dontbesoblue” is a perfect example of the band’s transition to this new sound, moments like “I Want All Your Time” and the instrumental “Stuck In Time” and “Lights Down Low” show the much softer direction the band went in, and the EP as a whole is yet another memorable release from Sleeptalk.
12. SHADED "TEMPORARY FIX"
SHADED also went in a new direction with their new EP “temporary fix,” and it worked out really well. This EP has an overall more polished sound, still contains the impressive vocals (“gold”), catchy instrumentals (“sweatshirt”) and unforgettable melodies (“just not done”) found in the band’s previous material, and showcases the band’s pop rock sound perfectly.
11. nothing, nowhere. & travis barker "bloodlust"
nothing, nowhere. really surprised me on his latest EP, “BLOODLUST.” “DESTRUCTION” and “TRUE LOVE” instantly had me hooked with the consistently catchy melodies, “TORTURE” brings one of many emotional vocal performances, and Travis Barker’s drumming skills bring some extra emphasis to each song on the EP.
10. MOBS "BAD LOVE"
MOBS released a couple of EPs, the first of those being “Bad Love.” Something about this EP made it stand out a bit more amongst other releases and the memorable melodies found on every single track made me come back to them all for repeated listens throughout the year.
9. VICTORY LANE "BAREBONES"
I’ve been a fan of Victory Lane for years, and their latest (and final) EP “Barebones” is one of my favorite releases of theirs to date. From the strong opener “Just Personal” to the more energetic “Creative Control” and ballad and closing track “Firing Line,” this EP is an unforgettable release and is one of the best releases Victory Lane have put out.
8. YOUNG CULTURE "(THIS IS) HEAVEN"
Young Culture are a band that stand out a lot in the pop punk scene, and their latest EP “(This Is) Heaven” shows their unique sound even more. This EP is filled with tracks with catchy choruses (“Drift,” “Deluxe”) and passionate performances (“Deluxe”) and is overall a really memorable release that’s only gotten better and better with each listen.
7. AWAKEN I AM "THE BEAUTY IN TRAGEDY"
The band do a great job at mixing hard hitting instrumentation and slight aggression (“Kin”) with some extremely catchy choruses (“Indifference,” “Dissolution”) and meaningful lyrics to bring powerful performances in every aspect of every single track, creating such a strong EP.
6. POINT NORTH "RETROGRADE"
Early on in 2019, Point North dropped their latest EP “Retrograde.” The fusion of pop, pop rock and slight pop punk influences is shown all throughout this EP from the catchy opener and closer (“Never Coming Home” and “Gasoline”) to the slightly more experimental tracks in between (“Wasted Art,” “Hotel Room”). The whole EP is extremely memorable front to back, and I’ve come back to it so many times all year long.
5. ARRESTED YOUTH "SOBVILLE: EPISODE I"
One of the releases that surprised me the most this year was the newest EP from Arrested Youth. Arrested Youth combine various genres, some relatable lyrical topics and undeniably catchy melodies to create songs that have made me come back for many repeated listens since the EP was released.
4. PACIFIC NERVE "FEEL ALIVE"
In the spring, Pacific Nerve released their debut EP, “Feel Alive.” The band bring a good combination of more upbeat moments (“Bliss,” “Midnight In Austin”) and slower ballads with big choruses (“Start Again,” “Awake”). Each song stands out from the rest and shows different aspects of the band’s alternative pop sound, and collectively, they make up a memorable EP.
3. YOURS TRULY "AFTERGLOW"
Yours Truly created one of the most impressive pop punk releases this year with their sophomore EP “Afterglow.” From the more upbeat numbers (“Circles,” “I Can’t Feel”) to the slightly slower ballads (“Delusional Paradise”), this EP is filled with powerful performances and is very memorable all the way through.
2. NORTHSHORE "FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH"
This EP could honestly tie with my #1 pick for the top spot. Northshore are a band that have stood out to me since the beginning of their career, and this EP is only further proof of that. From beginning to end, there’s plenty of passionate and impressive performances (“Be Heard”), catchy composition (“For What It’s Worth,” “Summer”), and this EP showed why this band continues to impress me all over again with each release.
1. HOT MILK "ARE YOU FEELING ALIVE?"
Hot Milk are another band that stood out to me from the beginning and each song proves why they stand out so much to me in the first place. The band have a great balance of catchy, upbeat and fun tracks (“Take Your Jacket”) and hard hitting anthems (“Awful Ever After”), all of which show off their promising pop rock sound.