#1: Lyla Foy – UMi
We said when reviewing UMi that we expected it to feature in our end of year lists and so it has come to pass that the lady responsible for our favourite album of 2014, has delivered our favourite EP of 2015. To say we love Lyla Foy is something of an understatement but even we were pleasantly surprised by just how damn beautiful UMi is.
We said at the time that ”listening to Lyla is like looking at a fine piece of art or a stained glass window. You are instantly struck by the beauty and brilliance but you can come to it time and time again and still get lost, still find new details to enchant and enthrall. Here, as well as the details, the six tracks of UMi melt into one great swirling soundscape, all majestic and magnificent like a cosmic wilderness of stars, nebulae and galaxies”.
The whole thing is just divine, completely hypnotically beautiful with its melancholy, its heart and its gooey caramel loveliness. We’ve talked of Lyla’s crystalline vocal countless times before but hers is a voice we never tire of hearing as it drifts out, fragile and delightful at the same time over these wondrous creations of hers.
If you haven’t heard it already, we heartily recommend picking up UMi and letting it wash over you one cold winter’s eve.
Buy Umi from: Lyla’s Bandcamp page.
#2: Rag’N’Bone Man – Disfigured
Another voice we could listen to for hours on end belongs to Rory Graham, aka Rag’N’Bone Man. His remarkably rich and raw vocals, that are steeped in soul, hip-hop and gospel influences is just so evocative and emotional that you can’t help but get swept away by it.
His second EP, Disfigured, had an almost evangelical quality to it, heartfelt and emotional, strident and rousing, thought provoking and considered. Yet it is also dark in places, brooding and sullen without ever losing its emotional heart and without ever sounding anything less than superb. His deep, powerful vocal taking you by the hand, leading on to glory one minute and conveying the kind of gravitas and emotion that brings tears to eyes and touches the soul the next. We bloody love it.
Buy Disfigured from: iTunes
#3: Vallis Alps – Vallis Alps
Almost a year ago to the day, the Australia-America duo of Vallis Alps appeared out of nowhere and blew the blog world away with their debut, self-titled EP. One year on and we are still utterly in love with their gorgeous blend of cool electronics and warm vocals. The wispy melodies swirl delicately over sparse, sometimes kaleidoscopic synth lines and beats as the four tracks entrance and enchant. It’s subtly infectious (“Oh” will have you nodding your head without you even realising) and sublime in its intricate, intelligent and beautiful majesty.
Buy Vallis Alps from: Vallis Alps
Others We’ve Loved
In no particular order…
FKA Twigs – M3LL155X
Grace Mitchell – Raceday
Lyza Jane – Milk Teeth
Transviolet – Transviolet
The Japanese House – Clean
The Japanese House – Pools To Bathe In
Blonde Maze – Oceans
Bea – Songs of 2K11