While I know it’s only September, in just a few months time, the year will be over and then I would’ve needed to at least have a list at the ready, to have 1- whatever of songs, EP’s and albums that were my standouts throughout the year. So I started to think, and compose a list. In this special post, I will unveil my favourite 20 EP’s 2016 has to offer. While the year isn’t certainly over (3 months to go), most, if not all of these 20 EPs, are so impactful, that even if another EP were to release that I was fond of, it probably wouldn’t even be in my 20 anyway…then again, who knows (EP’s from last year that weren’t in my list were ones from Hannah Kerr and Hollyn, which upon hindsight, should’ve been included). Anyway, enough preamble. Here’s my top 20 EPs that have made a great impact on myself both spiritually as well as enjoyableness.
A&LA- Austin and Lindsey Adamec
While it is nevertheless a bittersweet moment to see Lindsey leave 1 Girl Nation, I am thoroughly excited for the husband-wife duo, and the journey God has placed both Lindsey and Austin on in the upcoming years ahead. A definite for anyone who loves worship music, loves indie music, or both; Austin and Lindsey, with the release of these 6 tracks, are certain to continue their impact to many more listeners in the upcoming months ahead.
Enough EP- Schyler Dixon
Sky’s EP from a production standpoint is beyond anything I’ve heard recently, it’s that good- you wouldn’t even know she was an independent artist if I didn’t tell you. That’s the beauty of Sky’s music- it is accessible to the person who enjoys a lot of label based Christian artists on K-Love, as well as impacting the person who loves independent music as well, namely indie worship. Enough EP is one of my favourites this year, and while it may take a bit of time for Sky to be recognised and signed to a label (if that is her wish), I will nevertheless be a fan of her music in the months and years to come!
Chain Breaker EP- Zach Williams
Zach Williams’ first effort under Provident Label Group as a Christian artist is nothing short of unique, powerful and impacting as this EP shoots up my list of favourite EP’s of 2016, to be in the top 5. While Zach may not be as popular as any other Christian artist that is popular today, what Zach does have is raw honesty and heart. This EP is real, and each track I’m sure will speak to different people on different levels. And to say that “Chain Breaker” never made it on my list of three songs from the EP that are must-listens, it says the calibre of Zach and his music.
Love Chased Me- The Thomas Sisters
The Thomas Sisters have just released their first EP, yet hearing this EP, it feels like I’ve heard them for years…and that is a good thing. For their similarities to artists like BarlowGirl, LoveCollide and The Sonflowerz will be a great asset for the duo, as they continue to venture into indie worship. Will they be signed in the future? Maybe, maybe not. But regardless, this is a group to certainly be on the lookout for. Hopeful and humble, encouraging and energetic, the sisters have carved 6 songs full of meaning and purpose, as Love Chased Me continues to soar into some of my favourite EP’s of 2016 thus far.
Undefeated EP- Tauren Wells
Tauren’s first solo effort is nothing short of powerful and unique, as he continues to remind us that even if a band ceases to exist, that doesn’t mean that the members (or in this case, the lead singer) also disband from music as well. Just like how Peter Furler continued music after his own departure from the Newsboys, so has Tauren Wells shown us that his time serving the community and ministering to others through music is not done yet.
Live Sessions Vol. 2- For All Seasons
What is unique about this set of songs is that you virtually hear no crowd…which is what the band wanted in the first place. These songs are uniquely crafted and created with just one take- all the vocals and music recorded all at once, with everyone in the same room. No crowd, no distractions, just them, their instruments and voices, all in the same room, and all recorded with one take. Pretty awesome, right? While the band may seem on the surface like any other worship movement that is popular at the moment (think Jesus Culture meets Desperation Band meets Hillsong and you can probably guess what For All Seasons sound like), For All Seasons nevertheless deliver 7 songs full of enthusiasm and passion, and while at times I may have wanted more original tracks and less covers, the arrangements of well-known songs that they do record is nothing short of awe-inspiring and heartfelt, as the band continues to assert their prominence in today’s CCM/worship music scene.
Scarlet Fade Worship- Scarlet Fade
Scarlet Fade Worship EP has introduced me to a group that has been under the radar for many years. As indie as they are, their passion and enthusiasm in this collection of songs is nothing less than infectious and joyous, as these three siblings focus foremost on giving us songs that can be used in church settings. Why they are not signed, I don’t know. But then again, maybe they don’t want to be. Artists like LoveCollide and The Sonflowerz have thrived in releasing albums independently, so why can’t Scarlet Fade? This is a great worship EP if you enjoy worship music, artists like LoveCollide and The Sonflowerz, independent music, or all of the above.
This is Love EP- Sanctus Real
Just like how Michael Tait and his style was drastically distinct and different to Peter Furler’s, Dustin Lolli’s new approach will still bring to us a band very much invigorated, poignant and encouraging, as the band ventures into a new season, delivering songs like “This is Love”, a hard hitting track about what love means against the backdrop of orchestral rock, a song that I’m sure will be a hit in the future amongSanctus Real enthusiasts and first time listeners alike. Since releasing their much loved Best-Of project back in October 2015, this new 3 song EP is only a taste to what the band will sound like from here on. While fans of Matt’s singing may take a while to be on board with this vocalist change, what the band still has is a heart for songs about hope and encouragement.
Resonate: A Ripple To a Wave- LoveCollide
Formed with sisters Lauren and Brooke DeLeary, the band LoveCollide has delivered sonically, stylistically and musically on their self-titled debut released in 2014, and now with their new album releasing April 29th, we see a sense of maturity, and songs that still inspire, evoke emotion and motivation, as well as encourage us to resonate to the people we are in relationship with- that once our resonation of God’s love is shown to the world, it’ll spark into a ripple, impacting everyone who comes in contact with us in our daily walk in Christ.
Magen Thurman EP- Magen Thurman
What can I say about Magen that I haven’t said about her already? That she is a great worship leader, and quite possibly the only drawback of the EP is that it was too short? That she quite possibly is one of the emerging voices in worship music for 2016? Her EP may not necessarily be that known, or even that popular. But that doesn’t discount the fact of the truth- Magen Thurman is a very talented worship leader, and this EP is proof of the fact. She may still take some time to be noticed or even popular. But if she continues in her craft, something good will happen- it may be soon or not, but regardless, Magen has earned one more fan (myself) through hearing this EP.
The Colour EP- Chandler Roberts
The Narrow Sea- Erik Nieder
Recalculating EP 2- Paul Colman
Bold Love- Rebekah White
Chasing the Wind EP- Katelyn McCarter
Dear Life- Nicole Coley
All Over the World- Northern Wonder
Christ Be Everything EP- Shelly E. Johnson
Never Going Back- Adam Cappa
I’ll Follow You EP- The Rubyz
So there you have it, my favourite EP’s of the year (and most likely, by the end of the year- the list probably won’t change at all, but you never know…)
Anyway, what has been your impacting EP’s of 2016 so far? Any EP’s from my list made an impact in yourselves physically, spiritually and any other way? Let us know in the comments. Stay tuned for the top 30 songs of the year releasing on this site in October, and the top 30 albums releasing on this site in November. Sound off in the comments. Til next time.