The Extended Play is a tricky beast. For many artists, it serves as an introduction – a means of dipping one’s toes into the water with a small parcel of songs and seeing what the initial reaction is. It stands to reason that if you amass lots of positive attention from fans and critics, that you’re on the right path and can safely wade into the deeper waters of a full length album. For more established artists, EPs can function as a bit of a dumping ground. Sometimes when recording an album, there are some good songs that simply don’t fit the aesthetic you were trying to cultivate, so those odds and sods wind up collected in an EP. It’s also a good stopgap measure, to keep fans engaged during the wait between full length efforts. And finally, it’s important to remember that creativity can be finite. You may head down a particular path with certain songs and themes before reaching to the conclusion after completing five or six songs that there’s nothing more you want to say or explore on the matter.

The ten artists featured on this Top EPs of 2017 list come from a variety of backgrounds and places in their careers. Most are new artists on the verge of breaking out, but there are a couple of established names in the mix too, who thankfully chose to approach their short releases with the same care as their long players. The great news is that there’s plenty to discover. Unless you’re neck deep in the hunt for quality new music, chances are you’ll see a name or two (or three) that you’ve never heard of before. Therefore, I strongly encourage you to hit play on some of the embedded tracks/videos tied to each EP on this list and get a taste of something great you might have otherwise missed. So without further ado, here are my choices for the Ten Best EPs of 2017!

There are links to buy and/or stream many of these EPs in full, but just FYI you’re also likely to find all of these on Spotify.

10. The Lemon Twigs – Brothers of Destruction [Buy at Amazon]

9. Gold Connections – Gold Connections [Buy/Stream at Bandcamp]

8. Carla dal Forno – The Garden [Buy at Bandcamp]

7. ANOHNI – Paradise [Buy at Bandcamp]

6. Palm – Shadow Expert [Buy/Stream at Bandcamp]

5. Amber Mark – 3:33AM [Buy from Amazon]

4. Strawberry Runners – In the Garden, In the Night [Buy/Stream at Bandcamp]

3. Rolling Blackout Coastal Fever – The French Press [Buy/Stream at Bandcamp]

2. Yaeji – EP2 [Buy on iTunes]

1. Kamasi Washington – The Harmony of Difference [Buy at Amazon]