I have no hard data to back this up, but I suspect that EPs play a larger role in the world of cover songs than they do elsewhere. In the wider world, EPs tend to be an afterthought, a set of rejects or remixes that may or may not be worthwhile. People pay little attention to EPs, and artists act accordingly, saving their real statements for the full-lengths. In our world, though, we see as many EPs as we do proper albums, and they’re every bit as good. An artist may hesitate to put out a “cover album” – still a loaded term in some circles – but in the age of Garageband and Bandcamp, it’s only too easy to record a half dozen covers and toss ‘em out between albums. Therefore, in honor of the EP’s prominence in our world, we present our favorite EPs of 2011 (with an MP3 from each).
Back in 2007, Okkervil River released their free Golden Opportunities covers mixtape. It featured Will Sheff and co. paying homage to some of their favorite songs and songwriters. Four years later, that mixtape has a sequel, in the form of the Golden Opportunities 2 EP. The five tracks find the band digging even deeper than before, covering songs by Bill Fay, Ted Lucas, Jim Sullivan, and David McComb (via his band the Triffids).