I love a good EP.
While the LP and it’s meaty 33 RPM format will always be the industry leader just for how much better the effort:music ratio is on the turntable, the EP is perhaps the most useful introduction in music history. Two songs, two sides; limited time commitment. It’s pretty easy to get heard when you’re not asking for much airtime.
This week, we’re featuring three acts with EPs on the horizon. Though they span an expanse of genres and sounds, 60 percent of the artists below recognize the power of getting in someone’s ear with a brief and condensed project and using it to build a long-term audience for the LP. Check out the videos below, and give their short-runs some love when they finally do hit the market.
Jack Klatt -- “Roadrunner” (PREMIERE)
Countrified singer-songwriter Jack Klatt might not have an EP to release this week, but he’s throwing a release party for his latest video, “Roadrunner," at the Turf Club on Friday.
We’re having our own littler release party here at Local Frames, as Klatt has dropped off the Erik Nelson-directed visuals for you internet enjoyment. In the video, Klatt and his band gather firewood, drink hot toddies, and smoke cigarettes to get away from the blight of January cold. As they revel in the backyard, they bullshit around and get warmer, rendering the falling snow useless against their good time.
“Roadrunner” comes from Klatt’s 2016 release Shadows in the Sunset, which was lovingly reviewed by Youa Vang last May.
Corleone Banks -- “Shine” (feat. Dwynell Roland)
In the rap game, it’s easy to get disillusioned by the traditional definitions of success. The genre is so much about getting shine that it can feel like a slap in the face when the major labels, gold chains, and MTV coverage don’t follow your hustle. But north Minneapolis’ Corleone Banks is here with a message that good things come to all those who wait.
Directed by Neo Film Movement, Banks’ new video for “Shine” shows a menacing scene. Banks and co-star Dwynell Roland appear in sinister face paint with hammers as they interrogate and terrorize a man tied to a chair. It’s unclear what their intention is, but the source of their aggression is obvious -- they’re sick of being overlooked and ready to do something about it.
“Shine” comes from Banks’ upcoming project 6ONE2.
Scoundrel Spence and Afro Keys -- “Kick It Up a Notch”
It’s hard to disagree with the title of Scoundrel Spence and Afro Keys’ new collaborative EP, Fuck the Dumb Shit. The carefree title is headlined by the new video for “Kick It Up a Notch,” where the emcee Spence flows coolly and freely over his homie Afro Keys’ sample-laden boom-bap beat. Embodying the laid back-but-antagonistic vibe, Spence challenges his peers to up their game, name-dropping famous TV chef Emeril Lagasse in his lighthearted diss.
M&A Production take care of the video work on the video, which pretty simply features Spence running around town unspooling his bars. Everything about the project -- from Spence’s rhymes to Keys’ production to M&A’s direction -- feels fun and fresh. It actually feels like the pair are enjoying themselves, which is sadly rare in hip-hop today.
For a glimpse of how much fun Spence is having, check out his self-started Twitter hashtag #FucktheDumbShit.
Deleter -- “Psychic Psychologist”
Like the preceding LP, the EP is replete with rapid, frenetic punch-ups -- take, for example, new single “Psychic Psychologist,” which burns to an end in less time than it takes you to microwave popcorn. Beginning with the setting of a microwave, “Psychic Psychologist” shows singer/bandleader Knol Tate struggling in his mechanical, procedural relationship with his psychologist. Sickened by the prescriptions given to him, he rustles around his bed in an insomniac fit, eventually vomiting up the medication.
As the video goes on, the countdown of the microwave feels more and more like a timebomb, showing Tate’s mental stability as it degrades to the point of explosion.
The Crash Bandits -- “Recover”
Hey, remember Knol Tate? That dude I was talking about literal inches above? Well, he engineered and produced Procrastinator, the recent EP from the Crash Bandits.
Like “Psychic Psychologist,” “Recover” involves unsuccessful self-care. In the video, the band chase their paralytic hangovers by doing yoga and drinking Miller High Life, all the while wondering why they can’t manage to take care of themselves properly.
The song itself is a fun pop-punkish romp that quickly brings up comparisons to naughties post-hardcore band I Am the Avalanche. If the tone and content of “Recover” strikes you, also check out “Nervous Wreck” from Procrastinator. If both are enticing, maybe check out their show Tuesday night at the Triple Rock.
Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected]