13) Never Born, Never Dead by Trophy Scars
This year I was introduced to the concept of a concept EP. I’ve always had a sort of dismissal stance on EPs for the primary reason that they often don’t have the binding feature that makes a great album. This release not only has the confidence of an album, but executes its concept better than most. As if that wasn’t enough to sell me, this band’s sound is fascinating: A sort of experimental southern rock which takes the dramatic flair of a band like The Dear Hunter while still maintaining its gospel based soul. This is obviously a labor of love, everything from the gravely voice the singer picks up for certain characters to the carefully selected post-rock-like samples show that this band put a lot of time and thought into everything they were doing. Trophy Scars have shown me this year that it’s not the size that counts, but the effort put into it.