Dayton EPs: Top local short-form releases of 2023



There were a lot of singles and albums released by Dayton acts this year, but we can’t overlook the EP format. Here are five artists with multiple shortform projects in 2023.

Eman Jones: The Dayton rapper offered up three killer EPs in 2023. He released the three-song “The Resolution” followed by “Sincerely Yours,” a three-song collaboration with local R&B singer Luther Suede. Then there’s “Scary Season 2.” With seven songs and a run time just under 25 minutes, it’s a very long EP. These songs would make one great album, but the EPs stand as individual works. Jones was wise to spread them out.

J Fletch: The Dayton-based creator of instrumental lo-fi beats released more than 40 standalone singles in 2023 but also dropped two EPs. Chill Moon Music released the four-song “Dream Chasing” with Toti Cisneros, and Fletch self-released “Worlds Apart,” a three-song collaboration with Nessen.

Wreck League: Up-and-coming indie rockers are turning heads with a sound that recalls 1980s acts like the Smiths and Orange Juice. There was plenty to enjoy with two killer EPs: the seven-song “Break of Time” and the five-song “Water Eyes.”

The Creepy Crawlers: This band is an offshoot of Chad Wells’ psychedelic rock act Cricketbows but with a horror punk approach. Mosquito Hawk Exquisite Recordings released the group’s five-song “Attack!” and “Full Moon Rituals,” a six-song EP, was released by HorrorShock Records.

Josh Johnson: This blues rock musician first came to local prominence as a drummer, but he does much more. Johnson released a trio of three-song EPs in the later part of 2023. “Giddy Up” and “Madrid Dreams” were solo recordings, while “Slow Down” has guest appearances from guitarists Casey Ott and Noah Wotherspoon.

Best of the rest

There were EPs from big name acts like the archival “The Predator Nominate” from Brainiac and Hawthorne Heights’ “Lost Lights.” There were impressive debuts like “The Introduction of Charnae ThaVoice” from rapper-singer Charnae ThaVoice and the self-titled EP from punk upstarts Bomb Bunny.

If you’re looking for eclectic music, there was “I Am Experienced,” Mike Bankhead’s exploration of African American music, and RIND’s “Nectar of the Gods.” On the indie folk tip, there’s “An EP” from Gran Gran, the Nautical Theme’s “Get Somewhere” and “Imtakingyourpictureimwritingyoudown” from Kris N.

There was also reformed emo band Shadyside’s “Higher Plans,” “Trio” from a cappella group NexDetour, rapper Lamar Towles’ “Lover Boy” and “Five Tragedies” from indie rockers the Special Dark.

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