I was never going to be a musician — my utter lack of ability to play any instrument, nor hold a tune when attempting to sing put paid to that dream upsettingly early in life — but I have long held a fascination with the very concept of an E.P., and what it must be like to release one.
I can’t explain why the E.P. — that’s “extended play” if you’re the kind who likes to use non-acronym names for things — has been the object of such interest for me as long as it has; it’s basically just a stopgap between single and album in terms of musical release formats, usually for something that had four or so songs on it. (As opposed to CD singles when I was younger, which often tended to have three or four songs on there but never got described as E.P.s; look, I don’t make the rules, I just get really obsessed by them.)
Nevertheless, I loved the idea of it; the very notion of creating an entire format because it didn’t fit into one category or the other. I loved the idea of it being too long and too short at the same time, and just being this other thing, instead.
The closest thing to an E.P. in terms of the written word would be… a novella, I guess? Or, in this day and age, probably something like a Kindle Single, not that that’s a format that anyone really refers to these days anymore. (Oh, the internet and digital publishing, the many pieces of wreckage you’ve left behind…!) I’ve often wished that there was a proper E.P. format for writing, and that I could release things in that format over and over again. It’s this genuinely random, inexplicable ambition that I’ve held for decades by this point, destined to never be fulfilled. And yet.