George Maple has yet to release her upcoming five-song EP, “Vacant Space”, but I just wanted to post about it to help set your sights on it now. I first heard a single from the EP on the artist’s soundcloud page back in January and wrote about it. Initially, the song was labled “George Maple X Slime ‘Began to Say'”. Since then, the artist has taken it down, perhaps because she could sense, from the response, just how good a track it was and that it deserved a more official release. It’s a good move. (Though, thankfully, there’s a YouTube stream proving the beauty of its existence, quenching my urge to hear it endlessly.) The Sydney-turned-London girl has been streaming a song called “Talk Talk” as a teaser for the EP, and it’s a beauty too. Strangely, I’ve only just heard it now. The release date for “Vacant Space” had been scheduled roughly for October, but a link posted by Maple at her facebook page links to an I-Tunes pre-order with a release date in November. Maple says on facebook there will also be a hard-copy version of the record in white vinyl. So, why am I writing this? Well, maybe it only matters to me at this point, but I wanted to say that I still think what I thought back in January. After all the songs I’ve heard so far this year, “Began to Say” is about as good as it gets. Yes, it’s one of my favorite 10 tracks or so of 2014 — with its subtle ear for blending the worlds of soul and glitchy electronics with smoky lyrical rapture. “Is it all or nothing?” she intones on the stunning track. Amen. It’s clear she has many musical influences. The track reminds me of Meshell Ndegeocello. There’s something else going on here, seeping through the cracks of Maple’s soul foundation. It seems she’s like the rest of us music lovers who can dig Ella Fitzgerald as much as James Blake or Alicia Keys. It’s the fusing of popular R&B sound with eclecticism. Be on the lookout for this record, or pre-order it now at I-Tunes. Follow Ms. Maple at facebook and twitter. — David D. Robbins Jr.