“When in Rome,” goes the famous saying. Settling in to a new country is not just about sorting out your paperwork, finding a place to live and getting a job. Once your basics are taken care of, it’s time to live a little! Therefore, get your playlist updated with some lovely tunes.
From the newbies on the stage to the veterans, we bring you the crème de la crème of music: made in Malta.
The Real Malta presents – our top 10 picks of Maltese bands worth knowing.
And now, without further ado, here are our favourites.
They say: Re-Inventing and re-defining Maltese Pop Music.
“We came, we saw, we …………”
We say: If Malta had more rainy days, Brikkuni would be about 10x more popular. They make you listen, think and get a little bit melancholic. Enjoy some alone time and get your inner artist on with them. Their earlier work is an interesting mix of pop and folk, with a twist of French and a hint of Greek. However, be sure to check out their new album Rub Al Khali as well, which adds a whole new layer to the band’s work and strays quite a bit from their previous style.
9. No Bling Show
Play: Lucija u Samwel
They say: Reġaw tfaċċaw.. [They’re back..]
“Our songs speak about issues in society like the drug epidemic, prejudices and political management. Anything that bugs you about society, we speak about openly.”
We say: Not only is this an excellent example of a thriving culture of hip-hop in Malta, but No Bling Show is a lot more than just “for show”. Combined with a great beat and flowing vocals, their lyrics mean business and touch upon subjects that really matter.
Play: Kemm jiena Cool!!
They say: Il-Brodu hija rock band mhux dixxiplinata b’elementi minn stili oħrajn bħall-funk, il-blues u d-doom metal. [Brodu is a rock band without a particular discipline, with elements from other styles like funk, blues and doom-metal.]
We say: A great pick for the weirdos out there who love something a little different and know how to appreciate good music. And as a bonus – humour is not lost on these guys. They’re sure to bring your inner punk out or at the very least, get your leg thumping to the rhythm.
7. Plato’s Dream Machine
They say: PLATO’S DREAM MACHINE is one of the most exciting music bands in Malta. They describe their music as “metaphysical rock.” In an article in The Sunday Circle, Mark Debono writes about how “Plato’s Dream Machine have gone from being a folk act to one of Malta’s most exciting alternative bands” that has “a strong following.”
We say: Hell yeah! We most definitely love their experiments and enjoy the results. A bit of mystery, but just enough simplicity to get you into the groove. Perfect for anyone identifying as a hipster and for those interested in the new Maltese, not-so-much-underground-anymore culture.
6. Red Electrick
Play: Who the Heck is Rek?!
They say: Theirs is a sound collectively influenced by both the bluesy swagger of 70s rock and a more contemporary lilt that flaunts as much groove as it does grit, all delivered with an encompassing ray of Mediterranean sunshine that probably explains the upbeat feeling their music effortlessly projects.
We say: Red Electrick is probably one of the best known names from our list in the Maltese music scene. Popular or not, we love them just the same. They have the swag, one might say. The best part is, they do just as good as a perfect party starter as they do for a dreamy Sunday drive. Check out their Young Again to get you swaying to a beautiful melody. Also, prepare the tissues.
They say: A little bit punk, a little bit indie, a dash of ska and reggae and a whole lot of rock; that, along with a sprinkling of pop is essentially the recipe for the music that nosnow/noalps have been making for the past decade.
We say: Wait, they’re Maltese?? Are you sure?! But.. they’re so good! Great easy listening, and sure to get your hips going. We love their sound, we love their attitude, we love their upbeat action. Just enough of rock, plenty of ska and the sprinkle of pop signs it up to our favourites playlist.
4. Bark Bark Disco
Play: Let’s Do This
They say: Bark Bark Disco is a band from the island of Malta and Berlin that formed in August 2010. Their debut concert was with Bonnie Prince Billy in a masonic cemetery in Valletta. Bark Bark Disco are part of the So Lo-Fi music movement.
We say: Honestly, how can you not love their empowering message and overflowing positivity? Especially in light of some recent news about certain spring time activities in the sunny Malta. We feel Bark Bark Disco might have just been far ahead of their time when releasing their Let’s Do This (take note of the video as well, of course). Sometimes, returning to the liberal 70s is exactly what we need.
3. Airport Impressions
They say: Latest album Mariette perfectly captures the band’s musical journey to date; its twelve songs reflecting a versatility that has evolved over the years. Embracing pop and rock as much as it does country and indie folk, its songs blend all of these elements to find their own place on this record.
We say: Well, who doesn’t know Airport Impressions? Anyone who’s spent even a little bit of time in Malta with a radio playing in the vicinity has surely happened upon one of their songs. And for a good reason. Their vibes are just great and the good stuff just keeps on coming. You’re sure to find a song of theirs to match any mood on any day.
They say: An unlikely mix of artists, characters and instruments, *etnika’s sound layers enchanting melancholy with traditional tunes & lyrics over effected guitars, retro-futuristic synths, unconventional percussion and footwork, deep, groovy bass, raspy sax, haunting whispery vocals and old Maltese instruments.
We say: Possibly one the most beautiful creations that has come from Malta to date. *etnika magically combines the essence of Malta with modern times. And they bring the best of both worlds. Imagine yourself on a night time drive, through the dark and empty streets, reflecting upon the day and feeling amazing. That is what their music does.
1. The Travellers
They say: The Travellers is a folk, reggae, pop band from Gozo established in 2013. The band got together in 2013, with one aim in mind, that of trying to create something different in the already wide diversified local music scene.
We say: Well, colour me impressed. As one of the more recent reasons to reacquaint yourself with those fuzzy feelings of boyband crushes, The Travellers more than deserves to be on top of our list. They came with Sempliċità and are here to stay. Their beautiful songs are not only soothing for the ears, but also carry a deeper meaning and a message. Prefect reason to learn Maltese, I say! And the fact that they’re all Gozo boys makes us love them just so much more.
We showed you ours, now show us yours. What are your favourite Maltese bands? Do you feel we missed someone from our list that most definitely deserves to be here? Share the good music, the world deserves to know!
Article illustration created with the help of Freepik.