What a year it has been. For the musicians out there, it has been particularly tough with live performances coming to a complete standstill because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, with no one to perform to, some Maltese musicians took to the studio and put their heads down, releasing some creative and emotional tracks reflecting on the turbulent times we’ve gone through.
With Christmas just days away, there’s no better way to get into the spirit than to put on some festive jingles – and Maltese musicians have provided on that front.
Check out the latest tracks released by Maltese musicians just in time for Christmas!
1. SterjoTipi – Oażi ft. Amber
The well-established Maltese pop band SterjoTipi has released their final track off their debut EP, Mostri, titled Oażi.
The song features locally-renowned singer Amber who together with the band passes on a message of hope as we look towards a post-COVID world.
The track, an upbeat pop ballad, is accompanied by a music video of the four piece and Amber performing live. A violinist, Maria Cini, also joins the band in the atmospheric setting.
The song is a tribute to the elderly, vulnerable and the musician who was stripped from spreading the love and performing in front of crowds this year due to the ongoing pandemic.[embedded content]
2. Carlo Muscat – Wool
Three months after recording his fourth jazz album, Maltese saxophonist Carlo Muscat has finally released Wool.
Recorded in Ukraine, the project features a collection of original compositions that Carlo has amassed over the past ten years. It features some of the most well established musicians in Kiev who accompany Muscat throughout the album including Yuriy Seredin on piano, Konstantin Ionenko on double bass, and Oleg Markov at the drums.
3. Joon & Bark Bark Disco – ‘Til The End
Joon and Ian Schranz’s Bark Bark Disco have joined forces once again, this time for a Christmas anthem… with a twist.
‘Til The End is a Christmas and protest song released on LA record label, Italians Do It Better, and embodies the sentiments of a bleak year defined by lack of social interactions and significant movements around the world; Black Lives Matters, Polish pro-choice and the Paris protests.
“After this unusual year we changed gear and went for a more protest-orientated track, trying to capture an emotion that had a Christmas feeling but was more melancholic,” the duo said.
The song features a music video of the many civil protests around the world that took place this year.[embedded content]
4. Leonardo Barilaro – Space Xmas
Ahead of Isaac Newton’s birthday (which coincidentally falls on December 25th), aerospace engineer and pianist Leonardo Barilaro has released a new EP aptly titled Space Xmas.
The EP is a trilogy of piano, hacked piano and synth and is dedicated to Science as whole and to debunking conspiracy theories.
“Leonardo urges everyone to make fun of conspiracy theories about flat earth, vaccines, moon landing and now COVID-19, and to wipe them out with a laugh,” a press release said.
5. Malta Philharmonic Orchestra – When The Arts Came To Town
The Malta Philharmonic Orchestra is here to spread Christmas cheer with a message about the importance of the Arts, especially during a year where there’s been a lack of it.
When The Arts Came To Town follows a story of a family of artists helping Santa Claus deliver presents and acting as harbingers of positivity. Though they’ve been affected greatly by the pandemic, the Arts community offers a source of motivation for society to adapt and get back to a new normal.
Produced in collaboration with the Malta Film Commission, the video features the MPO performing a music composition by Daniel Cauchi inspired by the traditional carol Ninni, La Tibkix Iżjed.[embedded content]
6. Amber – O’ Lejl Tas-Skiet
Amber has fully embraced the festive season this year, releasing her own cover of Silent Night in Maltese.
This rendition of Silent Night aims to create more awareness about the Arts, and the importance that needs to be given to them during these difficult times. In the artwork, Amber sits alone in a theatre, a juxtapositing image of what we are normally used to during the festive season.[embedded content]
7. Karhys – Ħanini
Maltese-Italian independent artist Karhys has released her latest single, Ħanini, an ethereal pop track. Ħanini is sung in English but with a touch of Maltese in the course. Karhys has featured on Rolling Stones Italy and has had some airtime on local radio stations.[embedded content]
8. Ben Bailey – Memories
Local musician Ben Bailey’s latest track, Memories, is a blues/retro inspired piece with a modern sound that draws in 80’s and pop music lovers.
Memories is accompanied by a music video that takes us back to the 80’s in a bowling alley with Ben taking on the role of the boy next door in a rom-com.[embedded content]
9. Andrea Britton and Keith Anthony – Sing Out Yourself
Performing artists Keith Anthony and Andrea Britton have joined forces on a self-penned Christmas track titled Sing Out Yourself.
The song has been released in order to help raise funds for a new online entertainment series in aid of the Performing Arts in both Malta and Gozo. Backdoor Jam will feature local and international artists performing at Zeppi’s in Gozo whose sets will be streamed online via YouTube.
You can support the initiative by purchasing the single or donating to the series.[embedded content]
10. Where IT’s ATT – Sounds Of The Street
Maltese-Australian brother duo Where It’s ATT have released the deluxe version of their debut album, Sounds Of The Street.
“The support we’ve seen for our album is super humbling,” the duo said. “The album tells a personal story for us, about our journey to find a sound that represents us and fighting for acceptance in the industry. We couldn’t be happier that we released this independently and want to inspire other artists to do the same,” they said.
Sounds Of The Street has accumulated over two million streams on Spotify and a further two million streams across all other platforms.
11. Dav. Jr and Matt Blxck – Maria
Drawing inspirations from two different ends of the pop spectrum, Dav. JR and Matt Blxck have combined their energy and creative juices to create this collaborative track, Maria.
This song was written at a time where both Matt and Dav. Jr itched for better days. Between self-isolation and going through two heart-breaking family losses, the pair wanted to let loose and invite us for a carefree experience.[embedded content]
12. Owen Leuellen – Dark Days
Maltese rapper Owen Leuellen is back with some fire beats and bars in a track titled Dark Days. A deep and introspective track that explores the inner workings of the rapper’s mind, Dark Days shows that the X Factor runner up has what it takes to get more serious with his music and take it to the next level.[embedded content]
13. Il-Lokko – Mela Hekk Man
Maltese rapper Il-Lokko has come out all guns blazing with his latest track, Mela Hekk Man. With a hard-hitting drum beat and trap beats to accompany him, Il-Lokko takes the front seat in this track and spits out some mean rhymes for three minutes striaght.[embedded content]