There are many facets to Maltese culture; one which we are immensely proud of is our colourful and vast music scene. One might think that we limit ourselves to the yearly Eurovision entry, or our traditional “Għana”, but in reality, our national talent stretches far beyond that. Here are some local bands that are making an impact in (and beyond) Malta this year:
Mistura is a Maltese band to be proud of: their lyrics are composed solely in Maltese, and whilst being politically motivated, they set out to make their listeners think and contemplate current affairs, in and beyond the island. Meet the band: Antonio Olivari is behind the thought-provoking lyrics (and some pretty funky guitar riffs), Malcolm Bonnici is the lead singer/ guitarist/ lyricist and official jokester of the group, Matthew Agius is the laid back and groovy bassist, and Mark Andrew Azzopardi is the drummer/ eye-candy of the band. Their musical genre is a nostalgic mix of classic rock with a funky twist, reminiscent of Pink Floyd, Queen, Muse, Radiohead, amongst other influences. You could catch their live performance on the 19th of January in Valletta for Valletta 2018’s Opening Week for Music and Theatre, at Sala San Duminku Community Theatre.
Courtesy of Mistura’s Facebook Page
2. Eyes to Argus
With a new album launched in October 2017, this band is on a steep ascent to fame amongst avid Maltese music connoisseurs, and it is safe to say that they’re well on the way to achieving international popularity. The band was founded in 2013, by Samwel Mallia, Ben Mifsud Joslin and Robert Farrugia. The drummer/ percussionist Kristian Schembri joined the band in 2015. Eyes to Argus offer an experimental and atmospheric sound, with influences ranging from post-rock to jazz, Radiohead to Russian Circles; yet the aim has always been to set a mood for audiences, rather than confining the band to a set genre. Check their new album “VEER”, out on Spotify here, or catch them on the 23rd and 24th of February 2018, at the Valletta Campus Theatre, opening for the Italian post-rock outfit Mokadelic.
The “Femmetastic” (their appropriately named second EP) girl duo band “Fuzzhoneys” is comprised of Francesca (guitar/vocals) and Caroline (drums/tambourine). It was founded way back in 2012, the typical story of two music fanatics who found that they share a mutual love and understanding of The Doors, The Beatles, Blur, The White Stripes and The Black Keys, amongst others. Their biography immediately sets out a motto for the band, “no rules, but to express”, and their sound has been described as “DIY”- a solely unique. Their debut EP was aptly named “Tal-Genn”, a Maltese phrase meaning “amazing”, and truly it is just that and more. They are currently touring the UK, follow their Facebook page for more updates on their adventures!
4. Plato’s Dream Machine
This Maltese band has been around since 2009, developing and evolving ever since. Members came and went, yet Robert Farrugia Flores (the band’s lead vocals and lyricist) consistently stuck to the band, and now, together with Mark Abela, Samwel Grima, Francesco Sultana and Daniel Sant, the band is in ship-shape and ready to perform. Their cited influences are Atoms for Peace, Radiohead and Leonard Cohen amongst others, and their main genre is synth-pop. Catch them on the 3rd of March at The Garage, Zebbug, for a live performance, and listen to their highly acclaimed second album entitled “GUF” on spotify!
5. The Violent Violets
This three piece band, comprised of André Farrugia on bass, Matthew Shields on guitar and vocals, and Samuel Xiberras on drums, started out in 2009, but the members knew each other way back from when they were students at a secondary school in Malta. They’ve since evolved into a post-punk/alternative band, performing live for the first time in 2011, and had later found themselves performing with local bands and even international artists, such as Joe Gideon & The Shark and Tall Ships. Their debut album, entitled “Tame”, came out in 2014, to raving reviews. They’re currently rehearsing and writing new material, so keep an eye out for them this year!