The coronavirus pandemic has driven people indoors which subsequently has given more space for new music to be put out.
Maltese musicians worldwide have been keeping busy, especially over the best week, with a multitude of eclectic tracks being released from everyone’s home studio.
And the best part of it is that a lot of them are producing their best material yet.
With so much time on our hands, there’s that much more music to cover and we’re talking all the way from Germany’s underground to the shores of South Korea…
1. Eddie Fresco – Red Dot (ft. Witchouse 40K)
Maltese heavyweight rapper Eddie Fresco is always one to keep busy, even during a lockdown. Red Dot is the latest of his releases and features Fresco’s sinister vibe amplified by the feature from fellow T R A S H GANG rapper straight from Portland, Withchouse 40k.
2. Etnika – Lura
Maltese modern folk act etnika are back with a nostalgic piece titled Lura.
The song features the band’s signature folk sound with an array of traditional instruments and ethereal vocals that harken back to simpler times.
In keeping with the theme of the past, etnika also released a music video with various clips of Maltese life some 30 years ago.
3. Brikkuni – Fomm ir-Riħ
One of Malta’s most renowned alternative acts have dropped their first music video from their latest album, Il-Ħajja, Il-Mewt, In-Nisa.
Ironically, Fomm ir-Riħ was shot far from the shores of Malta – in South Korea to be exact – with local visual artist Franco Rizzo having shot and directed it all.
4. Chris Birdd – Right Now
If there’s anything to be said about Chris Birdd’s rap game it’s that he can turn on the burners real quick… and things start to get hot.
Unlike his previous releases, that carried more of a chilled vibe with them, Right Now is the exact opposite with Birdd embracing more of his trap side with the help of producer and guest feature, Sinxi.
5. SterjoTipi – Urini
Hope, nostalgia and unconditional love are the main themes behind StejoTipi’s latest track ‘Urini’ and it couldn’t have dropped at a better time. The pop ballad is a dedication to past generations that have shaped Maltese history and carries the message of looking forward – towards the light at the end of the tunnel.
Urini’s chorus evokes sentiments of hopefulness during these testing times and is accompanied by a touching and cleverly-made music video.
6. Alexandra Alden – Pilgrim
Life is a journey but for X Factor judge extraordinaire Alex Alden it’s best described as a pilgrim.
Pilgrim explores the endless path that one embarks on to find greater love – whomever or whatever that might be. As such, love is a journey communicated through Alden’s melodies and subtle but soothing guitar licks.
Pilgrim is the opening track off Alden’s 2018 album Wild Honey but ironically is the last one to be put on video. It was shot in Għadira Nature Reserve – an enclave for migratory birds and the perfect symbolisation of life’s journey – by MarieClaire Portelli.
7. Fattima Mahdi – Mama
Fattima Mahdi pays homage to her half-Nigerian, half-Somalian roots in her latest single in what can be described as an ethereal, passionate performance that draws on the raw emotion and connection one feels to home.
8. Jim Hickey – Love In Rewind
After a six-year hiatus, Berlin-based, Maltese-American Jim Hickey has finally made his comeback with the release of ‘Love in Rewind’.
More than just a comeback single, Live in Rewind is actually the intro to an audiobook produced by one of Germany’s biggest television companies, ProSieben.
“When I was approached by FYEO to write an opening song for the audiobooks, I had to find a way to incorporate my personal journey, which is what fuels my music, with the storyline of the audiobook … that led to ‘Love in Rewind’, a song that looks at obsessive love that evaporates into nothing overnight,” he said.
The alternative electronic pop ballad is as exciting as the news that Jim Hickey is back and plans to release a few more singles over the coming months.
9. Angelcrypt – Martyred Soul
Malta’s very own wartime melodic death metal act Angelcrypt have released their latest single Martyed Soul featuring a tonne of double bass, squealing guitar solos and guttural vocals that would get any soldier ready for battle.
The track is accompanied by a thunderous music video with snippets of the band playing as the camera flits to scenes of a soldier at war.
10. Fishcult – Malta
Maltese rap group Fishcult released a short Lo-Fi inspired, patriotic rap about Malta and its history along with snippets of the beautiful island and iconic landmarks.
11. Leonardo Barilaro – Eyesolation Mirrors & I Just Had Sax
A double dose of music from aero-space engineer and pianist Leonard Barilaro who teamed up with two different dancers on two separate occasions for a couple of piano-driven, synth tracks titled Eyesolation Mirror and I Just Had Sax.
I Just Had Sax leans heavily on the use of synth and saxophone to propel the track forward which is gracefully accompanied by an Italian pole dancer.
“It is a sort of pacific protest for the current situation of artist in the ‘productive industrialized’ society in this coronavirus situation,” he said.
BONUS: Maltese musicians team up to sing ‘When You Believe’
A group of Maltese artists got together to send a heartful message of hope during this difficult time through the power of music.
Together they sang the Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey ballad ‘When You Believe’ from the Prince of Egypt soundtrack.