Maltese band nosnow/noalps is about to celebrate its 10th year anniversary with a huge gig, a documentary about their adventures around the world, and big plans for the future. Here’s our rundown of what makes them one of the island’s most accomplished bands.
1. They’ve performed with some of the biggest names in the Maltese music scene
It all started in June 2007, when a new Maltese four-piece band appeared on the block, opening up for local alternative giants The Areola Treat. Performing a short 30 minute set, the band impressed the audience from the get-go. The chemistry of old friends Nick Morales and bassist Daniel Cassar, coupled with the sheer energy of Darko Strnisa on drums and the soft, sweet vocals of Sarah Falzon instantly captured people’s attention.
Over the couple of months that followed, nosnow/noalps opened for the legendary Beangrowers’ album launch, toured with Red Electrick and Ira Losco, and played alongside various members of the alternative scene.
2. They have one of the most impressive collections of music videos on the island
NSNA’s music videos have always been an integral part of their releases. The 2008 video for one of their earliest tracks Headset was nominated for the Best Video Award, and the releases that followed it kept getting more and more traction.
In April 2011, the release of their single Far Into The Night ushered not only a new era of music for the band with their debut album ROMANTIKPOLITIK, but also a new era of music videos that would dominate YouTube with thousands of views.
With the release of their latest EP GO GO GO GO in 2014, nosnow/noalps returned with their usual brand of great music videos. Two recent highlights are definitely the music videos for Kaleidoscopes and Disappear, which have in total racked up some 15,000 views on YouTube.
3. The band’s lineup has over the years included a long list of musicians from different scenes
While only Nick and Sarah remain from the original 2007 line-up nowadays, an impressive list of musicians have throughout this last decade been asked to join the ranks of nosnow/noalps. These include jazz drum and bass duo Manuel Pulis and Alan Portelli, Marie Borg from the alternative scene’s sweethearts Stolen Creep, Danish backup singer Mai Skjødt, and current latest additions Benji Cachia, Bertram Cachia and Leona Farrugia.
4. They’ve toured all over Europe, taking the Maltese lifestyle with them
Just a couple of months after forming in 2008, nosnow/noalps were already flying to Copenhagen to play a couple of shows there. When their debut album was released three years later, NSNA followed it up by hitting the road for performances in London, Paris, Copenhagen, Austria and an Italian tour in 2012.
A completely new chapter for the band started in April 2013, when NSNA moved to Copenhagen for a few months with a new line-up. By this point, Nick Morales was the only original member left, but he made sure to turn the energy up a couple of notches. By the end of the year, a new single called N.E.W. was launched on Italy’s Rolling Stone, followed by a couple of other mini-tours and endless appearances around Malta.
Summer 2016 saw the band playing a couple of acclaimed festivals in Denmark and Italy with over 1,000 people in attendance.
5. Their songs have always held a strong activist undertone
The band’s name came to Nick after he watched Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth and enjoyed a flight over the Alps where he noticed there was no snow in January. The name reflects the awareness that nosnow/noalps have tried to raise on important issues like climate change. From the days of Taking My Time, the very first single that the band released (chanting “Earth’s my home and it’s eating itself tonight”), Nick has always tried to push for a greener way of living and an energetic sound that translates into a punky, anti-fascist sentiment. And that activist nature doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon.
6. Ten years down the line, they aim on taking things to the next level
NSNA will be celebrating its 10th year anniversary tomorrow with a big concert at the Palace Theatre in Paola. The night promises to give fans a look back at their greatest hits, while showing those not familiar with their material what they’ve missed over the last decade.
Along with Friday night’s concert, NSNA will be showing a documentary of their decade-long adventure and a line of merchandise that looks less like your average collection of band t-shirts and more like an actual clothing brand.