Well – ever wondered what contemporary Maltese music is like? Here are three example albums. All were written in the Maltese language and even though most can be termed ‘underground’ – local radio stations hardly play songs in Maltese – they are the most genuine musical voice of the islands’ inhabitants.
Brikkuni – Kuntrabanda
Brikkuni are what the Maltese music scene would look like if more bands and artists bothered writing in their native language. The music is unashamedly Mediterranean and the lyrics speak of contemporary issues. Musically, they are an excellent band and, if you’re into live music, you should look out for their next performances and try not to miss their original presentation and delivery.
More information and song samples at: http://www.myspace.com/brikkuni.
Xtruppaw – Is-CD ta’ l-Xtruppaw
Xtruppaw are one of the quirkiest and funniest local bands around. Their music is punk-oriented, but their songs vary from mild progressive rock to country. Almost all their streetwise lyrics are politically incorrect, but they managed to achieve relative success with the single ‘Diska Cool Għar-Radio’ (translation: A Cool Song for Radio), which speaks about the very issue of writing politically correct songs in order to get radio play!
More information about the band can be found at: www.xtruppaw.com.
Various – L-Għanja tal-Poplu 2008
This is an album which contains all songs that participated in the L-Għanja tal-Poplu (‘The Song of the People’) music contest held on a yearly basis. Around a dozen artists are chosen after submitting their demos. What sets this festival apart is that all songs are performed live on the night, giving it an acoustic and genuine feel. In 2008, Brikkuni won the festival and Walter Micallef, a very well known singer-songwriter, placed second.
More on this festival, including live footage of the 2008 performances, can be found at www.ghanjafest.com/.
Brikkuni photo (above): Oliver deGabriele