I hear it’s nice in the winter time

If you’ve been with us for a while, you remember Dutch Week, which went over surprisingly well with you people. Since then, Kristin and I have been dying to do another theme week. We considered taking on the Netherlands again because there is still so much incredible music we haven’t addressed yet, but instead, we are heading south to a place with a surprising amount of great music being created by a population of just over 400,000. That’s right, I’ve been promising this for a few weeks now, and here it is. It is time for MALTA MAYHEM!

We’re going to get things going with my favorite Maltese band (of the ones I have managed to preview thus far). Welcome to the world of nosnow/noalps. This is a band with more than a minor funky streak, just check out the video for “Headset” below. Drawing on equal parts rock, funk, and ska, with boy/girl vocals and some nice guitar work, nosnow/noalps remind me of something like a spiffed up version of CSS and even the art school sound of the Ting Tings (both of which you ought to check out if, for some reason, you didn’t the moment you first heard “Music is my hot, hot sex” on that iPod advert two years ago). There are songs streaming on their MySpace and Facebook pages (we’re on Facebook, too). Check out nosnownoalps.com for other information and stuff not available on either of those other pages.

One last bit of news completely unrelated to Malta Mayhem. Indie Handbook favorites The Joy Formidable released their new single, “Whirring” on 7″ vinyl today (if you are a fan of TIH on Facebook, you already know this). The single includes an alternate version of “Whirring” in Welsh. Visit our Facebook page to see a video for the Welsh version, or just Google it. Of course, it’s too late to pre-order the single and have your name entered into the drawing for the Joy Formidable golden ticket, but I’m sure they will still sell you the record anyway.

3 thoughts on “I hear it’s nice in the winter time

  1. Funny thing, I was in Malta just a couple of weeks ago. I originally had gone to visit the beautiful and historical Capital of Valletta and had been to a few violin and piano concertos and to see the Philharmonic Orchestra and a Ballet. I, however am also quite interested in seriously great live music – and that includes bands and artists from all over. I too, like you, had come across way too many ska bands for my linking in Malta. I’d even been to a local underground club where they were supposed to play punk, but all it turned to be was a bunch of Ska Music lovers and very run – of – mill punk followers who don’t really explore music and whose collections are tres limited.I’d even been to a punk music festival in the woods there, that turned out to be the same thing. Ska lovers! I’d actually raised the question myself there, as I was making my way back home in disappointment. One foreign guy there, just as bored as I was, explained that Ska was popular with the younger crowds as Ska gives off a more of a beach, sea-side-like, laid-back feel. Which pretty much sums up the Maltese music crowdt – too laid back to dig deeper. Anyway, i was off that. Whist studying in Spain, Malaga and Barcelona, I discovered the Spanish teen crowd is also quite huge on Raggae and Ska.

    For serious art music lovers, I’d suggest listening to a gem of a raw, gritty Garage band I discovered whilst in Malta, at that very same underground punk club. They go by the name The Areola Treat, and this is just about the most refreshing kind of music you will get there, apart from The Brikkuni I’d seen there a year earlier. I honestly haven’t heard bands that interested me there. There ARE bands. Bands that’ll make you go “Aah yeah, whatever”, bands that make you go ” O no” and bands that’ll make you go “hmmm yeah but…maybe, but…”. Indie is not a strong point of mine I do admit. Artpunk, and Artrock ensembles are a strict requirement for me. The Areola Treat are classified as an Indie band (which annoyed me before having seen them), however sound less predictable indie, and more art – driven and amazingly gritty. Real. I’d bought both albums there but they are also for sale online, through their website. They’re also available on CD Baby.

    I Googled them and surprisingly the band have not yet released any official videos. Here however is a link to one of the very same live shows I’d been to :).

    I found their debut album available for download on filesonic:
    http://www.filesonic.com/file/2044235971/The-Areola-Treat-2011-Pleasure-Machines.rar

    1. I really appreciate your comment. It’s interesting that you mention Areola Treat, because several Maltese people who have contacted me since I published these posts (including several of the bands I wrote about) have all recommended them. And I agree with all of you, they’re definitely worth checking out. And I’m still amused by those little circles around the world where ska is immensely popular. Though I suppose I can’t really fault them. I, too, was really into ska and pop punk as a teenager. In fact, my absolute favorite Third Wave ska/punk band from those days just announced they’re getting back together to record a new album ten years after playing their “last” show.

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