Maltese Additions…

Although I generally eschew domestic responsibilities/activities of all sorts, there’s some housekeeping to be done before I begin my “actual” post tonight.

1. Gee whiz, Eric and I sure do love to write about music, y’all!  Is it because we’re terribly pretentious and dreadfully pompous people?  No, sillies!  Reference our About Us section to sweeten our sarcasm with sincerity.

2. If you read our About Us section and can still stomach us, be our fans.  For realz.

3. Also, as much as we love love love writing, our day jobs sometimes get in the way of us doing all we would like to do (and knowing all we would like to know).  We value your knowledge, and also your writing abilities.  Send us guest submissions at — we are great editors, promise!

Now, onto this evening’s post.

Well, the great thing about having weeks dedicated to music of other countries (re: Dutch Week, Malta Mayhem…) is that often, we’ll hear back from musicians and music lovers in those countries with glorious recommendations,  picking up what we have missed.

So, although Malta Mayhem is over and done, it lives on in our hearts and our ears!  And I have two more bands to share with you, thanks to a lovely email from a Maltese music connoisseur extraordinaire.  Yes, I did make that title up myself. The first is a band I had previously considered reviewing…but Brikkuni beat them out.  Maybe only because Brikkuni’s myspace page is better-looking, I’m not sure.  Packed with interesting sounds and instruments, Hunter’s Palace must be named experimental.  With such an emphasis on guitar motifs and a percussive feel, melody definitely isn’t the main focus here.  Hunter’s Palace achieves something very similar to what Sigur Ros achieves, but through very different means–atmosphere; the listener can’t be half-hearted, as they must immerse themselves in the musical experience or they probably won’t be very interested in what’s going on.  This may or may not be what my grandma calls “noise.”

To be quite honest, I don’t really listen to much electronic music; it isn’t really my style.  I’m more indie-folk, I think.  But when I heard Mathematikal (and passed them on to my little sister, who is into some electronic music, and by that I mean, she really likes Crystal Castles), I agreed that they were definitely worth mentioning and experiencing on our little indie blog here.  They’re electrosynth all the way, with plenty of beats and changes and voice distortions to go around.  I asked my sister whether she got an 80’s vibe from it, because I kind of do, but she doesn’t–she said she gets a strobe lights vibe.  I’m not sure what that means, but I’m gonna go with it.  If you check out their myspace, I especially recommend “The Mathematimix,” which reminds me of Justin Timberlake’s FutureSex/LoveSounds at some points (and to me is a good thing, soooo is Eric going to kick me off the blog for that?), and in the middle, there’s a little Michael Jackson remix (I’m still in mourning).  I also really enjoy PonyPonyRunRun_HeyYouRMX–the beat, the layers, and the vox are a pretty awesome combo.

Well folks, if you were still yearning for a bit more from Malta, here you go!  If nothing else, these two great bands are a bit different from mine and Eric’s usual taste, which you better not be sick of yet, and so isn’t it always nice to have something fresh and exciting?  Answer: yes.  Enjoy!

A Musical Stew That Shouldn’t Work

“A musical stew that shouldn’t work” is the way Brikkuni decribes its music on myspace, and when you hear it, you’ll definitely understand.

[oh p.s. yes we usually do Follow An Indie Band Wednesday highlights but because 5 days is barely enough to cover a country, we are going to put them off this week.  don’t worry, faithful friends, we will be back w/highlights next week.  we may even surprise you with highlights from this week…sometime later.]

I had been wondering about the Maltese language–what is Maltese, what does it sound like?  Well, I think this is it.  (No, seriously, I think this is it, but I’m American and only studied French and don’t really remember much, so maybe it isn’t, but I think it is, isn’t it?  What?)  It always feels a little cheesy listening to music from other countries when I can’t understand the language–like I’m trying too hard to be cool, or something.  I also place a lot of value in lyrics, as in, they better be genius, so to lose that comprehension feels like losing a major element of what makes this particular art (music. with lyrics. not the movie.) meaningful.  However, I’m currently listening to Brikkuni and really digging them, despite the lack of lyrics to help me understand.

There are different kinds of indie, and this particular kind is the kind that is so crazy that somehow it works.  The first song posted on their myspace, “Willie Vassallo,” is completely devoid of lyrics anyway, and sounds like what would happen if John Wayne fought Arcade Fire in one of those old westerns that my dad watches.  During their second song, we are all introduced to Mario’s vox, which are intensely full of character.  Many characters, actually.  He sings, he whispers, he growls, he ba-ba-ba’s, and he shouts…and it’s wonderful.  During “Kollox Suggettiv,” you wonder if Brikkuni has gleaned some stylistic elements from Bizet’s Carmen, especially with the clarinet motifs, the sudden tempo changes, and the “oompa oompa” throughout the entire song.

Yes, it is as bizarre as it sounds.  It also happens to be quite brilliant.  Dig it, Malta!