10 — “Electric” by Jack’s Fusion
A debut single from a Maltese band is rarely of such good quality, and it looks like rock-driven Jack’s Fusion are already on the right path. With a very professional and aesthetically-pleasing music video, “Electric” is an upbeat head banger which serves as a perfect introduction to what the young band have in store for their already strong following in 2016.
9 — “Berlin” by Dolls For Idols
Being Malta’s answer to every British and European indie band that we love, Dolls For Idols provide the most uniquely dark entry in our list. The Steven Vella-directed feature accompanying the single is by far the best local music video this year, since I could easily see it being elevated to the level of a phenomenally stylish movie. As yet I haven’t necessarily understood what the song is actually about, but its intrigue and twisted nature are extremely apparent.
8 — _”I Pray My Soul Is Saved, But I Guess It’s Damned” by Funk Initiative
Gianluca Bezzina has taken his Eurovision success and rightly used it to take him back to his roots: his band Funk Initiative. Cartographers in my eyes was the best Maltese album released this year, bringing together genres of pop, jazz, alternative and electronic music in a manner reminiscent (in my personal humble opinion) to Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto phase. Although the title track of the album is my personal favourite, their single release “I Pray My Soul Is Saved” is very sweet and heartwarming, and perfect to listen to while snuggled up in front of a burning fire or an electric heater.
7 — “Human” by Federica
Gaining experience studying music in London, singer-songwriter Federica Giallombardo finally decided to release her first original single “Human” in 2015, discussing the current generation’s obsession with social media and the loss of what makes us human beings in the process. Keeping it simplistic and minimalist as possible, this powerful debut guarantees a bright musical future for Federica.
6 — “Satellite” by Carrie Haber
Unfortunately few people know about Carrie Haber, and I personally think she is an underrated musical genius. Always unapologetic and passionate in everything she writes and performs, her 2015 track “Satellite” is everything a cool indie song should be. The chorus is catchy yet intelligent, Carrie’s voice rises and hits hard at the right places, and multiple replays after the first listen are inevitable.
5 — “Corrode” by Oxygyn
I first heard this single today while writing this article as it’s actually just been released online before Christmas, and I’m so glad I was just in time to include it in this list. Oxygyn is a brand new sibling duo who have already got me excited for what else they have to offer with their debut effort “Corrode”. Members Kurt and Katia Abela write their own music together with composer Janelle Borg, who is also a member of another talented local band, Cryptic Street.
4 — “Seeker Seeker” by The New Victorians
In the past year, duo The New Victorians have emerged as the best thing to come out of the local music scene, and they solidified their well-deserved place within it through “Seeker Seeker”, the title track of their debut album also released in 2015. Apart from being very talented vocalists and musicians, Philippa and Bettina Cassar evoke confidence when they perform live, whilst remaining true to their already assured musical stamp.
3 — “Haunted By Love” by Ira Losco
What can I say, she’s back and stronger than ever. I was not entirely confident in how the princess of Maltese music could follow up her exquisite album The Fire from two years ago, but she has already proved my doubts wrong with this first release from her upcoming 2016 album. Many are excited to see Ira Losco return to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest in January, and to very possibly bring it home by May. If her Eurovision entries are as strong as “Haunted By Love”, then I wouldn’t be surprised if that actually happened. I call dibs.
2 — “Kaleidoscopes” by nosnow/noalps
I’ve followed nosnow/noalps for several years now, and I love their 2011 album Romantikpolitik. But what I like the most about the Nick Morales-led band is that they never cease to musically experiment and evolve. With “Kaleidoscopes” and the addition of a new band member in Leona Farrugia of Cryptic Street (there they are again!), the indie group’s change in genre direction is an amazing one. If you need a new song to chill out to on a daily basis, this is the one for you.
1 — “Young Again” by Red Electrick
Looking back at Maltese music in 2015, “Young Again” automatically elevates itself as the most beautiful track of the bunch. Featuring the whole Malta Philharmonic Orchestra and a heart wrenching music video about desiring the past, Red Electrick continue to be one of the best things to come out of our island in the past couple of years. I can’t wait for their next album, which they need to release as soon as possible because it’s been a long time coming. Sincerely, a huge fan.
Johann Agius is a fourth year law student who is currently the CEO of Insite after fulfilling the roles of Public Relations Officer and External Relations Officer in previous years. He joined Insite as a writer and photographer in 2013 and was elected in the executive for the first time a year later.