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Show notes for the 309th Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers from or in Malta:

Maria LewisCaccini’s Ave Maria
Maria Lewis is no ordinary Maltese singer. Aside from the fact that she is half-Welsh, she has always operated on the fringes of the Maltese music scene, even though she may be known to die-hard pop audiences through her various appearances with her sister Stephanie as the duo Starbrights. I remember them well in children’s song contests and making their first national debut at the 1991 Malta Song for Europe. More recently (about 4 years ago) they were also featured on the MMI podcast with their folksie pop. Finally Maria seems to have found her true calling in music. This is a veritable showcase for her lovely voice and I hope she keeps going in this new direction in the coming years.

The Sylvan Aaron MassacreTear
Sylvan Borg and Aaron Sammut return with another offering following the songs they released previously, which were featured on the MMI podcast. This song is made even more interesting by the video they’ve produced for it. I honestly doubt it would attract half the attention it’s going to get over the coming weeks were it not for this video, so I think the duo have done well to invest their time and efforts on making sure that the video is released along with the song rather than later.

Criminal KissFreedom Call
There’s been some anticipation for this debut from this new Maltese band. It’s not a bad debut but I expect their best work to be ahead of them. The song has a pleasant bridge and the band have great potential in their vocal harmonies. I hope their next song plays up these strengths.

Hunters PalaceHats Off (to Mintoff)
I couldn’t pass up playing this track (and the next) on this week’s podcast to mark the death of Dom Mintoff. The event is not only historical by phenomenal in ways that most people under 25 will find hard to understand. Comparisons are odious but Mintoff was undoubtedly one of the most significant people to ever lead the Malta. It’s remarkable that Hunters Palace had the hutzpa to namecheck him in this piece of music from 2001/2002 just a couple of years after he had been vilified by those who had previously proclaimed him as Malta’s saviour.

Tony GauciMa Tagħmlu Xejn mal-Perit Mintoff
Of all the Maltese political songs, this is possibly the one that will still be around a hundred years from now. This version by seventies pop sensation Tony Gauci made the rounds on thousands of cassette tapes in the run-up to the 1981 General Elections. The paradoxical lyrics are simply delicious for any ethnomusicolist, particularly anyone willing to contrast them with the bile that’s customary in much of the Maltese hip-hop that’s been recorded over the past decade or so. Apologies for the sound quality on this song, but I suspect that it’s simply pulled raw from a cassette tape that spent one too many days in a scorching hot car stereo. I wonder where the original master tapes for this (and many other recordings of note) have ended.

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