David Fonseca — Rocket Man (Single)
I’m really starting to like this guy. Portuguese singer/songwriter David Fonseca has one of those tenor pop voices that’ll make all you Mediterranean chicks shiver with the thought of someday waking up to those dark brown eyes and sipping home cooked caldo vere by the fire at his mother’s place.
We know that ain’t happening, so the next best thing you can do is listen to his music. What really stood out to me is his cover of Elton John’s Rocket man. Keeping his signature vocal tone, Fonseca gives this classic a little of that extra oomph! Starting off with a classic day-tripper inspired drum beat, your attention is immediately caught and won’t be letting go anytime soon.
Emperor X—Western Teleport (Album)
Before I start this one, I seriously have to thank my buddy Shawn James from Bee-Wild events for bringing this guy down to Malta to play a show and introducing me to his music. Chad Matheny, known professionally as Emperor X is one of those rare singer/songwriters that will captivate his audience in any musical way necessary.
Starting off his set with a mini hand held synth controller, Matheny walked around the audience singing his more electronic compositions until effortlessly switching to his guitar and voice, playing pop structured songs with lyrics about border control, politics and travels with some of the catchiest hooks imaginable.
So, first of all, if you are a musician and want to learn a thing or two about using Spotify to your advantage then click here. This playlist was discovered through Kwaver’s vehicle enthusiast Clint. And it’s no surprise.
With more than enough tracks of 80’s influenced new wave synth compositions, this playlist is a great listen-to for anyone out on the drive or in search of countless synth hooks. It definitely made me feel like a bad-ass driving my dad’s 90’s Renault Campus whilst making proper use of my indicators and observing speed laws.
Thrice—To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere (Album)
Starting off with a scratchy acoustic guitar, in no less than 30 seconds this huge sounding album kicks in with an incredibly written half tempo punch to the face. California based rock band Thrice take their signature heavy sound to a whole new level with various tempo changes and musical themes.
Although Thrice albums have lyrically focused on literary, biblical and occasional science-fiction themes, To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere touches on various political and social themes for most of the album.
Malta here we go! And I ain’t talking about your Euro-visions and cheesy television appearances performing their cover of Free Falling saying it was written by John Mayer (whaaaaat?). Naangs are definitely one of these recent underground treasures. Very well executed garage sounding guitars with distorted vocals and pounding drums. Some might even say a little Lo-fi, which is definitely a good thing!
I can only wait to see what they come out with next. Hopefully an album recorded in a dirty old basement with the sound of traffic creeping in once and again.
Katatonia—The Fall Of Hearts (Album)
Heavy, gothic, progressive and atmospheric are just a few of the sounds that come to mind when listening to this multi textured metal masterpiece. It's safe to say that Swedish band Katatonia are definitely no strangers when it comes to combining heavy guitars with soft pop influenced vocals-giving metal music a whole new dimension to anyone familiar or unfamiliar with the genre. Loudwire even compared the track “Serein” to 1980's new wave music such as The Cure.
DJ Khaled—Major Key (Album)
Brendan brings to the table the most collaborative album on the list. With guest appearances from the likes of Jay Z, Wiz Khalifa, Chris brown, NAS and many more, DJ Khaled's Major Key is everything that really makes certain Hip-Hop albums stand out above the rest. Apart from its immaculate production, the variation of sounds and styles is a whole other topic in itself.
With gospel inspired choruses on tracks like Holy Key to more R’n’B influenced melodies on J.Cole’s contribution Jermaine’s interlude, Major Key is more than enough inspiration to the aspiring producer and collaboration enthusiast alike.
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds—Skeleton Tree (Album)
Nick Cave is one of those songwriters that just seems to effortlessly pump out visual lyricism with some of the most simple yet complex sounding compositions which are then performed by The Bad Seeds. Continuing where their previous effort Push The Sky Away left off, Skeleton Tree captures Cave’s haunting spoken words with experimental loops, orchestral arrangements, electronic instruments and at times, free jazz sounding drums.
The somber tones of Skeleton Tree are a perfect example of finding that beauty buried within the deepest and darkest ruins of one's heart.
The Piano Guys—Artist
Alright I’m gonna be honest over here. Getting overproduced millennium “anthems” and turning them into neo-classical pieces with overproduced videos that depict the cello player playing his heart out on an Irish mountain somewhere in hollywood studios is definitely not my thing.
But I have to admit: it does have a calming effect on these 5 to 7 hard working brohemians when software engineer James Zammit puts these guys on.
There you go James, I said it.