“Sun of Other Days” brings together the Maltese minimal dark duo TRYST ARCANE and their compatriot Emanuel Portelli, the acclaimed guitarist who is a part of acts such as Victims of Creation, Hemplifier, Thy Legion, and Animamortua. Set for 11 August digitally, the album will have a vinyl release later this year. 

As the first preview from this cinematic dark-folk/post-rock collaboration, the collective streams the evocative ‘LURA,’ which accompanies a music video visualizing the song’s theme. The album’s only track to be sung entirely in the band’s native language, ‘LURA,’ is composed of a relatively conventional song structure, unlike the album’s other interrelated, loose, and lengthy songs.

“‘LURA,’ with its accompanying moving music video, reminisces about childhood summer days spent with friends and loved ones who are no longer with us. This song is a homage to their memory while expressing deeply the wish to meet again by living a space-time shift, like a magical journey with the hope to actively relive the experience of moments now only found stored in our memories.” The lyrics were written by Alexia and Luciano Schembri who both lost their respective brothers who passed on before their time.

For the duo and their guest guitarist Emanuel, the island’s seashore was part of their childhood’s daily panorama where every family would have their favorite spot by the sea, and where memories of their youth belong. It came naturally for the band to be inspired to write music that represents a typical Maltese summer of their youth and set it as its core theme for this album.

This project came to life when Emanuel, isolated and recovering from Covid-19, reached out to Julian and Alexia — the duo behind TRYST ARCANE — with guitar sketches he had recorded in early 2020 during his quarantine, instantly sparking their inspiration and prompting an exciting collaboration.

Emanuel’s tapping technique on electric guitar produced a warm, organic sound with a Mediterranean-vibe overtone, which had intrinsically enthused them to develop this mood into a theme album revolving around a typical Maltese summer from their childhood.

During this project, they’ve indulged in complete sonic experimentation, where the intention was to blend Emanuel’s clean guitars with classical piano passages and modified analog synth soundscapes.

This release is characterized by loose and lengthy song structures centered on instrumental textures and arrangements that typically produce a hypnotic sonic experience, alluding the listener to a unique musical dimension. The synths’ “otherworldly sounds” recall imaginative sound waves found in the cosmos, which elicit a true feel of intense reminiscing and space-travel parallelisms.

With a Maltese/Mediterranean summer setting as its core theme, this album intends to speak to the inner child of many Maltese millennials, whose summer holidays meant days by the sea and rocky or sandy shores, the sun and the heat at night, the sea and the humid air, the shore’s sounds and scents, the traditional food and the ice-cream van, the family and friends, the adventures and imagination, the innocence and freedom.

For a multi-dimensional experience, this album’s aesthetics and promo material revolve around Malta’s coastal landscapes, possibly with authentic footage or photography taken by the sea during the ’70s, ’80s & ’90s to be used in various ways in order to achieve a nostalgic visual feel in the most natural way possible.

“Sun of Other Days” offers conceptual and heterodox music, flanked by lyrics stemming from a deep nostalgic place. The lyrics (along with the composition and music arrangements) revolve around a supernatural journey as the protagonist is involved in a space-time displacement experience happening while reminiscing about her youth on a summer day by the sea.

The lyrics of the first four songs are in English; however, TRYST ARCANE wanted to honor their native tongue with the ending track, ‘LURA,’ which, contrary to the other four songs, is composed of a traditional song structure.

Music has the unique ability to build connections and speak a language that knows no boundaries, and with this in mind, TRYST ARCANE gives the overseas audience a chance to listen to a language that exclusively belongs to the small Maltese archipelago.

Composed and Arranged by Julian Grech, based on Emanuel Portelli’s guitar melodies.
Written by Julian Grech, Alexia Baldacchino, and Emanuel Portelli.

Keys: Julian Grech 
Guitar: Emanuel Portelli
Vocals: Alexia Baldacchino (MakabrAl)
Lyrics: Alexia Baldacchino (MakabrAl), except ‘LURA’: Alexia Baldacchino (MakabrAl) & Luciano Schembri

Album cover: Charlo Pisani
Band photography: Alexia Baldacchino (MakabrAl)
Album visual design & concept: Alexia Baldacchino (MakabrAl)

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