I’ve written previously about the tremendous amount of great music being produced these days, and though I make an effort to try and keep up, a lot of it slips beneath my radar. Fortunately, I saw a tweet yesterday by my Sheffield, England Twitter friend John Oxley about the new single “Why Are We Here” by alt-rock band Airport Impressions, and immediately liked it so much that I decided to make it my New Song of the Week. I was also a little embarrassed to discover that Airport Impressions and I already follow each other on Twitter, but I’d somehow neglected to check out their music. My bad, because they’re fantastic!
Hailing from Malta, they’re the first artists from that Mediterranean island nation I’ve featured on this blog. They’re also undeniably one of the most successful acts to emerge from Malta. Drawing from elements of rock, pop and folk, their music is incredibly melodic and beautiful, reminiscent of such bands as The Killers, U2, Kings of Leon, and Mumford and Sons. Like many a band, they’ve undergone changes in lineup since forming in 2008, and now founding member Errol Sammut (guitar, lead vocals) is the only original remaining member. In the past two years, Daniel Genius (bass, backing vocals), Ryan Magro (lead guitar) and and Daryl Curmi (drums, percussion) have all joined the band to replace the former members who left.
Under their previous lineup, Airport Impressions released two outstanding albums, Minutes of a Lifetime in 2010 and Mariette in 2014. They’re both overflowing with gorgeous songs, and I strongly urge my readers to check them out on one of the music streaming platforms listed at the end of this post. Since the new members came on board, the band has released a number of terrific singles, the latest of which is “Why Are We Here?”, which dropped February 28.
The song has a darker feel than most of their music, with ominous industrial synths and a deep, throbbing bass line forming a dramatic foundation for the phenomenal guitar work and smashing drums. The piano and moody organ keyboards add texture and tension to the track, and I love the gnarly guitar solo in the bridge. Sammut’s vocals are fantastic, starting off with a vulnerable croon that sounds a bit like Bono, then erupting into impassioned wails in the chorus, backed by haunting echoed vocals. It’s a magnificent track.
The lyrics could be open to a rather broad interpretation, but to me they seem to speak to the eternal question of the reason for man’s existence – namely, what is the meaning of life, and what is our purpose on this earth? The lines “Can you hear my cries in the pouring rain? Can you walk the walk? Can you hear my call? Can you see me crawl?” are a plea to be noticed, to feel significant, to feel that our existence is worthwhile, especially to those around us.
To learn more about Airport Impressions, check out their Website