Debut release from Kantilena

X’Ubidu is the debut single from a new Maltese contemporary folk band called Kantilena. The song was released on the internet a couple of weeks ago through the band’s Youtube channel and Facebook page, attracting positive comments in the process. Featuring the song in one of his recent podcasts, Toni Sant remarked that Kantilena “are not only remarkable because their songs are in Maltese but they also have a refreshing approach to folk music”.

Indeed the song’s lively swing is as good a pop reference as any, nestling comfortably over the folk references shaping the track’s backbone.

The band was formed in 2009 by pianist Alessandro Lia, guitarist Drinu Camilleri and violinist James Baldacchino in an attempt to bring together their shared interest in music and the Maltese language.

This is reflected in their choice for the band’s name. Kantilena is, in fact, the name of the oldest known poem in Maltese, and is believed to have been written with the intention of being set to music.

Last year, the band’s line-up was boosted with the arrival of vocalist Debbie Axisa Farrell and drummer Bertu Grima.

Besides traditional Maltese music and folklore, Kantilena cite among their influences artists such as New Cuorey, Tom Waits, Beirut, Nick Drake, Greg Laswell, Gogol Bordello, Anouar Brahem, and Luigi Tenco.

They are currently planning a live gig to promote their new single.

For more information visit Kantilena’s facebook page or


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