HEAR NEW TRACK ‘IF U CALL’
PLAYING THE GREAT
DEBUT ALBUM ‘HOPEFULLY, AGAIN’ 8TH MARCH 2019 VIA MEMPHIS INDUSTRIES
“Lo-fi pop with a shimmering, gauzy sense of style” CLASH “Malihini melt hearts on pulsing pop tune” The Line of Best Fit “Hypnotic” Neu Pick, DIY “Refined pop…. it’s easy to hear the appeal” Loud & Quiet “Malihini are about to become your new favourite double act” Wonderland Lo-fi pop duo Malihini, a.k.a. Rome-based Giampaolo Speziale and Federica Caiozzo, have unveiled their new track ‘If U Call’, taken from their forthcoming debut album ‘Hopefully, Again’ (out through Memphis Industries on 8th March).
‘If U Call’, produced by Richard Formby (Ghost Poet, Wild Beasts) sees a lover’s plea get a stark domestic reality check (“If you call, my heart will go on dreaming / But my mum is betting that you won’t come”), as Federica explains:
“The song is about the beginning of a relationship, with grown-up behaviours hiding teenage feelings. She speaks to herself, asking him not to play games, and she doesn’t want to be taken for granted. We wrote the synth refrain on the little toy Yamaha we used to write half of the songs on this album and recorded the vocals after a few drinks. It felt totally right and we tried to preserve that mood on the following recording sessions at Giant Wafer studios with Richard. We played around on the modular synth with Richard to add some deep bass and replaced the original toy synth with our Korg faux horns”.
Malihini, which means ‘newcomers’ in Hawaiian, deal exclusively in the music of lived experience and time-honed emotional intelligence, their disarming musical universe never less than distinctive, yet resonating with a confessional, modern European pop sophistication of a kind elsewhere purveyed by the likes of Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jose Gonzalez and Our Broken Garden.
Listening to the ten co-written songs that grace Malihini’s exquisite debut
The notion of art imitating life is mirrored by Malihini’s back story, which reads like the screenplay to a Wim Wenders road movie – the couple’s first encounter occurring at 5am one morning in 2015, when Speziale, driving back to Rome, picked up a distraught, hitchhiking Caiozzo. “I took her home – she was having a hard time with her ex-boyfriend”, he recalls, matter-of-factly. “I didn’t see her again for two or three months, but then we met by chance at a concert. We sort of avoided each other at first… eventually we spoke and later we went back to her house. We’ve been together ever since”. Caiozzo has described meeting Speziale as “a moment of surrender”.
The idea of working artistically together took time to germinate, however. “I’ve always been drawn to male musicians and singers”, admits Caiozzo, frankly, “but we decided not to play or sing together at all at first. Then we took this trip through Italy, Germany and Poland and eventually we thought, ‘Why not? So we started writing ideas for songs and ended up playing shows together in small bars along the way”.
‘Hopefully, Again’ track listing:
1. ‘A House On A Boat’ 6. ‘Can’t Stand That’
2. ‘Hopefully, Again’ 7. ‘If U Call’
3. ‘Delusional Boy’ 8. ‘The Snow’
4. ‘Nefertiti 9. ‘The
5. ‘Giving Up On Me’ 10. ‘Song #1’
The duo’s individual, pre-Malihini career stories reinforce the romantic, cinematic theme. Caiozzo, born in Sicily to Italian and Polish parents, moved to Rome in 2009 to study music, hone her distinctively smoky singing voice and, ultimately, enjoy a successful solo career under the name Thony.
This lead to an invitation from noted director Paolo Virzì to contribute to the soundtrack to his 2012 film ‘Tutti i
That inexorable process continues apace with the release of ‘Hopefully, Again’. Swapping Camberwell for Mid Wales, specifically the remote Giant Wafer studio in Powys (“it was just us and a few sheep and chickens”, recalls Speziale), the album was recorded quickly, with the duo playing most of the instruments live, abetted once again by producer Richard Formby and long-term drumming amicoAlberto Paone.
Writing had begun earlier in the year during an extended retreat on the Aeolian island of Vulcano, off the coast of Sicily. Images and atmospheres of the sea and ‘blueness’ duly permeate the album’s leanly arranged songs. “We always wanted to have just a few instruments,” says Speziale, explaining ‘Hopefully, Again’spared-back palette. “We write using only a guitar, a Casiotone keyboard, a toy synth
“Some of the songs definitely take inspiration from personal events in our life, but sometimes I imagine things from someone else’s perspective”, says Speziale, reflecting on Malihini’s apparently candid, close-up-and-personal narratives. “We recorded a lot of the vocals alone together in our room at the studio, and I think that adds another layer of intimacy.”We sometimes go to separate rooms to actually write the words”, elaborates Caiozzo. “Then we come together and see how we reallyfeel about each other! It’s a good way to talk about problems as a couple without needing to go to a psychiatrist!”
Whether the songs work as de facto relationship