Id-Dar Tal-Missier (Maltese for “The House of the Father”) is the new solo album from yndi halda founding member James Vella.
James wrote and performed almost all of the instrumentation on Id-Dar Tal-Missier himself, recording largely at home on his own setup, creating finished pieces layer by layer. Though the main body of composition is based on guitar and voice, Vella's list of instruments performed also includes banjo, cello, organ, xylophone, an ancient Chinese harp named guzheng, and drumkit, amounting to subtle and intelligent arrangements, heavenly textures and a more song-based approach to the work he is best known for. Present here are verses and choruses, as if pop music, but also hazy, dreamy journeys through nocturnal sparseness and strangeness.
A few contributions from Vella's friends also grace the record: Mercury Prize Nominee C Duncan lends lush choral vocals to ‘Banana Moth’ and (yndi halda co-founder) Daniel Neal performs violin across several pieces.
Often inspired by non-musical forms, Vella writes that Id-Dar Tal-Missier was instead created under the influence of sensory experiences. He lists filmmakers Werner Herzog and Apichatpong Weerasuthakul; the TV show Stranger Things; his dog Sully; the ("painstaking") process of writing his first novel; books by Cormac McCarthy, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, John Cheever and Carson McCullers; travels around India, South America and the Middle East.