De ce ne indragostim – Alina Eremia

This is Excellent.

It sounds great,  you can almost instinctively tell what the subject of the song is without having to understand the lyrics. The production is glossy, I think you can tell that Alina has been performing for most of her life (performing from 4 years old, seriously.) Absolutely radio friendly, modern R&B inspired pop.

The video is extremely stylish and I recommend you watch it. The glittery underbrows, the dancing around in an empty house, the fringing!

 

Alina performed in Junior Eurovision 2005 for Romania, finishing 4th, she voices the Disney princesses when films are overdubbed for the Romanian market, she’s a television actress and presenter too.

Now, I’m off to sew some brightly coloured fringing onto my clothes.

Gods of War – Celeste Buckingham

Gods of Egypt looked so naff I didn’t go and see it (was I wrong, was it a easy-watch classic?) but this track appears to be from the soundtrack. Appears to be as I can’t actually find it on a tracklisting, although my googling has been brief and impatient.

Gods of War is good and dramatic, with a steady build up to the chorus and with an aural squint I could imagine this one making a cracking Eurovision entry, there’d be slightly too much leather in the outfit and probably pyrotechnics. Something for everyone.

The break down around the 3 minute mark is reminiscent of Melissa Auf Der Maur’s finest howling and this pleases me greatly. Celeste Buckingham is a Swiss born Slovakian singer with almost ten years of career behind her – impressive for a 21 year old!

After my reaction to the video yesterday, this track doesn’t have it’s own promo video but a rather lovely fan has put to a lovely title card on this YouTube clip.

Video

Funny Folk – DoReDos

One of the songs I’m still thinking about from the multi-screen whirl that was the 2016 National Final Season is this awesome confection of Moldovan folk music, ravey bleeps and dazzling embroidery visuals.

DoReDos have been having a crack at the Moldovan Eurovision thing for two years running now, and I see no reason why we shouldn’t see them again when O Melodie Pentru Europa 2017 rolls around.

DoReDos are on facebook

 

Game on: Ireland vs Sweden

It’s the first of our special absolute heavyweight matches here. Who could possibly conceive of trying to decide if Horse Outside, by Ireland’s Rubberbandits is better than Petra Mede and Måns Zemerlow singing Love Love Peace Peace, which might have won Eurovision without even actually being one of the competing songs.

This is going to be TOUGH.

Which country has the best song, Ireland or Sweden?

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Horse Outside – The Rubberbandits [Genuinely brilliant, from Ireland’s favourite cultural commentators]

Love Love Peace Peace  – Petra Mede and Måns Zemerlow [The platonic ideal of Eurovision songs, possibly genius. No, probably genius.]

 

The Kukushka – Zlata Ognevich

kukushka2

Would you like an earworm? Would you like some light hearted pop music cranked up to almost terrifying intensity, cut through by a lovely/infuriating birdsong riff? Well. Have I got a song for you.

Zlata took this song, with its groovy Hammond organ stabs and massive chorus, through Ukraine’s Eurovision selection process in 2011. I wasn’t watching National Finals back in 2011, but this one sounds like a doozy, with drama, disqualifications, the threat of the return of Verka Seduchka, and a sufficient level of uncertainty about the integrity of the result that they had to re-run the Grand Final, from which Zlata and future Ukrainian heroine Jamala asked for their songs to be withdrawn. Such drama! But even without the backstory, The Kukushka stands up as an inspired bit of pop music.

Zlata did eventually get to go to Eurovision, of course, with the equally high-intensity Gravity (which manages that musical trick of seeming to be entirely composed of ever-rising key-changes) but I think The Kukushka is the more interesting and inexplicable song.
Cuckoo!

Zlata is on UK Spotify

Zlata is occasionally on Twitter

Listen Outside Genius: Mick Pedaja

Mick Pedaja: Genius

Mick Pedaja. Photo: Felix Laasme

Seriously. Let’s talk about Mick Pedaja.

It’s January. There was I, doing my musical research for what was shaping up to be a particularly gruelling Eurovision National Final season when suddenly I was transported to a parallel dimension by a song called Seis. It was unlike anything I’d heard. It was weird even for the Estonian song competition, Eesti Laul, which let mind-melting art-thrash weirdoes Winny Puuh compete alongside winsome ballad girls and credible indie.

Seis is a breathtaking moment of stillness – it forces you to slow down and concentrate on the sparse, beautiful arrangement and Mick’s otherworldly voice. After my initial exposure, I was so certain that the people of Estonia would rally behind Mick and send the slowest song of the modern era to Stockholm. Alas, it was not to be and so I resolved to find out more about this mysterious guy.

This is what I know: He’s got an EP/album Ärgake that’s available on UK Spotify which is also beautiful, but in a pastoral and leafy way as opposed to the big blast of cosmic knowledge you get from Seis. He’s also on Soundcloud where he posts the occasional track, makes older work available and has a very exciting stream of recommendations of his own.  I haven’t found a way of giving him serious money other than iTunes. Come on Mr Pedaja, let us buy some sort of limited edition triple disc heavy vinyl boxset.

Mick is on Soundcloud

Mick is on Spotify