Hello Hello – Mango Blitz

With a sunbleached aesthetic and a bouncy pop sound and infectious call and response duetting, Hello Hello has the potential to give Mango Blitz a big daft summer hit. The band are based in Budapest and have been making fun pop records since 2015. Over the summer of 2017 they’re finalising an album which, according to their website and Google Translate ‘can be said to favour the dancers’. Sounds good to me.

Also, and I am just saying this, a lot of their very catchy and danceable songs come in at the three minute mark. Maybe they should think of giving A Dal a go next year?

Mango Blitz are on Facebook

Mango Blitz have a website 

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Origo – Joci Pápai

At the time that I wrote my big Eurovision Preview Post, the received wisdom was that including any element of rap, especially native language rap in your Eurovision song was a route to sure non-qualification. Instead, I’m delighted that Joci, Alexandra and Emeses not only comfortably qualified (2nd in the semi!), but finished 8th in the Eurovision Grand Final.

It’s pretty obvious what appealed to me about Origo – the overall sound is cool, but Joci practically vibrates with tension as he pours out the pain of a lifetime of being on the receiving end of anti-Roma prejudice, so the song is in a constant state of edgy energy. Alexandra’s improvised dance tells us the parts of the story that we miss because we don’t understand Hungarian. She loves him, it’s magical, it’s overpowering it’s desperate, it’s agony. Emeses stands over on the satellite stage, playing the insistent violin riff and generally working the crowd into a frenzy. I spoke to Emeses just before the Grand Final – she was so excited to be a part of the performance, and was explaining that she never intended to go so crazy with the crowd around the satellite stage, but that the enthusiasm from the fans at her feet swept her away.

I think the strength of support for Hungary – they received televote points from 33 out of 42 countries and came 8th overall – is additional evidence for my theory that the best performing Eurovision songs no longer necessarily have to sound like ‘Eurovision songs’ and that the public are musically informed and open-minded enough to accept great songs and strong performances in any genre, especially when they tell such a strong story of love and pain.

 

Óceán – Zséda

I’m not sure if A Dal lets you submit songs that have already been released, but there’s something so Modern Midtempo Eurovision about Hungarian superstar Zséda’s latest single. Also it’s exactly 3 minutes long and doesn’t seem to be presaging an album. Hmmm. I wonder… surely not.

Zséda is an established, award winning presence on the Hungarian music scene – she’s even got a Christmas album  in her back catalogue.

Zséda has a website

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Nehéz – Meszecsinka

BLIMEY! Do you fancy some very intense Hungarian folk music? Meszecsinka have you covered.

I’ve embedded the whole album but I’m presenting to you the opening track Nehéz. Over the course of 5 minutes and 45 seconds, the song grows from a plaintive wail into an insistent, rocking drone, builds to a climax which sounds like a combination of Robert Plant’s yelps in Whole Lotta Love and Halle Berry accepting her Oscar. And then it gets more intense from there.

Meszecsinka are a really interesting band, who’ve been mixing up all manner of music traditions since 2009. The voice you hear is the sensational Annamari, who sings in seven languages and has such an incredible range of vocal textures and techniques. I would love to see this band live, and according to their website if I was in Sicily right now I could.

Meszecsinka have a website

Meszecsinka are on Bandcamp

Meszecsinka are on Soundcloud

 

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Game on: Iceland vs Hungary

Iceland’s bold men with their chiselled good looks and incredible stamina take on the Hungarians. I’m afraid I can’t be impartial here. Áfram Ísland!

Vök are serious looking bunch of coves, and their music is equally serious. It’s got a sort of pleasant melancholy and on the song Waiting in particular, it sort of sounds like the Icelandic landscape looks. Gorgeous.

ÍV took one of her English language songs to the final of A Dal in 2015, but this song Mindig Varsz is a slightly more grown up and sober production. It’s got a slight modern Eurovision feel to it, and it’s super listenable.

Whose beautiful song is more beautiful? Vök or IV?

View Results

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Waiting – Vök [Weightlessly perfect Nordic noir electro ballad]

Mindig vársz – ÍV [Breathy, warm mellow electro]