Yesterday the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — travelled to Iceland and visited the mighty Strokkur geyser. As the powerful geothermal wonder gushed, we discussed Greta Salóme and her song “Here Them Calling”. Were we ready to answer that call? Or did we hang up? Read on to find out!
Greta Salóme – “Hear Them Calling”
“Hear Them Calling” reviews
William: Rooted in Icelandic folk, “Hear Them Calling” is less pop music and more three-minute art piece. The clever lyrics set up an ambiguity that never resolves: The voices call, whisper and howl, but we don’t know if they are a source of comfort or torment, and at times their pledge to come home sounds like a threat. The music builds on that tension, with the thumping timpani — reminiscent of a heartbeat — and metallic clangs creating a sense of urgency and drive. Despite tapping into something tribal and ancient, the song swells with modern instrumentation and production. It’s mystical, other-worldly and gripping — easily my favourite track of the year.
Patrick: Yep, Patrick is really happy about Greta representing Iceland for many reasons. First of all “Hear Them Calling” was the best song in the selection and it’s GRETA, like, THE Greta Salome who we all adored in 2012. “Hear Them Calling” is one of my favourites this year. It has such a strong sound, her vocals are matching perfectly and the choreography is stunning. People who say its Måns’ backdrop — back off, haters. This is a different concept as I don’t see a little person sitting next to Greta. Anyways, if Iceland doesn’t do well, then I will lose my hope in people. Slay!
Judit: “Hear Them Calling” is a catchy and a perfectly composed song. Greta knows how Eurovision works and she’s not lost without Jonsi. This song fits her voice, I love the background (hopefully she takes it to Stockholm). I really hope she will be in the top 10.
Luis: Iceland’s entry is probably one of the most clever this year. On itself, “Hear them calling” is pleasant enough to have it on repeat, but mixed with the staging, it’s pure magic. Greta’s performance in the national selection was a bit robotic, that’s true, but it’s just a matter of polishing a quite complicated routine. What this woman does is not within any artist’s scope, and hence it’s normal that the staging is not 100% coordinated on its second live take, but by the time this reaches Stockholm, be ready to witness how a singing shadow called Greta Salóme steals the show.
Angus: This wasn’t completely overwhelming in the original version, feeling a little uneven and as if the pace dropped in all the wrong places. The final mix has rectified that and the screens elevate “Hear Them Calling” into a slice of something really magical. While I’m not convinced it has winning potential, I am convinced Greta can put Iceland back in the top 10 where it belongs.
Anthony: Just as she did in 2012, Greta Salóme returns with another self-written entry and “Hear Them Calling” is simply three minutes of brilliance. The melody has you gripped but the chorus manages to retain the catchiness of a Eurovision pop song. Her shadow staging fits in with her storytelling and shows it’s no gimmick. I would have preferred the original Icelandic version “Raddirnar”, but I respect Greta’s decision to go with the English version.
Bogdan: I find Greta’s song slightly dated, because I used to listen to Icelandic band Of Monsters And Men‘s similar kind of songs back in 2012. Oh well. Notwithstanding that, it’s a very strong entry for Iceland, with a devilishly clever staging. Haters of LED screens should take into account that Greta is petite and this is a smart way to make her fill the stage without bringing the backing vocalists or dancing. Plus, it is as spectacular as the song. “Hear Them Calling” is Iceland’s best chance to win the contest since 2009.
Deban: Greta Salóme may have borrowed ideas from some of Eurovision’s greatest, but let’s get one thing straight – her work isn’t plagiarised. “Hear Them Calling” is a sophisticated take on haunting pop, showcasing a breath of talent in visuals, sound and movement. Enigmatic and deeply resonant, this entry touches listeners in both Icelandic and English versions.
Mike: This song is simply a masterpiece. Greta might have used some ideas from previous Swedish Eurovision winners but to be fair I think she even does it better. It took me a while to understand the song but in the weekend of the Icelandic national final I even started thinking this could be Iceland’s first Eurovision winning entry. Though I can not give it a perfect 10 because a bit of the ”Raddirnar” magic was lost in the English translation.
Padraig: “Hear Them Calling” is nigh on perfection. Greta takes us on a spirited sprint through the emotional spectrum. Are the voices good or bad? Are we singing in solidarity or revolt? I’m never quite sure, but my heart beats faster and my smile grows. The word anthemic is thrown around a lot, yet in this case it’s completely appropriate. And of course, there’s the staging. It’s simply sublime and I’m fully confident that Greta will have ironed out the minor choreography kinks by May. Dedicated Eurovision fans may have become immune to the songs many intricacies, but first time viewers are in for a true sensory treat. And then there’s the false ending. Just imagine that moment during the winner’s encore.
Robyn: “Hear them Calling” is one of the strongest entries Iceland has entered in years, with Greta’s skilled songcraft shining. While the staging is obviously inspired by the projection mapping of “Heroes”, it’s brought enough of its own character, that dark, mysterious Nordic vibe. The staging needs a little work (Greta spends too much of the song in darkness, and the false ending kills the flow), but assuming that’s all sorted out, this could easily be a contender for the top 10.
Sami: “Hear Them Calling” is everything we want a Eurovision winner to be. The performance really stands out, the song gets stuck in your head from the first time you hear it and the whole package is three minutes of pop perfection. You can hear that Icelandic sound, but it still has an international sound to get people behind it from all corners of Europe. It deserves to — and most likely will — do very well in the contest.
In the Wiwi Jury we have 40 jurors but only have room for 12 reviews. The remaining 28 scores are below.
William C: 8/10
The highest and lowest scores are dropped prior to calculating the average score. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 4 and a high of 10.