Eesti Laul 2018: Second semi-final songs revealed in Estonia


Yesterday Estonia‘s broadcaster ERR revealed the first ten songs competing in Eesti Laul 2018. And today they are unveiling the ten songs that will compete in the second semi-final of Eesti Laul 2018 on 17 February.

In early November, the 20 semi-finalists and the names of their songs were revealed. At that stage, a few songs were already released, but today is the first time we’ll be able to hear all ten songs competing in the second semi-final.

The songs will be slowly revealed today, one by one every hour from 10:00 to 21:00 EET on the ERR Eesti Laul stream. As was the case last year, TV host Mai Palling and Vanilla Ninja guitarist Piret Järvis will chat with the artists as their songs are revealed. You can also watch the proceedings (with livestream commentary) on the web site of our official Eesti Laul partners at DELFI PUBLIK — Estonia’s most-read news source. Wiwibloggers William and Angus will also be commenting there.

The Eesti Laul semi-finals will take place on 10 and 17 February. Ten songs will make it to the grand final on 3 March, where Estonia will select their act for Lisbon.

Eesti Laul – Semi-final two (presented in the running order)

Marju Länik – “Täna otsuseid ei tee”

She’s a legend in Estonia. Her song “Karikakar”, which means daisy, was voted as the best Estonian song of the past 100 years. And that longevity certainly comes through in her Eesti Laul entry, which comes from another era. It’s sweet and breezy, and I’m sure there are people who would love to make love on a blanket outside while playing this. I’m not one of them. This reminds me of the off-white floral wallpaper you find in gran’s sitting room. It’s lovely to look at, but grows tiresome by the time the Strictly Christmas special ends. But props to Marju for that voice, her charm and (as insiders tell us) the fact she’s still as lovely and humble as ever.

Rolf Roosalu – “Show a Little Love”

Our friends at DELFI PUBLIK tell us that Rolf recently counted and he has been involved with 18 acts that have tried to get to Eurovision. I’m afraid he’ll have to try again next year. This song is the epitome of cheese and schmaltz, and at times it comes off as a little sleazy. “There’s a void inside, you lost your flow” – and apparently Rolf knows how to make it right if you come along for a ride and walk through the door with him. I’m not doing it. The mish-mash of funk, pop, soul, Michael Jackson and Bruno Mars is too much for me.

Frankie Animal – “(Can’t Keep Calling) Misty”

Estonian producers love their indie rock! And here comes Frankie Animal with their take on the genre. It’s dark, brooding and mysterious — qualities that lead singer Marie Vaigla accentuates with that sexy voice, which screams “naughty angel” or “tormented saint”. The electric guitar is really irritating — especially toward the end where it gets way too much air time. No matter. This remains one of the more interesting tunes in the contest.

Eliis Pärna & Gerli Padar – “Sky”

Their voices are as big and beautiful as the sky. And while the sky is the backdrop for storms and clouds and blizzards and other interesting phenomena, this lacks that dynamism. It’s SO one note! It’d be great for a musical as part of a bigger story but its own it just fills like filler. (And confirmed: Our sources at DELFI PUBLIK say it was, in fact, written for a musical).

Indrek Ventmann – “Tempel”

That voice is like a warm blanket — I just want to wrap it around me and feel the heat! Smooth, sexy, seductive, he’s got a lot going for him. The production is on point — I love what sounds like a calypso drum or xylophone … it’s like a nice tropical breeze to pepper up this lounge-y song. 90 seconds in I was like “an explosion is coming!” But, unfortunately, it was more of a whimper. Ah, well. I hope he can pull this off live because he has some nice material to work with.

Evestus – “Welcome to My World”

Evestus welcomes us to their world, but I’m not crossing border control. Their universe is part Marilyn Manson and totally unsettling. I don’t like the lyrics about cancer, the pained electro sounds or that incredibly shrill static. The only saving grace is that the song is just two minutes. Any more and I might throw something at the computer.

Karl Kristjan & Karl Killing feat. Wateva – “Young”

The act features an artist with the surname Killing and a featuring artist named WATEVA. But despite the talk of homicide and attitude, this is actually quite sweet. Karl & Karl have innocent, endearing vocals that fit with the boppy sound. It’s adorable how they mix the ukulele with all those digital, Spotify-friendly sounds (though about 45 seconds in some of those sounds become a tad overbearing and borderline annoying, like you’re stuck in a videogame soundtrack). Very few of the songs in Eesti Laul seem to have peaks / WOW moments this year and I don’t see one here either. But at least this sounds 2018.

Metsakutsu – “Koplifornia”

I’m instantly turned off from the very first note. Granted I don’t speak Estonian, but the aggressive rap is a real turn-off. It doesn’t feel like music. It’s just noise.

Our Angus has strong thoughts on this one:

Well “Koplifornia” is definitely different. The issue is that this is not necessarily a good thing. It’s really hard to know what to make of Metsakutsu’s song. You could read it as a fairly standard questionable Eurovision rap track. But then there’s the production, which sounds like a cut from the Black Eyed Peas 2009 recording sessions for END. And there’s also a chorus, where the “Copy-Copy-Copy-Free” refrain is more than a passing similarity to the Christmas turkey gobbling in the field. I hope for his sake Metsakutsu kept his receipts for recording sessions, because he should be asking for a refund for this mess of a song.

Girls in Pearls – “Spellbound”

Angus says:

“Semi-Final 2 is like an ugly clam that’s been hiding this pearl from us. Granted, it’s not a towering pop banger, nor a melodramatic ballad in the ‘Verona’ tradition, but ‘Spellbound’ is breezy and easy to listen to, which can not be said for most of the other songs in the semi-final. It will be interesting to see how the sisters perform without the benefits of significant vocoder layered over their vocals, but ‘Spellbound’ has the potential to charm audiences in 2018.”

Nika – “Knock Knock”

She’s a Tallinn Airport security worker who recently found fame on X Factor Ukraine. And we are more than happy to welcome this sister from the terminal to the Eesti Laul stage. Her voice is deep and resonates with power and soul — love! The song itself is a bit of a pastiche…part pop ballad, part RnB, part Bollywood, part hip-hop, part dubstep…and very difficult to define. It may be a bit too pick ‘n mix for some. But Nika is a compelling performer with major swagger.

What do you think about the songs competing in Eesti Laul’s second semi-final? Which should make it to the grand final? Tell us in the comments section below!