Their song is called “Coming Home”, but country-folk-pop band Firelight are about to leave the island. That’s because earlier this evening the group narrowly won the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2014.
The five-piece band features a man who plucks an Appalachian mountain dulcimer, and a woman handy with the harmonica.
Formed last June, the group has written that it hopes “to produce a fresh sound to the music scene both locally and internationally.” Their number is definitely fresh for the Mediterranean. But it’s less novel in places like the Louisana Bayou, Applachia, and large parts of honky tonk land in the United States.
The group’s selection is part of a growing trend at Eurovision this year. Ilse DeLange and Wayon, the Dutch representatives, have said they will sing a country-bluegrass number. And Switzerland’s Sebalter won his national selection with a hand-clappy folk tune inspired by a roadtrip through the United States.
Um, seriously: should we stage Eurovision 2015 in Biloxi, Mississippi?
De Bee came second with “Pin in the Middle”. Daniel Testa came third with his song “One Last Ride”.
Fans of Jessika and her song “Hypnotica” will no doubt be upset. She won the televote. But unfortunately that only accounts for 1/7 of the total score, with the other 6/7 determined by a “professional” jury. We put that in quotes because it featured a few folks who, far from working in the music industry, are just heads of delegation at foreign broadcasters!
In our readers’ poll, conducted ahead of the semi-finals, Firelight only came sixth—losing to Jessika, among others.
In honor of the televoting winner, let’s give her a reprise.
What do you make of tonight’s result? Is Malta going to make it out of its semi-final?
Willy Lee Adams contributed this report from London. Follow him on Twitter @willyleeadams. You can also keep up with the latest Eurovision news and gossip by following wiwibloggs.com on Twitter and Facebook.