Earlier today, the Wiwi Jury — our in-house team of music unprofessionals — continued their trip through Latvia ahead of LTV’s national selection process “Supernova”, which kicks off on February 1. This time we took to the nightlife of Riga, where we shook our booties until the morning light! But we didn’t forget to review the next four competing songs from Framest, Rihards Berzins, Riga Metro and Martins & Ginta. Were the songs as funky as our disco music? Or more depression on the dancefloor? Read on to find out…
Framest – Ziema
Anthony: Is this meant to be an entry for the Supernova national final, or have we just discovered a cure for insomnia? Whispery vocals and a very gentle piano background. Looks like Framest want to lull their competitors to sleep, then sneak their way to Vienna this year.
Deban: Listening to this, I am transported into a world where serenity reins. This entry has a strong esoteric quality. The instrumentation behind the composition is equally as important as the vocals steering it. I salute performers that approach the contest with a different recipe. However, here’s the magic question. Should Ziema go to Vienna? Absolutely! Danny Boyle just needs to be the stage director.
Judit: Sounds like Estonia in 2013. I think it’s a beautiful song but not enough for the Eurovision stage. It’s too “toilet break”. I will listen more than once, but not in the competition.
Patrick: This song has a problem – it keeps on going without any power or a real chorus. It’s a never ending story. The voices are beautiful I have to say, and the Latvian language is something special, but there is just something missing. It’s sweet but I think not for Eurovision!
Robyn: As I’m listening to this, I’m drinking green tea, the sun is shining, and everything feels right with the world. The lush layers of vocals are a pleasure to listen to, from the delicate lead vocal to the deep bass tones. Ahhh…. But let’s get real. Songs like never do well in Eurovision. It will be fun to see his performed live at the national final, but for the sake of Latvia, it shouldn’t go to Vienna.
Sopon: Framest is a pleasant act, but does nothing. It sounds like a Nordic hymn or lullaby, and while beautiful and meaningful, lacks any traction.
Zach: It’s actually really pretty, but unfortunately when thinking about Eurovision it’s pretty boring as well. Their voices are really nice, delicate, and the song is pleasant to listen to. However, I don’t think it could be performed on such an exciting stage and make an impact. Still, I enjoy it.
Wiwi Jury Average: 5.4/10
Rihards Berzins – Your Eyes
Anthony: This entry from Rihards bears some resemblance to David Guetta’s hit single “Titanium” featuring Sia. Composed by Ingars Vilums, the same person behind “Stay” from Dziesma 2014 finalist Samanta Tina, he’s done wonders once again with another quality dance track. And he’s a Latvian.
Deban: Dance! Dance! Dance! “Your Eyes” gets me moving! But will I burn out before Vienna? Probably. There are merits to this track, but it needs to be re-arranged. Currently, it sounds too familiar, and some of the dips are too apparent. It sounds like the “marker” for something much bigger. The ending was a tad too abrupt for my taste too.
Judit: Modern dance music but nothing special, and I don’t know how he will sing it in live. With strong vocals and a bit of backing it could be succesful, but I don’t think he will get the golden ticket to Vienna.
Patrick: THIS COULD WORK! I hope his voice is like this live because this is probably one of the best songs. Rihards is a great singer, the lyrics are great and the sound is blowing me away! Rihards, your my favourite now.
Robyn: Things were going so well. It seemed like a cool dance-pop song, but then suddenly Rihards sings “it shines so bright, like glittering honey gland” and instantly the spell is broken. Glittering honey gland? This isn’t the first time the birds and the bees have been the subject of a pop song, but perhaps not this literally.
Sopon: Omigod he’s hot. Like seriously hot. But he’s just the same as Niko last year. It’s a meaningless club song filled with grammatical errors and clichéd similes about eyes. It’s not a strong contender, simply middle-of-the-road.
Zach: Middle of the road for me. Cool backing beats but his vocals seem a bit processed. I don’t think he’ll perform it well live. The lyrics leave much to be desired as well, pretty cheesy and cliché. Won’t light up the Latvian scoreboard much.
Wiwi Jury Average: 6.1/10
Riga Metro – High Heels
Anthony: The electronic pop vibes from “High Heels” feels like one of Margaret Berger’s more recent singles. However, Riga Metro hasn’t quite mastered the art of electronic pop like our Norwegian beauty queen, who does it with such ease. This one feels samey throughout the entire song.
Deban: Wickedly delicious electro-sample! I wished the vocals were on mute though. The female protagonist sings like she’s reading a lyric sheet, and has no understanding of how to pace within the track, or pick up speed. Despite the range the song commands, she’s remains decidedly monotone.
Judit: I like high heels, but only on my feet. This song is a mess. It doesn’t work and hopefully Latvia feels the same. It won’t hurt my feet, just my ears.
Patrick: Ehm is this real? Is this what I want to hear in Vienna? No No NOOO! Horrible, just horrible. The electro and the voice don’t work together and it’s just a mess. No…
Robyn: I really like this song and I’ve been checking out other stuff that Riga Metro have done. But in the bigger scheme of things, a song like this is too avant garde, too atmospheric to work as an audience grabbing ESC showpiece. The singer feels like she’s there to back up the instruments, not to be the star performer.
Sopon: Is that Nina Sublatti singing? If I recall, there’s a rule that a singer can’t represent two countries in one edition! The song is a mess, and that’s mostly because the beats of the backing track and Nina’s doppelgänger are mismatched. It’s a recipe for disaster.
Zach: Extremely eclectic is my first thought, but I like odd-electronica songs like this so I enjoyed it for the most part. It’s unique, that much is for certain. I’m interested to see it live, but I don’t think it will win, it’s too eclectic in that regard. However, Latvia’s sent pretty odd songs, so maybe it will do rather well.
Wiwi Jury Average: 4.1/10
Martins Ruskins & Ginta Krievkalna – Debesis
Anthony: Samson lost all his strength when he had his hair cut. So imagine Georgia’s 2013 Eurovision entry “Waterfall”, but with the impact of their composer Thomas G:son stripped away. That’s basically what “Debesis” is about. Without something to produce that spark, this ends up dull and weak.
Deban: Dreary! This song reads like a bad telenovella. Boy meets girl and I’m running scared. Literally!
Judit: I’m not a ballad-friendly girl or maybe I just don’t feel the Latvian ones. I can’t say it’s a bad song, but I just don’t feel the connection. However a girl-boy duo usually works well.
Patrick: This song is so typical. Really boring with a pleasent melody and the voices don’t match. It’s not made for Eurovision. Sorry.
Robyn: I was going to describe this as a Disney ballad, but I think not even Disney would release a track this boring and cheesy. When you consider how high the Common Linnets raised the bar last year, there is really no excuse for anyone entering a male-female duet this dire.
Sopon: I thought I had heard this one before. It turns out it’s literally the same song as another song in Supernova, “Colours of Love” by Dima and Kamilla. And also the same as a really bad Estonian cover by Sandra Nurmsalu and some other Estonian guy. Sleepy, dull, boring, and too cheesy for Disney to even consider.
Zach: Duller than gray paint in a jail cell. This song literally has no distinguishing features, it’s so by-the-numbers that it gets more lost than the idiots on that island. Boy-Girl duet? Check. Piano ballad? Check. Zach asleep? BIG CHECK. Zzzzzzzzzzz…..