It’s day two of our Irish trip, and the Wiwi Jury – our in-house panel of music unprofessionals – have decided to spurn the traditional pint of Guinness in favour of a visit to a classy piano bar and a listen to Molly Sterling’s “Playing With Numbers”. Are we impressed? Read on to find out…
Denise: I just can’t believe that this girl is so young. She’s really talented and I hope to see her back someday, just not this year in Vienna. It wouldn’t be a bad choice. If another country picked it, I would be quite happy. It’s just that Ireland has some (two!) better songs. She seems to have a great voice, so I’m really curious if she’s able to deliver live.
Louis: Compared to the rest of the acts, this is pretty poor. A bit boring and sounding very much the same. I struggled to even make it through the full thing. A song like this is perfect for a toilet break though.
Angus: This has a very “A Thousand Miles” vibe and Molly has a stunning voice. It may lack in-your-face attitude but as the Common Linnets show a flashy presentation isn’t everything. Sometimes subtlety wins out.
William: This is lovely background noise. I’d happily not listen to it while shopping for groceries or buying beads in an arts and crafts store. I would not, however, download this. It’s too much of a downer and decidedly un-ESC. There is progression, but it’s too subtle to keep me awake. By the time Molly comes alive in what is a rather nice chorus, I’ve lost all interest. She’s playing with numbers, and I’m falling asleep.
Robyn: Here’s my issue – Molly is a brilliant singer and the song masterfully evokes a feeling of defiance and melancholy, but it doesn’t work that there’s a 16-year-old singing a really mature song about a complicated relationship breakup. It’s like an X Factor audition – yeah, the song shows off her performance ability but the lyrics are an uneasy fit.
William C: Molly’s voice is quite good in the official video, but we have yet to hear her sing live. And the acoustics in the RTÉ studios aren’t renowned for their greatness. I think this will come second on Eurosong night. I wouldn’t mind it winning, but I have some higher preferences.
Mike: This is not my fave in the Irish national final, but I wouldn’t mind if she wins a ticket to Vienna. It’s a nice ballad and if they do well with the staging (Molly, piano, candle – without any tanned, oiled, hyperactive semi-naked backing dancers) there is a great chance we will see Ireland back in the Eurovision final.
Padraig: There’s no denying that Molly’s a talented young singer, it’s just unfortunate that she’s been burdened with a song beyond her years. Sixteen is an age for letting loose and breaking free from the shackles of childhood, not lamenting the end of a great love affair – and at 16 how great could it have been? There’s still plenty of time for Molly to gain life experience worth singing about, after all Adele didn’t release her debut until the grand old age of 19. She should come back in a few years, with a song more deserving of her talents.
Mikhail: This is a nice, lovely ballad. It has some interesting parts in the melody and Molly’s voice is charming. But it can easily send you to sleep. It’s quickly forgotten.
Kristín: I am slightly underwhelmed here. It’s a very nice everyday ballad, but forgettable, I’m afraid. Molly is extremely talented and has a bright future ahead of her. However, this is not the song that will restore Ireland’s former glory.