Ireland’s national broadcaster may be suspiciously silent about its Eurovision 2016 plans, but thankfully the country’s past stars are still making some noise. Molly Sterling and Ryan Dolan, the 2015 and 2013 representatives respectively, have both dropped new tracks in recent weeks. And one is even short enough to enter the song contest. Rev up the rumour mill!
Molly Sterling “Fake The Cost”
In Vienna, Molly gave an emotionally sophisticated performance that belied her years. And she continues to intrigue on “Fake The Cost”. The song sees her wade deep into alternative territory. For over five minutes she sings of destruction and lies. Despite heavy distortion, Molly’s vocals are dripping with pain and bitterness. The lyrics are bleak – “how does it feel to own part of my mind” – and, with only a single piano for accompaniment, grab our full attention. But is it all too high concept for us to truly connect? It’s certainly less of an ordeal than the similarly artsy “Locked Box” and “Heart Won’t Suck It” from Georgia’s Nina Sublatti. Still, casual listeners are likely to be left cold rather than chilled. The base ingredients are here, all we need is a little alchemy to bring out the gold.
Ryan Dolan “Uptown Downtown”
By contrast Ryan Dolan’s new single is under three minutes — cue the Eurovision gossip. The track is published by Sweden Songs, the team behind Farid Mammadov’s “Hold Me” in 2013. We know that both Ryan and Sweden Songs worked on an entry for Eurosong 2015. Could this have been rejected in favour of Alex Saint’s “She’s So Fine”? Alternatively, it could be a potential entry for the as yet unannounced 2016 selection. Or maybe none of the above.
Speculation aside, “Uptown Downtown” is a nice boppy number. The atmosphere is light and carefree “life is alright… just live it”. Yet, there’s a little edge, including a dig at consumerism “just because you’re rich doesn’t mean you’re free”. Unlike the similarly named “Uptown Funk”, this isn’t going to win any Grammys or rule the world. But it’s a nice return to form for Dolan. While “Start Again” and “Fall To The Floor” raised important social issues, this feels more authentic to the singer Eurofans first fell in love with.