We’re heading into the last quarter of the year, traditionally the busiest time for music releases. And the Eurovision world is no different than the real world in this regard. Over the past week we’ve been spoilt for choice. Listen to a selection below.
Shiri Maimon “I Have It All”
The audio first appeared in September. And on Monday, Shiri Maimon published the music video for “I Have It All”, her first new single in two years. She sang a massive ballad at Eurovision 2005, but her latest offering is pure pop. The ridiculously catchy number details Shiri’s struggles with the dating game “You get up at noon, and at night you turn around / A bachelor for almost two years, does not want to commit”. He’s a college dropout and gets drunk in the forest. But the blonde diva has had enough, cheerily singing “But my father was right – in the end we gotta grow”. The nonchalant attitude towards her significant other carries on into the humorous music video. The “Time To Say Goodbye” songstress rids herself of a handsome yet rather useless boyfriend. Luckily for her, she has a team of bellboys to fill the void. They wait on her hand and foot, and the only baggage they carry is her stylish blue suitcases.
Evridiki feat. Demy “To Mono Pou Thimamai”
Last week she delivered melodramatic soapy realness. Now, Demy is switching it up once more as she lends her vocals to Evridiki’s latest single “To Mono Pou Thimamai”(The Only Thing I Remember). The “This Is Love” singer’s pop vocals act as a foil to the rougher tones of the three-time Cypriot representative (1992, 1994 and 2007), resulting in a rousing rock track. Based on the lyrics, at least one of the ladies seems to be going through a break-up or, at the very minimum, a lovers’ tiff. The third party asks if they remember such details as the day they met or their first night together, to which the duo fiercely reply in the negative – “The only thing I remember / is that it smells like spring, your first kiss”. The collaboration is taken from Evridiki’s new duets album, which also features turns from Cyprus’ 2013 performer Despina Olympiou and Eurovision 2005 winner Helena Paparizou.
At Eurovision, she was one of the few Azeri stars to shun bombast and pizzazz for subtlety and class. And on Wednesday, Dilara revisited her “Start A Fire” era when she dropped “Shine”. Like with her 2014 entry, “Shine” creates a luscious dreamlike atmosphere that’s somewhat at odds with the world she paints through her lyrics. The apocalypse may be looming, but Dilara doesn’t care, “Stars are falling from the sky / I don’t want to know about / sun is gonna fall apart / I will never ever mind”. She just wants to fly. Inspired by someone dear, the singer feels she can escape. This special person’s identity is left ambiguous, and it could possibly even be multiple individuals “Because you shine boy / ‘cause you shine girl”. The music video was filmed in Ukraine, while the song itself is lifted from Dilara’s newly released English-language album Running.
Cleo feat. Sitek “PALI SIE!”
Despite missing out on winning both X Factor and Eurovision, she’s easily one of Poland’s biggest female pop stars. And on Thursday, Cleo reminded us why, when she published the music video for “PALI SIE!” (FIRED!). On the surface, the Sitek collaboration appears to be a run-of-the-mill urban crossover track – the first line tells us to turn up the bass. But there’s more to it than that. Over contagious beats, Cleo raps about the demise of the current world order “Burning the roof, we silence the silence”. It’s power to the people “The strength of the crowd grows”. Alas, the music video, whilst very expensive, is less clever. Cleo flies in in a yellow helicopter, before joining her rapper friend and some scantily clad ladies in a hangar. Money is thrown about, luxurious cars are driven. If there’s a visual message similar to “My Slowianie”, it’s very well hidden.
Molly Sterling “Plain Static”
At Eurovision 2015 she was but a school girl. But despite her age, Molly Sterling showed maturity beyond her years with the haunting ballad “Playing With Numbers”. Now 19, she’s developed as an artist, with her music heading down an even darker and more experimental path. Released on Thursday, “Plain Static” hits out at the judgemental, materialistic, and shallow aspects of life – there is more than meets the eye, “The body is not just a feast for your eyes / it’s a home, a prison, a craft all at the same time”. At times, the imagery is gruesome and unsettling, “did you change your words when they sliced your throat and stitched it back together”. At over five minutes long, each listen unlocks fresh meanings. Occasionally, it sounds like Molly may have attended the Loreen Talhaoui school of diction. But, in a way, the mumbles almost add to the song’s impact.
Sanna Nielsen “Innan du lämnar mig”
Her last release dealt with the painful topic of bullying. But for her newest track, Sanna Nielsen returns to the subject of love. That’s not to say “Innan du lämnar mig” (Before You Leave Me) is free from hurt. Because it’s not. Speaking in the single’s press release, Sweden’s 2014 singer explains that the song is about the times when love is too strong. “To me it’s an incredibly strong story about how to feel in a relationship. A relationship that is the world’s best but the fear of losing it is so great that the lyrics — Though you’re all I think of / I’ll go before you leave me — become one’s reality”. As with much of Sanna’s recent material, it’s simpler and less dramatic than “Undo”. And while there’s a delicate poignancy to the song, it veers perilously close to being non-descript.
Laura Tesoro “Beast”
“Higher” was one of the pop bops of the summer. And now, as we enter the winter months, Laura Tesoro has something new for us – “Beast”. Fear not, Laura’s still her vivacious self, and is only a beast in the best possible way. “Watch out I’m your beast” she sings, “there’s no stopping me / put the freak on me”. The sound is cooler than her last two singles, less pop more street. The music video sees Laura put her words into action. We see her hard at work at concerts and in the sports hall. There really is no stopping her.
At Eurovision 2014, he joined Nick Raptakis and Riskykidd in urging Europe to “Rise Up”. Three years on, the Freaky Fortune project is parked and Theofilos Pouzbouris has moved on to DK. Describing themselves on social media as an “Avant-garde Techno Duo”, the outfit released its first single “Wilmheim” during the week. The completely instrumental track fuses classical with electronic, leading to a disorientating yet rewarding, trance-like four and a half minutes. But be warned, the music video is full of flashing/strobe light effects.
B-Fighters feat. Barei “Impulso”
She upset traditionalists with her insistence on singing in English at Eurovision 2016. But for “Impulso”, Barei returns to her native Spanish. She’s joined by the B-Fighters, a choir made up of some of her biggest fans. Together, they sing an inspiring song of hope and preservation. In a novel twist, lyrics were written using Twitter and the hashtag “#NuestraPrimeraCancionJuntos”. Over two and a half months each Sunday, via live chat and explanatory videos, Barei composed the track from scratch with her followers. Recorded as a charity single, proceeds will be split between the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the ANIDAN Association’s work in Kenya.
The Fizz “Amen”
In August, they made their long-awaited comeback with the painfully dated “Dancing In The Rain”. Now, just in time for Halloween, The Fizz (three quarters of Bucks Fizz plus another) have dropped their sophomore single “Amen”. And it’s a refreshingly retro earworm from the band that won Eurovision 1981. The saccharine and cheese overkill of their last effort is mostly gone, replaced with drama and drive. “All isn’t fair in war and love”, sings lead vocalist Cheryl Baker, “but baby we could just pretend”. The lyrics go beyond the bland, taking us into darker realms without losing the camp factor, “One little white lie / ‘til death will I die / always and forever / amen”. This is quite possibly the UK group’s best work since “The Land Of Make Believe”, and wouldn’t sound out of place on Steps latest album.
More new music reviews from the last seven days:
- The End of Sunrise: DiHaj’s nine-track debut album is enigmatic and intoxicating
- WATCH: Nina Zilli hits out at contemporary society on “Domani Arriverà (Modern Art)”
- Listen: Lena Katina is electric on her newest single “Silent Hills”
- Montenegro: Eurovision 2014 singer Sergej Cetkovic recruits 2CELLO’s Stjepan Hauser for “Oci Nikad Ne Stare”
- Hold your breath! Kristian Kostov goes underwater in emotional lyric video for “Glubina”
- Listen: Loreen sings of destructive love on “Hate the Way I Love You”
What do you think of all this new music? What song is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below.
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I like the Laura Tesoro track. I so much wanted her to say ‘hit it!’ at the start.
Evridiki remains as wonderful as ever, and sounds exactly the same with a style all her own. The song itself may not be her best but the woman has star quality to burn. Her 1994 entry is the best Cyprus has ever sent.
Come back home for a fourth time, please!