The festive season is truly beginning to settle in. We’ve even started our own advent countdown on Instagram! But for Eurovision fans there’s one other event coming up that is perhaps even more highly anticipated – Albania’s Festivali i Këngës! Excitement is already building, with newly released preview clips of all 22 songs.
The first national final of the season, Festivali i Këngës enters its 57th year later this month as it returns to our screens on December 20, 21 and 22. That means we only have two weeks to wait before we have the first song for Eurovision 2019!
But before the contest, broadcaster RTSH has uploaded one-minute long clips of all 22 competing songs. You can find the clips on their Instagram page, or in the YouTube playlist below.
The videos aren’t dedicated entirely to the studio cuts of the songs though, as they also allow all the artists taking part in this year’s competition to talk about the meaning behind their entries (and thanks to wiwiblogger Erdi for the translations).
Perhaps the most striking of the songs lyrically is “Leyla” by Marko Strazmiri & Imbro. The song details a 14-year-old girl, Leyla, who is about to become a teenage mother. The lyrics discuss her transition from the life of a child to parenthood.
The majority of the artists also mention Eurovision, saying that they would be honoured to represent Albania in Tel Aviv next year. No doubt it’s a good sign that many are already thinking past FiK57 and how their songs could translate to Eurovision entries — hopefully meaning we’ll bypass the dreaded ‘Albanian revamp’ that has so often not worked in the past.
From what we do get to hear of the songs, however, there definitely seems to be a nice mix of genres involved.
Jonida Maliqi also caught our attention with her song musically, which sounds like a particularly dramatic ballad with traditional flair.
FiK has been criticised in the past for relying too heavily on a live orchestra, which often doesn’t pair well with some of the more contemporary, upbeat and synthesised songs.
However, at the end of October the broadcaster announced some big changes to the way this year’s contest will run.
In the first show on December 20th, songs will be performed with the traditional FiK orchestra. The second programme a day later, however, will see the songs performed in a Eurovision-style arrangement and will make use of staging techniques. In the final we can expect a more traditional FiK experience.
With the running order for the first night set, and clips of the songs now revealed, all there is to do now is get out our festive FiKmas decorations and get ready for the show!
What do you make of the one-minute snippets? Are you loving any of the songs just from these brief clips? Any festive plans for the FiKmas period? Let us know in the comments below!
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