Yesterday marked the return of our annual Top Tracks countdown.
Like every other year, the team from wiwibloggs voted for their favourite 2018 releases and recordings by and featuring Eurovision stars. Songs which competed at Eurovision or national finals were excluded (they’ve been analysed to death in our jury reviews), as were artists who have yet to compete on the Eurovision stage.
After considering well over 100 songs, we finally settled on our top 50. And now we’re ready to share it with y’all. We’ll publish ten tracks daily between now and New Year’s Day.
The countdown continues.
40. Greta Salóme feat. Tiny “Wildfire”
What we said: It’s more anthemic folk-pop from the “Hear Them Calling” singer. Salóme has proven herself to be a dab hand at the genre, and this time proves no different. Clever use of instrumentation creates a sound effect that mimics the call of migratory birds, apt given the song’s movie tie in. Speaking of which, Fly The Nest tells the story of Ploey, a young chick left behind by his family. This tale of both darkness and hope is reflected in the “Wilfire” lyrics. Greta opens by singing, “I run and run / But still I’m tethered to my fear”. But by the chorus it’s all changed, “Clip my wings / Now watch me fly”. A guest spot from local rapper Tiny adds an urban juxtaposition to proceedings (Padraig).
39. Nathan Trent “Killer”
What we said: Taking a break from the tropical feel of “Good Vibes” and the chirpy sound of “Running on Air”, Nathan dives into pop-rock territory that has us thinking of Maroon 5. In the song Nathan clearly understands that his lady is bad news. As he sings: “Bittersweet the taste of her tongue, seems as if she’s moving along. No I should have known better.” Yet he lets her take his heart and soul anyway. In this light it’s a wake up call to break free from manipulation and the feeling of imprisonment within a relationship…or basically you’ll die (Rezo).
Previous top tracks: “Good Vibes” (#19 in 2017)
38. Polina Gagarina “Меланхолия”
What we said: Polina Gagarina stormed to a second place finish in 2015 with “A Million Voices” and is serving up plenty of sass in her latest work. Despite the title, “Melancholya” is not an emotional ballad. Polina delivers plenty of attitude on this one and we can’t wait to see what she does next. A million voices, but only one Polina (Antranig).
Previous top tracks: “I Will Not” (#13 in 2015)
37. Hadise “Farkımız Var”
What we said: With over 67 million views on the official music video for her latest single “Farkımız Var” (We Are Different), Hadise’s star shows no signs of dimming just yet. Released in March, the track sees Hadise detail the ways in which she and a lover are incompatible. Over electro beats with urban and ethno flourishes, she sings “We have a limit / We’re not allowed to cross the line / … / We have no words to pass the test” (Padraig).
36. Vaidas Baumila “Suknelė”
What we said: He sang of a blossoming romance with Monika Linkytė at Eurovision 2015. But this time, Lithuanian popstar Vaidas Baumila is getting flirty on “Suknelė” (The Dress). Singing in Lithuanian, Vaidas inhabits the role of a player — “What are you thinking about / Because I believe it / My thoughts are not good” and “You can touch it there / You have never been / So close”. The funky earworm landed in April, and the slick music video quickly racked up over 2.5 million views on YouTube — very impressive given Lithuania only has a population of 2.8 million (Padraig).
35. Minus One “Girl”
What we said: It’s an uplifting energetic rock track talking about the lead’s love for a girl. It’s a beautiful and somehow natural change from the dark and mysterious “Alter Ego“. There are far less electronic sounds, as this leans toward solid rock. It features a great guitar solo and some nice standout bass notes from Max-O-Matic. Also, the new frontman Andreas Kapatais has really found his home in the band. He’s a skilled rock singer who maintains the charming grit right throughout. The band seems to be working together very well, which points to an exciting future (Natalie).
34. Norma John “Hellfire”
What we said: The title is somewhat of a misnomer. Because while “Hellfire” might sound dark and brooding, it’s actually a delightfully uplifting mid-tempo pop number. Co-written by Leena and Lasse, it cleverly subverts the traditional image of hell’s fires. Rather than torture, these flames light up the dark. However, they also keep the singer trapped. Thankfully, there’s a way out “Only you can set me free”. This rousing anthem to love is completely unlike “Blackbird”, yet remains every bit as powerful. And it’s the perfect vehicle for Leena, showcasing her deliciously smooth vocals to brilliant effect. Hell never sounded so bright (Padraig).
33. Samra “Пиджак”
What we said: Samra’s sultry new song is called ‘Jacket’ (though why would you need one, with outfits and dance routines as steamy as this?), and it’s an upbeat summer tune, filled with house rhythms and catchy hooks. The sort of thing you could definitely imagine blasting out of a Baku beach bar. For the glitzy music video, Samra — who represented Azerbaijan in 2016’s ESC, and placed a respectable mid-table 17th — gets dolled up in a variety of glitzy, gorgeous bodysuits. Jewels dangle from the ceiling and adorn Samra’s ears. But there’s one motif that makes an appearance throughout – the singer and her backing dancers are rarely seen without a jacket (Alice).
32. Poli Genova “Г-н Президент”
What we said: We’re used to seeing the positive, bright side of Poli Genova, she’s proving that she can go dark as well with the release of her latest single “Mr. President”. The Bulgarian-language track is about men who think they can be the president in their woman’s lives — and Poli needs them to know just how wrong they are. It depicts the rude and pushy type of man who gets what he wants with money and power rather than charm or goodwill. Miss Genova turns the tables on these sort of men, decreeing that “there is no way this can happen again”. Whether love is a crime or not, these men should definitely be criminals (Antranig).
31. Aminata “Don’t Talk About It”
What we said: “Don’t Talk About It” unfolds in a brightly lit bar or cafe as Aminata shows up for a date. Things don’t go very smoothly — a piece of cake gets stabbed by a fork — as Aminata wonders if “you want me or my body”. She doesn’t want to hear his excuses as he goes on a date with somebody else. Aminata gatecrashes his extracurricular activity with a scalding hot jug of coffee and pours it all into his cup. He literally gets burned. Things get back on track as Aminata reveals that she will “crash and burn and fall into your arms”. The torrid love affair continues as Aminata sings “next morning devastated, hungover but liberated, I really should have known that you were trouble all long” (Antranig).
Our Top Tracks of 2018 ranking is determined by votes from a panel of wiwibloggers. They are William, Robyn, Deban, Jonathan, Antranig, Sebastian, Pablo, Oliver, Barnabas, Cinan, Florian, Jack, Bernardo and Padraig.
- Our top tracks of 2017
- Our top tracks of 2016
- Our top tracks of 2015
- Our top tracks of 2014
- Our top tracks of 2013