As 2019 comes to an end, many Eurovision fans are looking forward to discovering an array of new artists that will be competing in next year’s contest. But, before then, it’s always nice to look back on what the stars of previous editions of Eurovision have been getting up to.
For this new music roundup, we’re heading to Russia and bringing you the new songs that the country’s Eurovision alumni have released over the past months. Read on to listen to new tracks by Sergey Lazarev, Polina Gagarina, Dima Bilan, MOLLY, Elena Temnikova, Alexey Vorobyov and Julia Somoylova.
New music from past Russian Eurovision stars
Sergey Lazarev – “Я не боюсь” and Это я
Towards the end of November, Sergey dropped the music video for his single “Я не боюсь” (“I’m Not Afriad”). There’s an androgynous feel to the video, with men and women dressed in colourful suits joining the two-time Eurovision participant. In this sense, the video is rather reminiscent of Dua Lipa’s “IDGAF” music video.
The track is the title song of Sergey’s summer EP. Sonically, it’s an electronic track with a pulsing beat running throughout the three minutes. The lyrics see the “Scream” singer discussing a forbidden love. The star is falling in love with an individual, but those around him think he should not pursue this path. Nevertheless, Sergey is not put off from following his heart: “I’m not afraid / I’m not afraid / I surrender myself to your sweet custody / If someone condemns this, so be it”.
Most recently, Sergey released his new album Это я (It’s me). Overall, the album has a slower pace than his Я не боюсь EP, and features a number of mid-tempo pop songs and ballads. Yet, it’s perhaps Sergey’s smooth vocals that provide a common thread between each individual song and record.
The Russian singer has proven with his two Eurovision entries that he can master both uptempo songs in addition to slower, more emotional tracks. Sergey continues to do just that in his subsequent discography.
Polina Gagarina – “Смотри”
After dropping the music video for “Меланхолия”, Polina Gagarina released the latin-flavoured “Ангелы в танце” (“Angels in dance”) in spring. But, the Eurovision 2015 contestant’s latest song is “Смотри” (“Look”). It’s a contemporary ballad that features a strong electronic beat.
As usual, Polina puts her soul into the song in order to portray the emotions to the listener. Lyrically, the “A Million Voices” singer is telling her former lover that she forgives them for the things that happened in the past: “Look! Time is running out / My heart asks me: “Forgive” / And I forgive, the anger fades out / If you want, take it”.
The accompanying music video is all about light. Polina sings in front of a series of projections, often showcasing a thunderstorm with lightning bolts.
Dima Bilan – “Полуночное такси”
Following on from “Про белые розы” (“About White Roses”), Dima Bilan has kept up the 80’s musical styling for his new song “Полуночное такси” (“Midnight taxi”). Full of synths and electronic beats, the song sees the Eurovision 2008 winner focusing on the journey home late at night with a lover: “In the light of the lamp, your eyes / remind me that / in this world there are miracles … We fly in a midnight taxi / the two of us landed / in the end of the earth / love me, me”.
The music video naturally sees the “Believe” singer riding around in a taxi, accompanied by a woman donning a pink wig. They take a trip to a botanical garden, before eventually making their way home.
MOLLY – Косатка в небе and “Опалённые солнцем”
After being the last-surviving original member of Russia’s Eurovision 2007 girl group Serebro, MOLLY (stage name of Olga Seryabkina) has continued her solo career. Earlier this year, the star released her debut solo album Косатка в небе (Killer Whale in the Sky).
There’s a dark, melancholic mood running throughout the 14-track record. The LP includes MOLLY’s previous solo releases from the past four years, as well as new singles such as “Не плачу” (“I’m not crying”), “Красивый мальчик” (“A handsome boy”) and “Полуголые” (“Half naked”).
At the end of August, MOLLY dropped the new non-album single “Опалённые солнцем” (“Scorched by the sun”). In the lyrics, the Russian singer discusses how her relationship has gone up in flames: “Scorched by the sun / Love was not the game we played / We have vanished and burned to nothing / We are fallen to silence”.
Musically, the song has clear peaks and troughs. Although the verses are mid-tempo in nature, a stronger dance beat comes in during the choruses that adds pace and drive to the song. The accompanying music video has a gold colour scheme running throughout it. Meanwhile, some shots were recorded on an old fashioned camcorder.
Elena Temnikova – “Жара”
Another former member of Serebro, Elena Temnikova has continued her release of yearly albums. In 2019, the star dropped TEMNIKOVA 4 (which naturally follows on from I, II and III). However, Elena’s most recent music video is for the new single “Жара” (“Heat”). Despite the title, the music video has a dominant white colour scheme, with the “Song #1” singer inside a small rectangular cubicle.
Lyrically, Elena sings about the love that she and her loved one have for each other: “Unbridled love is real / The fire between us, is a heat abnormality / Unbridled love is real / Rising daily as if from nowhere / Perfection, isn’t it?”.
Alexey Vorobyov – “Never Be Friends” and “Подоконник на 6-ом”
Since Eurovision 2011, Alexey Vorobyov has continued his music career both in English and Russian. Under his English stage name – Alex Sparrow – the singer released “Never Be Friends” earlier this year. The track has a mid-tempo rock ‘n’ roll feel to it, with added trumpet instrumentation.
Like with some of Alexey’s past songs, the accompanying music video is fun and full of personality. The singer tries to seduce a young woman, but is unfortunately told that they should “just be friends”. This doesn’t sit well with Sparrow, who is determined to be more than friends. The Eurovision alum then decides to sabotage the woman’s future dates, which includes dressing up in drag and knocking a detective unconscious with a shovel.
Returning to Russian-language songs, Alexey dropped “Подоконник на 6-ом” (“Windowsill on the 6th”) in November. This track has more of a pop influence, and features an electronic dance beat in the chorus.
Alexey sings about a woman that he has fallen for, but he does not yet understand why: “Well, why do I remember you every night? / Time will not heal me, it kills me … Windowsill on the 6th, we are sitting together / Are you laughing that we won’t fall asleep again?”. The music video for the song sees the Eurovision alum interrogating this woman, who turns out to be a robot that sports a multitude of colourful wigs.
Julia Samoylova – “Лето”
She may be the only Russian artist to have failed to qualify for the Eurovision grand final, but that hasn’t stopped Julia Samoylova from doing what she loves and pursuing her music career further. This year, the star released “Лето” (“Summer”). For those who aren’t massive fans of the winter months currently engulfing Europe, this is perhaps a good song to warm your soul while you wait for summer 2020.
Much more contemporary than her Eurovision ballad “I Won’t Break”, the song has a repetitive 80s-inspired synth beat running through it. The accompanying music video features a couple dancing and rollerblading around the streets during the day and under the city lights at night.
What do you make of these new songs from Russia’s Eurovision alumni? Which ones are you adding to your own playlist? Sound off in the comments.