It’s 2020 (or as good as). But before we open up for Rotterdam, it’s time to look back at 2019 one more time. Because, after five days, we’ve reached the top ten of our Tracks of 2019 countdown.
As usual, the team from wiwibloggs voted for their favourite 2019 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 eventually settled on our top 50. And now, it’s time to reveal our top picks. It wasn’t easy.
But what song will join Loreen’s “We Got The Power”, Emmelie De Forest’s “Drunk Tonight”, Lena’s “Traffic Lights”, Loïc Nottet’s “Million Eyes” and “Mud Blood” and Iveta Mukuchyan’s “Hayastani Axjikner” in our Hall of Fame? The countdown is almost over.
Songs by Eurovision artists in 2019: Our top tracks (10 to 1)
10. Netta “Nana Banana”
What we said: Slightly more mid-tempo compared to her previous tracks, “Nana Banana” once again sees the “Toy” hit-maker bringing her personality and positive energy into her music. Lyrically, Netta is comfortable doing her own thing. Other people might be trying to mould her into something else, but she makes it known that she does things her own way: “They keep calling my name / I’m not hearing nothing / NaNa BaNaNa / I do what I wanna”. Y’all hear sumn? Cuz Netta doesn’t! (Jonathan)
9. Eleni Foureira “El Ritmo Psicodélico”
What we said: Sticking to her guns, the lyric video even features a cartoon Eleni popping, locking and dropping to the psychedelic rhythm. It certainly doesn’t require a lot of effort to picture the real Eleni making our jaws drop with some fierce choreography to this track. It’s also a perfect expansion of her discography, building on the success of “Fuego” and subsequent hits “Caramela” and “Tómame“. (Antranig)
8. Hatari “Klámstrákur”
What we said: While the song title “Klámstrákur” literally translates to “Porn Boy”, Matthias Tryggvi Haraldson explained that “Filthy boy” is a more fitting translation. “Porn in Icelandic is a broader term, it can be interpreted in different ways. Filthy is more in spirit with the track.” The music video features Klemens as the titular “filthy boy”. He spends much of the video clad in only his trademark leather BSDM gear and delivers some impressive pole-dancing moves. Contrasting with Klemens is Matthias, who portrays what he describes as the “screamingly repressed masculine counterpart”. (Robyn)
Previous top tracks: “Klefi / Samed” (#13 in 2019)
7. Wurst “Hit Me”
What we said: With a new look and a new thumping electronic sound, Tom Neuwirth is yet again pushing the boundaries of his alter ego.“Hit me with the bullets you make up in your head” is the new chant of empowerment in his latest track “Hit Me”, written and produced by Eva Klampfer and Albin Janoska respectively. Bold, sassy and unapologetic, WURST gives his fans a deeper insight into his private life. He takes the reign of control by serving as the creative director for his video releases, and providing self-styling. (Deban)
6. Lena “Better”
What we said: Lena sings the first verse of the song. It builds up in its production before transitioning into the pre-chorus. There, Nico Santos comes in for the first time. Their vocals harmonise well and lead into a contemporary pop chorus. The catchy post-chorus keeps the momentum going before Nico Santos takes on the second verse. In the final chorus, their strong vocal game is audible once more. (Florian)
Previous top tracks: “Love” (#20 in 2019), “Don’t Lie To Me” (#23 in 2019), “Thank You” (#5 in 2018), “Lost In You” (#20 in 2017), “If I Wasn’t Your Daughter” (#24 in 2017), “Beat To My Melody” (#9 in 2016), “Traffic Lights” (#1 in 2015), “Wild & Free” (#14 in 2015)
5. Ruth Lorenzo “Underworld”
What we said: Spain’s 2014 Eurovision star unleashes her power vocals and oozes sensuality while she prepares to exhume her lover’s body, which, of course, had been buried in the underworld. During the story, images of Ruth portrayed as a goddess and a devil appear. One minute she’s dancing with a choir of “angels” with white and golden gowns, and the next, she’s a blood thirsty devil sitting on an iron throne. (Luis)
4. Luca Hänni “Bella Bella”
What we said: Another upbeat number with plenty of spice layered over a dance beat. “Bella Bella” is a nice continuation of “She Got Me” — it has the same authentic near Eastern sound and is beyond catchy. Within a day of its release it has already hit #1 in Switzerland. (Esma)
3. Netta “Bassa Sababa”
What we said: Seemingly just as catchy as her winning song and hit single “Toy”, the new track uses the Arabic/Hebrew slang words for “Bummer, that’s cool” and is all about Netta’s roller-coaster ride following her newfound fame. Never one for being basic, the accompanying music video lets us into Netta’s Willy-Wonka-style world of pink via a video game. Even Nintendo’s Mario would be afraid to level up in this game as the video features a glittery pink rhinoceros charging at a man who left the Israeli singer standing alone at the altar. (Julia)
Previous top tracks: “Nana Banana” (#10 in 2019)
2. Mahmood “Barrio”
What we said: With “Barrio” — that’s Spanish for neighborhood — Mahmood continues the theme of connectivity we saw in “Soldi”. Once again he builds the song around relationships — in this instance friendships — creating an ode to the every day. A Latin slap in the face, the track comes with a contemporary beat that mixes exotic elements like a flamenco guitar with Mahmood’s signature sound. Inspired by the great Francisco Tarerega, who composed the well-known piece “Capricho Arabe” back in 1892, it unites Arabic and Spanish culture. (Florian)
Previous top tracks: “Calipso” (#16 in 2019)
1. Duncan Laurence “Love Don’t Hate It”
What we said: The song makes it clear just how versatile Duncan is as a songwriter and performer. This track goes in an entirely new direction from his Eurovision winner. The vibe is more urban and thrusting but still wrapped up in a smooth and glossy production Instrumentation is key. The prominent guitar during the first verse is later joined by piano and electronic elements to create a heady mix of emotion and texture. The first chorus is only a small tease of the drama to come as Duncan eventually snakes through elements of electronic, rock and pop. (Florian)
Our Top Tracks of 2019 ranking is determined by independent votes from a panel of wiwibloggers. They are William, Robyn, Jonathan, Antranig, Pablo, Cinan, Florian, Ari, Mario, Tom and Padraig.
What songs do you think should feature on the list? Are you surprised by our choices so far? Let us know in the comments.