Summer is always the quiet period for Eurovision fans as we wait for national finals to start once again. Thankfully, the music will always continue and a number of past Eurovision artists are still producing new songs for us to enjoy.
Contrary to the commonly perpetuated myth about the song contest killing careers, we’re always thrilled to report that singers and performers associated with both Eurovision itself and the various national selections are thriving.
Here is a selection of just some of the songs and music videos released in the last week or so.
New music from Eurovision artists: 2020 | Week 23
Francesco Gabbani – “Il Sudore Ci Appiccica”
Francesco Gabbani was the red-hot favourite going into Eurovision 2017. Ultimately, the Italian star finished in sixth place. Gabbani has now released the music video for his new single “Il Sudore Ci Appiccica” (“Sweat Sticks To Us”). The song comes from his fourth studio album Viceversa, which he dropped earlier this year after taking home the silver medal at Sanremo 2020.
“Il Sudore Ci Appiccica” shows off the quintessential fun and upbeat Francesco that fans have come to love over recent years. It will quickly put a smile on your face and get you up and dancing. The music video sees the Italian singer come across his double, who precedes to lead a mass group dance in a courtyard.
Sergey Lazarev – “Лабиринт”
Two-time Eurovision bronze medallist (2016 and 2019) Sergey Lazarev is continuing his successful music career with the music video for the new single “Лабиринт” (“Labyrinth”). The song is included on his 2019 album Это я. Tapping into the synth-pop sound that has been a popular fixture of many songs lately, the Russian star puts a more moody spin on it to add extra depth to the song. In the accompanying music video we see Lazarev and a mysterious woman watching each other on either side of a television screen. The Eurovision alum explained more about the meaning of the song on Instagram:
“We sometimes find ourselves in the labyrinth of our feelings. And do not always find a way out. We are often afraid to confess to ourselves or our soulmate in our feelings, because we are afraid that the answer will be no. How often love is at arm’s length, but we don’t see it or don’t want to see it … Love is often not a reward, but a punishment … to love at a distance, but to be afraid to say it personally …. it is familiar to everyone … “we walk in a circle, we got into the maze and we can’t find a way out”…. I still wish everyone to find a way out …”
Alexander Rybak – “Give Me Rain” and “My Whole World”
Eurovision 2009 winner Alexander Rybak recently spoke out about his struggles with addiction. A day after his message, Rybak released two new singles to spread his story to the world. Writing on Instagram, he explained that “Give Me Rain” is about healing his mind, while “My Whole World” told the story of healing his heart.
“Give Me Rain” is a contemporary pop song with clear dance and reggae influences. It oozes power and strength, telling the story of slowly overcoming a string of negative experiences, ranging from depression to dark hallucinations. As he sings: “Give me rain and I’ll dance / Let me fall and I will rise.”
“My Whole World” could have come from a Common Linnets album in terms of style and sound. It’s Rybak’s first real country track and discusses the heart-felt story of a break-up.
Thematically, it follows on from Rybak’s earlier break-up songs, such as “I’m Still Here” and “Funny Little World”, with its strong focus on regretting the loss of a love interest. Read more about the story behind the songs here. (Renske)
Salvador Sobral and Alma Nuestra – “Tú mi delirio”
Salvador Sobral soared to victory at Eurovision 2017, giving Portugal its first Eurovision win. Alma Nuestra is a Latin-jazz band set up by Sobral and Cuban pianist Victor Zamora that also features double bassist Nelson Cascais and drummer André Sousa Machado. The group aim to take Latin-American songs and reinvent them with their own jazz feel. They have now released their new single “Tú mi delirio” (“You, my delirium”), which will feature on the group’s upcoming album set for release on 26 June. The song was originally composed by Cuban musician César Portillo de la Luz.
Nina Zilli and Nitro – “Schiacciacuore”
In 2012, Nina Zilli had the opportunity of representing Italy at Eurovision, securing the country a top-ten finish. For her new single “Schiacciacuore”, the star has teamed up with Italian rapper Nitro. While the verses are predominantly piano-driven, the chorus adds in more of a full band with percussion and trumpet instrumentation. The accompanying music video is centred around a time-lapse of a growing plant.
Donny Montell – “No Strings”
Donny Montell remains one of only two Lithuanian acts to reach the top ten at Eurovision after finishing ninth on his second appearance at the contest in 2016. After releasing a series of Lithuanian-language songs, Montell has returned to English for his new single “No Strings”.
From the outside, the lyrics appear to show the singer discussing the differences in where he and his lover see their relationship going: “When I’m pulling in / Then you’re pushing me back / Cos you won’t love me when no strings attached”. The music video, which is set in a derelict building, seems to portray the good and hard times of the pair’s relationship. However, we may never know the true context behind the song. Montell told his fans on Instagram that he wouldn’t explain the meaning, but would instead leave it open to the viewer’s interpretation.
Leon of Athens (feat. Katerine Duska) – “Communication”
Katerine Duska brought Greece back to the Eurovision grand final in 2019. The Greek-Canadian singer has recently featured on the new song by British singer-songwriter Leon of Athens. The two previously teamed up at the start of the year for “ANEMOΣ”. However, their new track is in English. “Communication” is an alternative-pop song, with Duska providing vocals for the bridge.
ohFrank – “Schizophrenic”
Robin Stjernberg represented Sweden on home soil at Eurovision 2013. Aiming to switch things up a bit, the star has now founded the new duo ohFrank alongside fellow Swedish singer-songwriter Benjamin Roustaing. Their debut single is “Schizophrenic”, which features a trumpet-filled chorus. The duo take the word ‘Schizophrenic’ and apply it to the idea of breaking free from the personality that society thinks you should have: “We deny what we feel / So we don’t rock the boat / Think we’re insane when we break / But it makes all of us / It’s ok, we’re a little bit schizophrenic”.
The lyrical content may not sit well with everyone. But, the duo have put a disclaimer in the music video’s description, which notes the themes of the song should not be correlated with the mental illness of Schizophrenia.
Ott Lepland – “Lootuses”
Estonia’s best finish at Eurovision during the 2010s came courtesy of Ott Lepland, who finished sixth in 2012. The star recently released his new single “Lootuses” (“In hope”). It’s a piano-driven ballad that puts emphasis on Lepland’s voice and the emotion of the song. The Estonian star sings about the loss of a loved one and the loss of hope that comes in the aftermath: “I’m still waiting here / Standing quietly on the side of the road / Hopes shattered / Everything disappears, into the wind”.
Lee Ryan – “Mockingbirds”
The 2010s wasn’t the best decade for the United Kingdom at Eurovision. Boy-band Blue achieved the country’s highest place, finishing eleventh in 2011. Lee Ryan, one of the group’s members, recently released his new solo single “Mockingbirds”. An emotional ballad, Ryan is initially accompanied solely by a piano before string instrumentation is added in to give a fuller orchestral sound. Shot in black and white, the music video sees the British singer looking through notes from a former lover. The note then transforms into a bird and leads Ryan into a world of paper origami.
AISEL – “Deme Mene Neyleyim”
In 2018, AISEL sadly became Azerbaijan’s first Eurovision act to fail to qualify for the grand final. Not letting that stop her music career, her latest single is “Deme Mene Neyleyim” (“Tell Me What To Do”). The song mixes piano and traditional Azeri instruments with sparse electronic production. Lyrically, AISEL sings about the pain she feels for not being able to be with the person she loves: “Every moment that I think of you / It tastes like a bitter poison … Tell me what to do / Again, he is not mine”.
Arkadio and Kasia Moś – “Schować pod skorupę”
Poland chose Kasia Moś to represent them at Eurovision 2017 and she remains the last Polish act to qualify to the grand final. Moś recently collaborated with Polish rapper Arkadio on the new song “Schować pod skorupę” (“Hide under a shell”). Arkadio provides some slick rap verses while Kasia performs the vocals for the chorus. The accompanying music video features the Polish artists sat on a sofa watching a TV. They see clips of a man who has some form of facial skin condition and the way that different people react towards him when they see it.
Elina Nechayeva – “To The Mother”
Estonia’s latest top-ten Eurovision result came courtesy of Elina Nechayeva in 2018. The opera singer recently released a recording of her rendition of “To The Mother”, accompanied by the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. Originally composed by Peeter Vähi for oboe, Elina dedicated the song to her own mother. The music video was shot in Wadi Rum, Jordan.
Nico – “Esti Liber”
Nico represented Romania at Eurovision 2008 alongside her duet partner Vlad. Her new single is “Esti liber” (“You’re free”). The star has brought in five other fellow Romanian female singers for the project. Speaking on Instagram, Nico noted that the track “is a song with a feminist message, a song that talks about the independent woman, the woman who has the courage to give up a relationship when she feels betrayed”.
Sébastien Tellier – Domesticated
Eurovision 2008 featured a number of quirky performances, including one from France’s Sébastien Tellier – a golf buggy, a globe filled with helium and bearded female backing singers pretty much sums it up. The singer has now released his seventh studio album, titled Domesticated. There are eight tracks on the LP, including previous singles “A Ballet” and “Domestic Tasks”.
Dotter – “Backfire”
Melodifestivalen 2020 had one of the closest finals of recent years, with fan-favourite Dotter just loosing out to The Mamas by only one point. The Swedish singer has now released her first single since the contest. “Backfire” continues Dotter’s discography of slick pop and sees the star letting someone know that if they try to bring her down then it will backfire on them. On Instagram, Dotter added: “Writing this song helped me walk through a really tough time in my life and I hope it can help others that feel the same way. Don’t let other people hurt you anymore, put your own heart first.”
MARUV & Boosin – “I Want You”
MARUV was victorious at Vidbir 2019. Unfortunately, the Ukrainian star never made it to Eurovision following a dispute with the broadcaster. Nevertheless, she’s gained numerous fans over Europe and continues her music career with the new song “I Want You”. MARUV has once again teamed up with producer Boosin – the two previously collaborated on the smash hit “Drunk Groove”. This new track is another sultry dance track filled with deep horns. The two artists sing about their lust for another person: “All night long / Baby, baby turn me on / Uhhh I want you”.
Ella-Lee Lahav – “זוט עני”
Ella-Lee Lahav was the runner-up of Israel’s Eurovision 2020 artist selection show HaKokhav HaBa L’Eurovizion. She’s now dropped her debut single “Zot Ani”, which is Hebrew for (and a deliberate misspelling of) “This is me”. The intro of the song has drawn comparisons to K-pop group MAMAMOO’s “HIP” and defines the 17-year-old’s musical direction. Hebrew enthusiasts and music critics alike have slammed the song’s intentionally incorrect grammar, but other critics praised the unique sound of the track. The song was co-written by BTS songwriter Scott Quinn and was released on Lahav’s seventeenth birthday. Mazal tov, Ella-Lee! (Åri)
Khayat – “Говорила”
Khayat finished as the runner-up in Ukraine’s Eurovision 2020 national selection Vidbir. His new single “Говорила” (“She spoke”) sees the star returning to singing in his native Ukrainian language. A mix of contemporary production and more traditional rhythms, the song bridges the gap between past and present. Khayat explained more about the song on Instagram:
“We live in a world where gossip and deception have become an integral part of our daily lives. “Говорила” is not a personalised story, but a side view of a typical life situation, where I act as a narrator. The song is imbued with the idea that happiness loves silence and truth, but I am sure that each of you will see your personal meaning through the prism of your own observations and experiences. You can talk a lot, but it is better to listen.”
ILIRA – “F*** It, I Love It!”
ILIRA competed in Switzerland’s national selection Die grosse Entscheidungs Show 2011, eventually finishing in third place behind Anna Rossinelli. She has since ruled out the possibility of attempting to represent any country at Eurovision in the future in a fiery social media outburst. However, the national-final alum has recently released her new single “F*** It, I Love It!”. It’s a catchy pop track that sees the Swiss singer of Kosovo-Albanian descent discussing how she’s falling for a bad boy: “Two devils on your shoulder / But I want you closer / Why you messing with my mind, ya / Let you do it all the time, ya”.
Which song is your favourite? Have we missed out on any? Do you have any artists you want to shout out to? Let us know in the comments.
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