Although we’re officially into the Eurovision 2021 season, it will still be some time before we hear any national final and Eurovision songs. 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 45
Note: We’ll be featuring the new festive-themed songs from Daði Freyr, Ulrikke, KEiiNO and more in a separate article during the run-up to Christmas.
Bilal Hassani – Contre soirée
Despite the lockdowns and restrictions put in place over the past year, Bilal Hassani has been busy creating his sophomore album. Now, France’s Eurovision 2019 star has released Contre soirée out into the world. Hassani continues with the pop and dance styling he showcased in parts of his debut album Kingdom, but things are more refined in this latest offering – as seen in pre-release singles “Fais le vide”, “Dead Bae” and “Tom”. Opening with a futuristic intro, the French singer then weaves through 12 catchy slices of pop, each with their own identity. An extra version of “Flash” rounds off proceedings, which will feature on Just Dance 2021. There’s been a clear growth in Bilal’s musical style over the past year, and the French star will no doubt continue to develop as he forges his path into the future.
Laura Tesoro and Loïc Nottet (feat. Alex Germys) – “Strangers”
Loïc Nottet and Laura Tesoro have both performed at Eurovision (2015 and 2016 respectively), have both competed on The Voice, have previously duetted together, and also share the same age and Belgian nationality. The strength of this alliance is translated anew into their collab “Strangers”. It’s a mid-tempo piece that serves attitude and discusses the difficulties of love when things aren’t working out anymore. Despite the relatively slow rhythm, the listener is drawn in by the song’s message and the vocal delivery characterised by Nottet and Tesoro’s distinctive voices. Loïc kicks things off with a powerful start, then Laura harmonises with him in the chorus before taking over as the song seamlessly flows into the second verse. As the end approaches, the duo meet again to explode in vocal perfection and sentiment. “Strangers” is co-written by Laura, Loïc, Amy Morrey and Alex Germys, who has also produced the song. Belgian excellence y’all! (Jordi)
Shiri Maimon and Red Band – “Let Me Down”
Shiri Maimon has had the opportunity to perform with a number of Israel’s biggest artists. For her latest collaboration, the Eurovision 2005 star gets to sing with…a puppet. Red Band are an Israeli-American puppet band that uniquely incorporate the puppets into their music (perhaps easier to understand after watching some live performances on their YouTube channel). Maimon’s new song with Red Band is “Let Me Down”. It’s a slow piano-driven ballad that adds in some guitars for the final climax of the song. In the lyrics, the duo ask their partner not to give up on their love: “Alone in your embrace / I can feel our love erased / Don’t you stop me now / Cause I’m trying now / I’m not giving up / Got a dreaming heart”.
Glennis Grace – “Geen Traan”
Glennis Grace may have been the Netherlands’ first Eurovision act not to qualify for the grand final, but in her latest single the Dutch singer is clearly stating she doesn’t have a tear to shed about things that have happened in the past. “Geen Traan” (“Not a Tear”) is a slow ballad that sees the Eurovision 2005 star’s vocals accompanied by piano and soft strings. The instrumentation here is simple and allows Grace’s voice to shine through as she delivers the emotion of the song.
Stella Mwangi and Aaron Salovaara – “Long Way Coming”
Scandinavian teamwork forms the foundation of this next track. Norway’s Eurovision 2011 star Stella Mwangi teams up with up-and-coming Finnish hip-hop producer Aaron Salovaara on “Long Way Coming”. Mwangi delivers a series of rap verses, in between which an uncredited vocalist sings the chorus. The Norwegian rapper encourages people to overcome the obstacles that life can often throw at you: “Lessons I learned, lessons I taught / The cost to get here is from the battles I fought / I come a long way since the old days … Grown woman, strong woman I become / Don’t put me in no wrong number, I’m the one”.
Kállay Saunders – never noticed / “Coming Home”
2020 has been the year of Covid-19, lockdowns…and Kállay Saunders’ regular new music releases. Hungary’s Eurovision 2014 star has dropped 14 new tracks since the start of the year. This has all been leading up to his new album never noticed, which was finally released this week. While Saunders has been feeding his fans well over the past months, it does mean that we’ve already heard 92% of the songs included on the LP already – 12 of the aforementioned singles have made the cut, with the only previously unreleased song being “birthday cake”.
The most recent pre-released song was the powerful R’n’B track “Coming Home”. Saunders stated in his Instagram story that he had hoped to participate in Hungary’s Eurovision 2021 selection with the song. Unfortunately, since the country will not be returning to the contest next year, he won’t get the chance to do so. Like with his Eurovision 2014 song “Running”, the song deals with contemporary social issues. “Coming Home” talks about war and what we truly want to be fighting for, as the Hungarian singer notes:
“The song was inspired by a diary of a friend of mine, who was a soldier. It’s about his story, a letter written to his wife that kept a promise to return home. The song dissects the question of why we fight, for whom we fight? His message is to lay down our arms, not to extinguish people’s lives any further. In war, enemy soldiers do not know each other. They fight for an ideal, not because people have a problem with each other. Let’s put the gun down because we don’t have a problem with each other, in another life we might be friends.”
Katerine Duska – “Call Me Nyx”
Some people enjoy getting things done during the day, but some prefer to concentrate their efforts for the night-time. And if her new single is anything to go by, Katerine Duska seems to fall into the latter category. Greece’s Eurovision 2019 singer has released the new indie-pop song “Call Me Nyx” – Nyx is the ancient Greek goddess of the night. Compared to the light and airy feeling of her Eurovision song “Better Love”, this latest single has a slightly darker and edgier touch to it. Duska revealed more about the story behind the track in a post on Instagram:
“Shout out to my team, my crazy bunch of people that supports me in creating any wild idea I throw their way, like writing a song about insomnia & nyctophilia for instance (lol). Jokes aside, this song is something like my superhero anthem. It’s an ode to transformation, it’s about coming into the skin you are most proud of & making your pain your biggest strength. Even when everyone else might think you need healing I say “Keep me keep me up at night.””
Agnete – “Beginning of the End”
At Eurovision 2016, Norway’s representative Agnete cut back on press activities in order to help preserve her mental health. The star subsequently took a break from the music industry. However, Agnete has finally returned from her hiatus and released her first song since appearing at the contest in Stockholm. But she’s not back on her own; the Norwegian singer has brought the help of three new bandmates – though they all still perform under the name of lead singer Agnete. Cultivating a dark/indie-pop sound, “Beginning of the End” perfectly fits into the mood of the melancholic year that has been 2020. The accompanying music video was filmed in Finnmark, in the far north of Norway. (Barnabas)
Alsou – “Вольтер”
Alsou is mixing love and philosophy for her latest single “Вольтер” (“Voltaire”). The Eurovision 2000 runner-up references French Enlightenment writer and philosopher Voltaire, as the Russian star sings about trying to rekindle the relationship with her lover: “Above me the sky is low white / What have you and I, my dear, done? / I propagate philosophy like Voltaire / But the door is closed between us”. Sonically, it’s a mid-tempo ballad that builds in the chorus owing to the addition of drums and guitars. Speaking upon the release of the song, Alsou noted:
“”Voltaire” is a song about the most important thing, when everything is so simple and so complicated at the same time, but without which our life will simply lose its meaning. Love is our main engine, the reason for our right actions and our mistakes and stupidity, our boundless happiness and bitter tears. “Voltaire” is my romantic philosophy on this autumn day.”
Cleo – “W Telefonie”
Following the release of her new album SuperNOVA in September, Cleo has now released the music video for the LP’s latest single, “W Telefonie” (“On the Phone”). In the video, Poland’s Eurovision 2014 singer is basking in the sun of a tropical climate, while her partner is climbing snow-topped mountains in a far off place. The pair only have their phones to be able to communicate with one another, as Cleo sings: “Only you and me on the phone / If you can call it / It won’t go to sleep / I want to hear your voice”. It’s a situation that many people will be able to relate to under current circumstances as we are separated from our loved ones and only able to speak virtually.
Mandinga and NOSFE – “Macho Man”
Regardless of the time of year and whether the weather might be turning colder, Mandinga are always happy to bring a bit of summery heat. Romania’s Eurovision 2012 act and current vocalist Barbara Isasi have collaborated with rapper NOSFE for “Macho Man”. It’s a relatively faithful cover of the song originally released by Romanian band Genius, though Mandinga’s version adds in a bit more Cuban flavour. There’s not much to the lyircs – predominantly “Ola ola eee, macho man / Ola ola eee, sexy baby” repeated – though Isasi does get a Romanian-language verse to declare just how much she’s falling for this macho stranger: “Just a look and I fell / In the arms of a stranger / I lead and revolve around you / And I feel like I want more”.
Amber – “Free (Nanna’s Song)”
The loss of a loved one will always be difficult for those who knew them. A year on from the passing of her grandma, Maltese singer Amber is putting her feelings into song. The Eurovision 2015 star sings to her grandmother and asks her to be a guiding presence through the future: “You’re free to go now / Until I see you again / Just hold my hand through the rain / And walk beside me I pray”. The feeling here is not one of sadness, but uplifting and celebratory of a person that Amber was able to share moments with. In an emotional post to Instagram, the Maltese star talks more about her grandma and encourages others who have lost people close to them to cherish the memories:
“For anyone who has lost a loved one, COURAGE !! Not an easy time. This song is for you too. Remember the beautiful memories you had together, carry them with you throughout your life and share them with others. Memories don’t take them away from anyone and their beautiful thing is that they last forever. I love you with all my heart, grandma. Until I see you, take care of us xx”
Triana Park – Kompozīcijas
Triana Park have recently released their new EP Kompozīcijas (Compositions). It features five songs, including pre-release single “Vientuļa sala”. There’s a mixture of indie-rock songs, though all somewhat softer than their Eurovision 2017 entry “Line”. To coincide with the EP’s release, the Latvian group also dropped the music video for “Mālos pelēkos”, which features IGO.
Nicki French – “Haunted Heart”
Ahead of Halloween last week, Nicki French dropped her new spooky-themed song “Haunted Heart”. The United Kingdom’s Eurovision 2000 representative sings about the ghosts left behind after her lover broke off their relationship: “You left me with a haunted heart / A ghost is all I hold inside these arms / And every shade of loneliness you somehow left / Within the walls inside my haunted heart”. Sonically, the track has a slightly dark touch to it, but it’s ultimately an upbeat late-90s dance-pop song. In the accompanying music video, shot in black and white, Nicki wanders around the empty house that she and her ex-partner once shared.
DEEP ZONE Project – “Funk You”
At Eurovision 2008 they said “DJ, Take Me Away”. Now Bulgaria’s DEEP ZONE Project has the breezy tune “Funk You”. Yes, that’s funk. Vocals on the track are courtesy of new group member Eva Maria Petrova, who competed on the same season of the X Factor Bulgaria as Kristian Kostov and VICTORIA. While DEEP ZONE’s Eurovision appearance was more than a decade ago, the group say they would be happy to return and also have praise for VICTORIA. DJ Dian Solo says, “We love her music and I even plan to make a dance remix of “Tears Getting Sober” because it could sound really great.” (Robyn)
Eric Papilaya – “Glashaus”
“Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones” is a proverb that many people will have come across before. Now Austria’s Eric Papilaya is using the phrase as the base of his latest single “Glashaus” (“Glass house”). The Eurovision 2007 alum delivers a slow piano ballad with some added string instrumentation that tries to build the song’s atmosphere. Papilaya sings about how he, living in a glass house, would only have to throw a stone in order to be able to explore the outside world. However, the singer is still slightly fearful of his solitude crashing down around him: “Because the one here, the one sitting here in the glass house, is me / The one who throws stones here breaks / Everything that is important to him”.
Natalia Podolskaya – “boy”
Natalia Podolskaya’s latest single is “boy”. Coincidentally, the day before the song was released, the Belarussian star gave birth to her second son. While this could add a bit more symbolism to the track, the lyrical content is slightly more grown-up for it to specifically relate to Podolskaya’s baby boy, as she sings: “I mentally know everything from A to Z / I change the course of the night into pleasure … With you, uneasy boy / I want to fly high again”. Russia’s Eurovision 2005 singer delivers a bouncy pop-dance track that continues the upbeat flavour her discography has taken in recent years.
Lena Philipsson – “Är det för sent?”
In June, Lena Philipsson released her new album Maria Magdalena. The latest song from the LP to get the music video treatment is “Är det för sent?” (“Is it too late”?). The closing track from the album, it’s an emotional piano-driven ballad that continues to build to a final climax. Sweden’s Eurovision 2004 star wonders if it’s too late for her to start a new relationship, but comes to the conclusion that it’s better to go for things rather than be left wondering forever: “We can promise nothing / How should we know that? / But if we never dare / The question is asked forever”. In the vertical music video, Philippson is seen at the Pacific Park amusement park in Santa Monica, California. The Swedish star plans on producing a music video for each of the songs from her latest album – there are two left for fans to look forward to.
ohFrank – “Venice”
Sweden’s Eurovision 2013 home representative Robin Stjernberg is continuing his ohFrank musical project alongside singer Benjamin Roustaing. Their latest single is “Venice”, a mid-tempo indie-pop track with an electro instrumental bridge. Stjernberg and Roustaing wrote the song on a rainy autumn day in Stockholm. The pair sing about how, even though life may seem crazy at the moment, people will soon move onto new things: “And the world’s going mad / Yeah, we know you know / That we’ll all just soon forget it / Like the waves they chase in Venice”.
Maraaya – “New Face”
At the start of September, Slovenian duo Maraaya – Marjetka and Raay – released their new song “Obujem nove čevlje” (“Putting on new shoes”). Now, the Eurovision 2015 act have dropped an English-language version of the track for those of us who don’t speak Slovenian. Marjetka sings about tackling new challenges and taking control of your life: “I’m putting on a new face / I’m screaming it out loud / I know it’s never too late / My hands are on the wheel now”. Here’s how Raay explained the meaning of the song in our earlier interview with them:
“The song is about putting on a new face — in Slovenian it’s used as a metaphor and literally means: “Putting on new shoes.” So Marjetka’s got new shoes, but the song is about new challenges in life, life changes, new beginnings, a positive mindset, and not accepting routine. So basically it’s very autobiographical in this way.”
Arsenium and Mianna – “Смайлик Поцелуя”
This year has involved a lot of virtual communications with our friends and family. Moldova’s Eurovision 2006 star Arsenium has been inspired by social media for his latest single, “Смайлик Поцелуя” (“Kiss Emoji”). It’s a collaboration with singer Mianna and sees the artists attempting to re-kindle a relationship through emoji messaging: “Kiss emoticon, smile bracket / For you to forgive all my mistakes / Bracket smile, kiss emoticon / So that you remember how I love you”. Sonically, the track is an electro offering with a solid dance beat underlining it.
BB Jean – “Nimp”
Sometimes when musical inspiration strikes, you just have to go with it their and then. That’s exactly what France’s Eurovision 2017 star Alma did as part of her new duo BB Jean, alongside Laurie Darmon. The two singers wrote, composed, recorded, produced, mixed and filmed a music video for their new song within the space of three days. “Nimp” is a nice pop track with a light and bouncy chorus. The accompanying music video allows Alma and Laurie to add their quirky personalities into the mix and lift the song even more. Speaking on Instagram about the recording process, Alma said:
“When you live in this world where the virus kills people, culture, restaurants, cinemas, travel, schools and hope, you have to dig even deeper to find meaning. Dear inhabitants of metropolis curfews and all the others exhausted by the impossibility of exercising your profession, I send you all the best vibes in the face of this gloom that we have too much tendency to let invade us. COURAGE we are together !!!! While waiting to see the end LET’S TRY TO LOVE DESPITE ALL.”
Laurita Spinelli – “Stumm”
We’ve heard very little from either member of Germany’s Eurovision 2019 duo S!sters since their performance in Tel Aviv. But now, Laurita Spinelli has finally released her first solo single, “Stumm” (“Mute”). It’s an emotional piano-driven ballad that showcases Spinelli’s vulnerability. The song deals with the emotions that the German singer went through when her mother passed away in 2017. Upon the song’s release, the star revealed more about what the song means to her:
“I believe that it is very important to show more honesty and vulnerability in our world. You know, I’m always 100% high energy. This song was written in my greatest low. And this low made me who I am today. Many of you have also experienced loss, whether it be in family, friendship, or love. … I had the opportunity to preserve this intense feeling of despair, fear and ultimately incredible love and finally share it with you.”
Femke Meines – “Wat Doe Je Nou”
While many young people receive guidance from those older than them on how to act, it is often useful to have a role model of a similar age as well. Femke Meines, the Netherland’s representative at Junior Eurovision 2012, is hoping that she can be such a role model with her new song “Wat Doe Je Nou” (“What Are You Doing”). A mid-tempo pop track, the lyrics and music video tackle subjects such as drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex and stealing. The Dutch singer hopes to persuade her fans to think carefully about their decisions and what consequences these may have for themselves and others around them. Meines has teamed up with Dutch organisation Brijder Jeugd, who specialise in substance abuse and addiction care.
Wiktoria – “H2BU”
Wiktoria states her new song “H2BU” is about the universal topic of…douchebags. The title is an acronym for “Hard to be you”, with the Swedish singer taking aim at people who don’t treat others with respect owing to the easy life they seem to have: “Damn it must be hard to… / People looking at you like you’re art / And everybody’s fighting for your heart / When you know you’ll never give em’ what they want / Damn it must be hard to be you”. The three-time Melodifestivalen finalist shows off a grittier side to her vocals as she really gets into the song.
Click on the links below to read our individual articles on other new songs released in the last week by past Eurovision artists:
Little Big – “S*ck My D*ick 2020”
Duncan Laurence and Armin van Buuren – “Feel Something”
Which of these new songs 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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