The Eurovision 2021 season is hotting up. Over the course of the next few months, we will all fall in and out of love with scores of new national final and Eurovision entries. But that doesn’t mean we forget about the artists from past contests.
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 48
Edurne and Efecto Pasillo – “Como Tú”
“Como Tú” (“Like You”) originally featured as a solo song on Edurne’s recent album Catarsis. But for the new single version of the track, the Eurovision 2015 star has brought in Spanish alt-pop/rock band Efecto Pasillo to add their sound to proceedings. Sonically, it’s a happy and optimistic Latin-pop track that provides a ray of sunshine to the ever darkening days of winter. The Spanish artists sing about finding that one person who’s your perfect match: “May my heart be glad like you / That brings out my smiles like you / If no matter how much I look around every corner / Nobody loves me like you do”.
Eleni Foureira – “Dokimase me”
Since finishing runner-up at Eurovision 2018, Eleni Foureira has predominantly released songs in English or Spanish. But for her new single, she’s returning to the Greek language. “Dokimase me” (“Try me”) is an upbeat dance-pop track with plenty of vigour and drive. Fans of Foureira’s pre-Eurovision discography get a glimpse of that back, but the song is still very much influenced by modern day trends. Lyrically, the star sings to her lover: “Tell me a good lie and beat me / Tell me you do not live far from me, deceive me / Come closer from the beginning and kiss me / I still endure a lot, try me”.
Bilal Hassani – “Control”
Following the release of his new album Contre soirée, Bilal Hassani has now dropped the music video for the LP’s song “Control”. The video for the dance-pop track mainly features the French singer on set performing a routine with two backing dancers as he sings about loosing control to the evening: “I feel possessed, I’m high, high / They take me in all directions, up and down / I would like to go away but I’m high, high / I lost everything, I lost all control”. The music video also serves as promo for the Eurovision 2019 star’s new make-up palette, which the singer has teamed up with Maybelline for.
Poli Genova – “Last Night”
Retro 80s-inspired synth-pop…is a phrase we’ve written a lot over the course of our 2020 new music reviews. And we’re going to write it again, as that’s exactly what Poli Genova is serving in her new single “Last Night”. The disco-tinged track sees Bulgaria’s Eurovision 2011 and 2016 star hop onto the trend and deliver a catchy and infectious song. If there was any doubt that the song was inspired by disco, Poli makes sure to include an abundance of disco balls in the accompanying music video, which features the singer enjoying a socially-distanced night in the club for one.
Cláudia Pascoal – “Quase Dança”
When you need people to feature in a music video, who better to ask than your extended family. At least that was Cláudia Pascoal’s thought for her new single “Quase Dança” (“Almost Dance”). The indie-pop song comes from the Portuguese singer’s latest album !. In the lyrics, the Eurovision 2018 star talks to someone who has a pretence about them and she encourages them to be themselves regardless of what others think: “You say I’m weird and I’m not a girl / That I put too much sugar in my caffeine / But at least I don’t talk to a thousand Roses and Carolinas / You’ll always pretend to like someone”. The music video was filmed in Arco de Baúlhe, which is where Pascoal’s family are from. In fact, every person who features in the music video is from Cláudia’s family, as the star notes:
“For those who don’t know, all the people in the video are part of my family. Uncles, cousins and parents who immediately said “yes” !! They adjusted their schedules, found a way to have the costumes and even caught a rain for all this to happen! I have no words. I love you.”
Damir Kedžo – “Sjeti se”
Sadly, Damir Kedžo won’t get his chance to appear on the Eurovision stage next year after it was revealed he won’t be entering Dora 2021. But, that doesn’t stop us from enjoying the Eurovision 2020 star’s other new music. Damir has now released “Sjeti se” (“Remember”). It starts off as a piano-driven ballad, though the addition of some guitars and drum beats subsequently adds to the power of the track. The Croatian star sings about a rocky relationship. While the two lovers don’t always see eye to eye, Damir wants to forget about the bad and focus on the good: “I forget the days when we lied / I forget / Because all I want now / Is this life to share with you”.
András Kállay (feat. Fluor) – “Más Lesz”
If you thought releasing 14 singles and an album in English would be enough for András Kállay-Saunders in 2020, you’d be wrong. The Eurovision 2014 star has now dropped the Hungarian-language track “Más Lesz” (“It would be different”). A slow R’n’B jam featuring rapper Fluor, Saunders sings about the person who got away and is now in a relationship with someone else: “I thought it would be different / The picture, it paints something different now / Another body next to you”. The music video features the Eurovision alum lamenting about the failed relationship, as we see this woman now hanging out with her new boyfriend.
Aksel Kankaanranta – “Muista kuka oot”
Aksel won’t be returning to UMK 2021, but he’s already moving on with new music. “Muista kuka oot” (“Remember who you are”) is a lush ballad that shows off another side of his talent. Unlike his UMK 2020 entry, “Muista kuka oot” is entirely sung in Finnish and Aksel’s voice brings beauty to the lyrics. His new single clocks in at 3.43, so it seems like it was never intended as a potential Eurovision entry. This is Aksel doing what he does best. (Robyn)
PAENDA – My heart
Austria’s Eurovision 2019 star PAENDA has been building up to the release of her new EP since April and now she’s finally been able to share it with her fans. My heart is a collection of five songs, including previous singles “Perfect fit” and “Friend Zone”. Overall, there’s a midtempo electro-pop sound to the EP, something that has consistently been at the centre of PAENDA’s discography.
Vincent Bueno – On the Run
After the cancellation of Eurovision 2020, Austria’s Vincent Bueno has spent the rest of year working on his new album On the Run. Opening with a dramatic intro about the events of 2020, the following four songs – including previous singles “Walking On Water” and “Instant Dose” – mix electro-pop, synth-pop and R’n’B. There then follows an interlude before things turn a bit more personal with the final three tracks, including “Family Fight”.
Sinplus – It’s Not About Being Good
Eurovision 2012 duo Sinplus have put their experiences from the last year into their new EP It’s Not About Being Good. The Swiss alternative-rock band serve up four songs that mix rock & roll and new wave. The EP proceeds an album that is scheduled to drop in spring 2021. Speaking about this latest record in a press release, Sinplus talk about how writing music helped them through this tough year:
“In this past year we’ve gone through many changes in our lives as well as some very tough moments. We were lucky enough to be able to metabolize everything by writing music. Every song is a story we experienced, and we tried to tell this story without any expectations. We wanted to completely rely on our instinct, by letting music flow in its purest form. Little by little, sounds and chords started coming together and we began feeling like ourselves again.”
Natalia Podolskaya and Vladimir Presnyakov – “Почему небо плачет”
Natalia Podolskaya has teamed up with Russian singer Vladimir Presnyakov for the new duet “Почему небо плачет” (“Why does the sky cry”). It’s a passionate ballad that slowly builds towards the final chorus. Podolskaya, who represented Russia at Eurovision 2005, tackles a couple of the verses herself and then sings together with Presnyakov in the chorus. In the lyrics, the two artists are remembering a past love that they wish they could recreate: “We’re walking in the rain / Heart love burns / Why not together / Why does the sky cry / Why not together”.
Soraya and Chenoa – “Rompecabezas”
Both Soraya and Chenoa have graced the Eurovision stage – the former as Spain’s 2009 representative and the latter as a backing vocalist for Rosa López in 2002. They’ve collaborated for the duet “Rompecabezas” (“Puzzle”). The song was originally included on Soraya’s recent album Luces y Sombras, but the two artists have now released it as a single with a music video. Lyrically, Soraya and Chenoa discuss how people have to fill an empty whole in the puzzle of their heart following a break-up: “And now I enjoy this peace without you / My puzzle already fits again / Your pieces are left over / And everything is better / Since you are gone”. This is shown further in the music video, with Soraya going to meet Chenoa in a café to discuss her recent break-up.
Edsilia Rombley – “Chale”
Eurovision 1998 and 2007 star Edsilia Rombley recently appeared on Dutch TV show Ali B op volle toeren. There, she was tasked with re-working the song “Chale” by fellow Dutch singer Numidia into her own style. The result is a piano-driven ballad with some added production to keep some of the original’s urban feel. Numidia responded by reinterpreting Edsilia’s Eurovision 1998 song “Hemel en aarde”, with host Ali B also coming in to provide a rap verse.
This week, Edsilia has also released the album Live in Het Concertgebouw. The Eurovision 2021 host recently performed a concert at Amsterdam’s Het Concertgebouw and this was recorded for the new 13-track LP.
Engelbert Humperdinck – Sentiments
The restrictions imposed on our lives this year have lead many artists to find new ways to record music for us. British singer Engelbert Humperdinck recorded his new EP Sentiments while in a completely different location to the musicians and producer. The result is a collection of six songs, featuring covers of well-loved tracks by Elton John, Elvis Presley and others. Speaking about the EP on Instagram, the Eurovision 2012 star noted:
“During these troubled times that we are all living in, I decided to remotely record a special album of songs that have great meaning for me and I hope for you as well. I have never done a project like this where the musicians were all at their own homes, the producer was in New Jersey, and I was in my studio. I think that you will find special meaning in the lyrics to these songs as I do.”
Eric Papilaya – Eric Papilaya
It’s been 13 years since Eric Papilaya graced the Eurovision stage in 2007, but it’s only now that he’s released his debut solo album. A self-titled LP, there are eleven songs including recent singles “Tag Am Strand” and “Glashaus”. The first half of the album predominantly features an array of pop and schlager songs, while the tempo slows down for the second half with the inclusion of a number of ballads.
Flor-de-lis – “Pretérito Imperfeito”
Portugal’s Flor-de-lis are delivering chilled-out vibes with their latest single “Pretérito Imperfeito” (“Imperfect Past”). A simple Portuguese-folk track, it’s the sort of thing to drift off to as you relax in the evening. The Eurovision 2009 group sing about how people don’t realise the power of love until it happens in the present: “It is an imperfect past / Knowing that there is no perfect love”.
Natalia Gordienko – “In Ochii Tai”
The music video for Natalia Gordienko’s new single “In Ochii Tai” (“In Your Eyes”) manages to cram in around 40 years into the space of five minutes. At the start we see the Moldovan singer being rushed to hospital for the birth of her son. As he grows up, we witness how the mother-son relationship evolves over time. This is all inspired by the birth of Gordienko’s own son Christian and Moldova’s Eurovision 2021 star dedicates the ballad to all mothers and sons.
Saldās sejas (feat. Marhils, Aija Andrejeva and Ivo Fomins) – “Novembris”
Aija Andrejeva, otherwise known as Aisha, represented Latvia at Eurovision 2010. This year, she released the new album Es lesu Talak. Most recently though, Aija has featured in the song “Novembris” (“November”). November is often referred to as ‘Patriot Month’ in Latvia, as the country celebrates Lāčplēsis Day (Rememberence Day) as well as Proclamation Day of the Republic of Latvia. Thus, the lyrics of the ballad reflect these themes: “Present November, time to light candles / And sing for those who will / For those who have been and will remain / About those who invented us”.
Maraaya – “Drevo”
Maraaya are focusing on the love of family in their latest single “Drevo”. It’s a soft ballad in which the Slovenian duo sing about planting a tree that will keep their family safe even after they’re no longer around themselves: “I plant a tree / Which will grow high in the sky … It will still be here / To fill the soul / Even when we are no longer”. The lyrics could be viewed as a metaphor for how a strong basis of love in a family setting can set people up for life. Shot in black and white, the music video features clips of both Maraaya and other families. In the video’s description, the Eurovision 2015 stars note:
“A song to remind us of eternal love, of the people we love the most in the world and to warm our hearts. We want it to touch everyone to whom family means as much as to us.”
Sandra Kim – “Who Are You”
At the start of November, Sandra Kim was unveiled as De Koningin (The Queen) and the winner of The Masked Singer Belgium. Following this, Belgium’s Eurovision 1986 winner released an apt single to summarise her experience on the show – a cover of “Who Are You” by The Who. Kim adds her queenly vocals to the song and delivers a solid cover of the original.
NICO – “Trenul vietii”
“The train of life” can lead us to many places. For Romania’s NICO, the train is currently pulled into the station of her new single “Trenul vietii”. The Eurovision 2008 act offers up a smooth ballad that utilises guitars in the verses and recurring piano chords in the chorus. The music video sees NICO wearing a retro 1940s-style travel outfit as she sings about where life is taking her.
Who See (feat. Saša (TBF)) – “Idu Dani”
Montenegrin Eurovision 2013 duo Who See have recently released the new track “Idu Dani” (“The days are coming”). It features Croatian rapper Saša, known for being the founding member of rap group The Beat Fleet (TBF). “Idu Dani” is a relatively chilled-out hip-hop track, with each of the three artists delivering a verse each. They rap about the simple life of meeting up for a beer and chatting: “Even though he drinks, we talk about everything fine / If we happen to talk about politics / Tomorrow we are in the same place, renewing the material / Money goes for sure, and days go for beer”.
Pasha Parfeni – “Liber”
Freedom to dream is the concept of Pasha Parfeni’s most recent song. “Liber” (“Free”) is a pop-rock track with a head-bopping chorus. Lyrically, Moldova’s Eurovision 2012 star sings about how freedom can give people the chance to to live out their wildest dreams: “And look how another fortress falls / What a spectacular show, it really seems like magic / It looks like a new force has entered the direction / It’s called simply – Freedom!”. The accompanying music video features Parfeni singing from atop a cliff with a band. Meanwhile, there are clips of people living their lives with the freedom to do what they want – running, making a TikTok, getting a tattoo and skydiving.
Ann Sophie – “Phantom Pain”
Germany’s Ann Sophie is chasing away the memories of a bad relationship in her latest single “Phantom Pain”. It’s an electro-pop track in which the Eurovision 2015 star tells her former lover that she’ll find a way to move on: “I’ll find a, I’ll find a, I’ll find a way out / There’s a place beyond the doubt that I will find again somehow / You’re phantom pain / I’m chasing you away, chasing you away”. In the music video, Ann Sophie sings in front of a wall as various videos are projected onto her.
Click on the links below to read our individual articles on other new songs released in the last week by past Eurovision artists:
Roxen and Alexander Rybak – “Wonderland”
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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