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 49
Loreen – “Alice”
On Saturday, Loreen made her first appearance on Så mycket bättre – the Swedish television show where a group of artists come together and perform covers of each other’s well-known songs. The Eurovision 2012 winner performed “Alice”, originally by rock band Eldkvarn. Loreen truly made the song her own and added a dark-pop sound to the track. As always, the Swedish star’s rich vocals shine through and create an emotional aura to song, which is about encouraging people to keep pushing forward in life: “Alice, heaven can wait / There is a road and a place in the sun / For every human”. Speaking about what the song means to her, Loreen noted:
“To me, Alice is a song about exclusion. My whole childhood, I never felt like I belonged. Always felt different than the rest. The pain from needing to compromise was overwhelming until I decided to be true to myself.”
Dima Bilan – “Сердце”
Dima Bilan is set to release his new album in just over a week. Before then, the Russian star has dropped the new teaser single “Сердце” (“Heart”). A funky track, it’s underlined with a consistent pop beat that predominantly keeps things on one level throughout, except for the extended bridge where things slow down for a bit. Lyrically, the Eurovision 2008 champion says his heart will continue to beat for his lover, even though they seem to hide their feelings from each other: “My heart does not sleep, burning / All that we hold is lost / My heart is beating / You know / You know everything, but don’t be silent”.
Alsou – Я ХОЧУ ОДЕТЬСЯ В БЕЛОЕ
Alsou is finishing off 2020 with the release of her new album Я ХОЧУ ОДЕТЬСЯ В БЕЛОЕ (I want to dress in white). The 14 songs featured on the LP include a number of previously unreleased tracks, as well as singles the Russian singer has released over the past couple of years, such as “Вольтер”, “Не молчи”, “Love U Back” and “Мы с тобой”. This results in a variety of sounds, with the album switching between catchy pop songs and slow emotional ballads. The Eurovision 2000 runner-up demonstrates the versatility that has helped her continue her career throughout the past two decades.
Elena Gheorghe – “Agapi”
Eurovision 2009 alum Elena Gheorghe is serving up catchy folk-pop for her new single “Agapi”. The Romanian singer performs the song with a band for the accompanying video. While there’s contemporary drum, electric guitar and bass sounds in the mix, Elena throws in accordion and flute instrumentation to give the song a traditional-inspired sound.
Netta – “The Times They Are A-Changin'”
In December 2019, Netta uploaded a video to YouTube of her freestyling on her looper as a way to connect with fans owing to the obstacles of releasing new official music. This sparked the beginning of the NETTA’s Office series, which the Eurovision 2018 champion has continued over the course of 2020. On 18 December, Netta is set to release an EP that includes some of the songs she’s performed and covered on the series. Ahead of this, the Israeli star has dropped a teaser single for the cover of Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin'” that she sang during the fifth episode. Speaking about the song and it’s new music video on Instagram, Netta said:
“2020 was not like any other year. It introduced into our lives more change than we ever knew was possible. Violence, racism, hatred, isolation and protest – they all reached a peak, and there is a lot of sadness and pain but also a hope for fruitful grounds and something new to grow from it. The words of 23-year-old Bob Dylan are painfully resonant today. “Come gather ‘round people, wherever you roam and admit that the waters around you have grown”. It’s like the world is in need of a stormy cleanse. We took three magical children through a stormy car wash machine, and created one of the most delicate yet powerful things I’ve ever done.”
Mumiy Troll – После зла
Mumiy Troll have been teasing their new album throughout 2020, and now it’s finally here. После зла (After evil) is an eight-track LP that sees Russia’s Eurovision 2001 act deliver a variety of alternative-rock songs, including previous singles “Лира” and “Тот День Когда”. Speaking about the album, frontman Ilya Lagutenko noted that they started it before the coronavirus pandemic but things later had to be postponed:
“We wrote the songs for this album when no one suspected of any lockdown or virus. We started working on them in Los Angeles last spring, with breaks for summer festivals and winter tours. But then global changes began in the world, the borders were closed, and all concerts had to be cancelled or postponed – for a time После зла. The album was mixed remotely, via the Internet.”
Michael Schulte – “Waking Up Without You”
This week, Michael Schulte release the new album Highs & Lows (Special Edition), the extended version of his 2019 LP. This special edition includes five new songs. The German singer released three of these as singles earlier in the year – “Keep Me Up”, “Wrong Direction” and “For A Second”. The other two are “What Heroes Do” and “Waking Up Without You”. Schulte has uploaded a music video for the latter to coincide with the new LP’s release. It’s a simple video that sees the Eurovision 2018 star sitting on a sofa as he sings the piano-driven ballad. The lyrics are all about coming to terms with losing somebody close to you: “When you really love somebody / It really hurts to lose somebody / Oh, I keep thinking what the hell do I do … Waking up without you, you”.
Aminata – “Visām Likstām Pāri”
Aminata is letting her vocals shine in her new single “Visām Likstām Pāri” (“For All Troubles”). A slow ballad with limited production, the focus is very much on the Latvian singer’s emotional vocal delivery of the song. The Eurovision 2015 star softens things for the verses but then soars in the chorus, with everything building towards the final moments. The song is part of the new album Brīnumu radot (Creating a miracle), the sales of which go towards the charity campaign Eņģeļi pār Latviju (Angels over Latvia).
Manel Navarro and Bely Basarte – “Quiéreme”
Manel Navarro’s new single “Quiéreme” (“Love me”) sees the Spanish singer teaming up with Bely Basarte. The two artists deliver a slow indie-pop ballad. Eurovision 2017 alum Navarro sings about how he wishes to rekindle the relationship with his partner before they drift too far apart: “Love me like you used to do when your skin was my skin / From that moment that I threw myself for you / And come, I swear to you that I already changed, that I already know what it is to want / I tell you I’m sorry, please, you stay”.
Kasia Moś – “Ślad”
Peaceful protests will always be a part of society, as people express their objection to the way governments and other bodies are handling things. Poland’s Kasia Moś is highlighting this in her new song “Ślad” (“Trace”). A soft-rock anthem, the Eurovision 2017 singer notes that even the smallest of protests can lead to change: “The quiet rustle of trees is a whisper of hope / The wind has sowed your words”. In the music video, Kasia is lost in a giant corn maze. As she tries to find her way to the middle, the MV is interspersed with clips of various protests from over the decades, including those led by Martin Luther King Jr. and recent protests in Belarus and Poland.
Ott Lepland and Púr Múdd – “Vaikida võib”
Estonia’s Eurovision 2012 star Ott Lepland is taking a journey into a relatively new genre of music for him with the single “Vaikida võib” (“You can keep quiet”). It’s a collaboration with electro-pop duo and Eesti Laul 2020 finalists Púr Múdd. While the verses of the song are more focused on Lepland’s vocals with some percussion backing, Púr Múdd add their electro flair into the chorus to create an interesting change in dynamics. Lepland sings about the things he’s left behind in the past as he moves forward in life: “There is still a time to understand / What you lose can’t come back / Listening from afar / Looking at the light / Looking forward to tomorrow / You can keep quiet that night”.
Wig Wam – “Kilimanjaro”
It’s been eight years since Wig Wam last released an album, but now the group have reunited and are set to drop their new LP in January 2021. The latest pre-released single from the upcoming album is “Kilimanjaro”. It’s a full-force rock song with a head-banging chorus. The accompanying music video features clips of the Norwegian band’s antics over the past 15 years, including their Eurovision 2005 performance. This relates to the song’s lyrics, as the band’s vocalist Age Sten Nilsen explains in the video’s description:
““Kilimanjaro” is a reflection on the reckless lifestyle lived on the road and what that lifestyle can do to you. Fame and constant living in that bubble and false reality can be just as poisonous as drugs. I chose to make the main character in the song neglect his own revelations about his messed up past. Now he is back, falling into the same trap, and ready to crack..again…”
Elena Temnikova – “2020”
Many artists have taken inspiration from their experiences throughout 2020 for some of their new music. Russia’s Elena Temnikova has even titled her latest song after the year. She describes the pulsing pop track in the lyric video’s description as “rebellion against the dark 2020 or antidepressant extremism: the new “2020” – a manifesto of love in defiance of epidemics, wars and laws”. The Eurovision 2007 star and former Serebro member sings about how she’ll always be there to support her loved one: “My love is faster than an ambulance / Always coming to your rescue / Love doesn’t need anything more / And it’s not subject to any laws”.
Renne Dang (feat. Ben Cristovao) – “Kudy jít”
Czech rapper Ben Cristovao has added another featured credit to his name. This time he features on “Kudy jít” (“The way to go”) by artist Renne Dang. The Eurovision 2021 star contributes the second verse to the hip-hop track. Overall, the lyrics are about how Cristovao and Dang’s partners provide a sense of direction for their lives: “I stare at the ceiling looking for words to tell you / When I’m with you, I don’t miss anything in life / Only thanks to you, I already know the way to go / I was in the dark, but I already know the way to go”.
Elena Ionescu and Giani Kirita – “Bate Inima”
Romania’s Elena Ionescu was the vocalist for Mandinga at Eurovision 2012. Her latest solo release is “Bate Inima” (“The heart beats”). For this, she’s teamed up with former football player Giani Kirita, who delivers the third verse. It’s a mid-tempo pop offering with a series of more traditional instruments included in the post-chorus.
Franka – “Plan B”
Croatia’s Franka is hitching a ride out of the dull city and heading to a mystical fantasy world in the music video for her new song “Plan B”. The Eurovision 2018 star says of the video:
“When you watch the video, I believe that just like me, you will ask yourself: Who hasn’t said at least once that when they are in love, they are in another, happier place? I want Plan B to take you exactly where you want to be imaginatively!”
Sonically, it’s a nice Balkan pop track with an uplifting aura to it. Franka sings in the lyrics that anything other than spending time with her loved one feels like plan B: “I need things ordinary but magical / That you are next to me because you still make my heart skip a beat / And the slightest feeling is a happy ending every day / Just a hug because the biggest wishes are free / Everything else for me is just plan B”.
Albert Černý – “Nová Láska”
Lake Malawi’s vocalist Albert Černý has gone solo for the new song “Nová Láska” (“New Love”). It’s the Eurovision 2019 alum’s first single in Czech. An indie-rock track, the lyrics see Albert wondering how his ex-partner is doing in their new relationship: “Sometimes you call me, I’ll ask / What about your new love / And you tell me he’s waiting for you / You’re still the same, so what’s changed? … Why did you have to say yes right away?”. Although Albert has released the song under his own name, he assured fans that the other members of Lake Malawi were still involved in creating the song and music video – Jeroným recorded bass guitar and co-produced the song alongside Albert and Eurovision 2017 DJ JOWST, while Antonín recorded drums and directed the music video.
DAGAMBA (feat. Intars Busulis) – “Autumn Leaves”
Intars Busulis and Latvian band DAGAMBA have reworked the classic song “Les Feuilles Mortes” by Yves Montand. Their version, titled “Autumn Leaves”, updates the slow jazz song for today in terms of production and also adds in a much more dramatic bridge and final chorus. Busulis, Latvia’s Eurovision 2009 act, sings the track in both English and French.
Intars has been busy of late and also recently teamed up with singer MARTA for the new song “Pasaule pagaidīs” (“The world will wait”).
Paolo Meneguzzi – “Nel silenzio”
Paolo Meneguzzi has decided to experiment for his latest single. Switzerland’s Eurovision 2008 star has gone down an alternative-pop route for “Nel silenzio” (“In the silence”). The song mixes various natural sounds into the production, including a wolf, an Indian choir, an alarm siren and a real heartbeat. Speaking about the track upon its release, Meneguzzi notes:
“I was able to experiment in a song with pop sounds, alternative and innovative. What I really like to do, pop and experiment, dare, try to differentiate myself, to evolve: in this I recognize my style, the true and original style Meneguzzi … I consider it a small personal masterpiece of mine in terms of research and pop evolution.”
Elina Nechayeva – “Dans mes rêves”
While you usually know what you’re getting with a new Elina Nechayeva song, that never takes away any of the atmosphere that her operatic vocals can deliver. Estonia’s Eurovision 2018 star turns to French for this latest offering. “Dans mes rêves” (“In my dreams”) is a relatively soft operatic ballad that takes you away into another world as Nechayeva sings accompanied by piano and string instrumentation.
Eye Cue and Sarah Mace – “Trepet”
Eye Cue are taking a softer approach for their latest single alongside Sarah Mace. “Trepet” is a slow ballad with harp, acoustic guitar and violin instrumentation. The music video features Mace and North Macedonia’s Eurovision 2018 duo under a clear blue sky as they sing about how the love they share with their partners makes them whole: “You are my reflection in the mirror / You are part of this body / You are part of me / Part of the soul / You make me complete”.
Goran Karan (feat. The Shades NZ) – “Ima jedno svjetlo”
Eurovision is all about building musical bridges between countries. Goran Karan has stretched his bridge half way across the world for his latest single “Ima jedno svjetlo” (“There is one light”). Croatia’s Eurovision 2000 representative has collaborated with operatic quartet The Shades from New Zealand. The ballad is dedicated to the family of the person who sadly lost their life due to the earthquake that hit Zagreb earlier this year.
Boris Novković – “Dinamit”
Croatia’s Eurovision 2005 representative Boris Novković has recently released the new single “Dinamit” (“Dynamite”). It’s a pop-rock track in which the singer talks about the explosive nature of his relationship: “That’s what I know well / I’ll take everything and give it to you / You’re the one I know well / And I’m just waiting to explode”. In a post to fans on Instagram, Novković said that this new song reflected a lot about his own personality:
“The song itself is actually autobiographical. If someone would ask to describe myself, my character and outlook on life in a few words, I would play this song. Dynamite talks about my lifestyle, my views of the world that are a bit romantic and unencumbered by serious things. I live in my own way and I described it in a song where love and passion run through me as an integral part of my life.”
María Isabel – “Me Enseñaste”
Last Sunday, twelve participants presented their songs for Junior Eurovision 2020. No doubt we’ll be hearing more music from them in the future, just like some of the contest’s previous acts. Junior Eurovision 2004 winner María Isabel has recently released the new single “Me Enseñaste” (“You taught me”). Slower than some of her other songs, it’s an urban ballad that lets the Spanish star showcase a more emotional and vulnerable side to herself. María Isabel noted that the track is a personal one for her:
“This song is a bit of me … a song that tells a story that has happened to almost all of us at some point in our lives … and as you know, I reflect parts of me in each of my songs.”
Gaia Cauchi – “Over You”
Another past Junior Eurovision champion who has dropped a new song is Malta’s Gaia Cauchi. The 2013 winner recently released “Over You”. An electro-R’n’B track, the star sings about how she loses all control when she’s with her lover: “I just can’t control it, but when you come around / I break into pieces, I let my guard down / I’m stuck in the middle and there’s no way back now / I just can’t get over… / You, Baby”.
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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