The end of 2021 is fast approaching. And that means one thing — the return of Team Wiwi’s annual Top Tracks countdown.
As usual, the team from wiwibloggs have voted for their favourite new songs released in 2021 by Eurovision stars. After reviewing more than 1,000 songs over the course of the year, we finally settled on our top 50 – it wasn’t easy. And now we’re ready to share it with y’all. We’ll publish ten tracks daily through to New Year’s Eve as we wrap up the year.
Songs that were selected for Eurovision or competed in national finals were excluded (they’ve been analysed to death in our jury reviews). However, the other new songs VICTORIA released as potential Eurovision entries were made eligible for voting since it wasn’t a formal national final (and they were not included in our top national final songs countdown).
At least one singer of the song must have competed at Eurovision as part of the main act to be eligible. Acts who had been chosen for Eurovision 2020 but were not reselected for the 2021 contest were still included in the voting.
Which song will enter our Hall of Fame?
Let the countdown continue!
Team Wiwi’s top songs by Eurovision artists in 2021: 30 to 21
30. VICTORIA – “imaginary friend”
What we said: VICTORIA has shared the lyric video to “imaginary friend” — the first song from her debut EP a little dramatic and her second potential Eurovision 2021 song for Bulgaria. She chose her timing carefully. In a press release, the singer-songwriter said “Imaginary Friend” works well for Valentine’s Day, as it is “not a typical love story” and focuses “on how unrequited love makes you feel.” If we reach back into our personal histories, that’s an idea that resonates with us all. (William)
29. MÉLOVIN – “I кров кипить”
What we said: MÉLOVIN’s latest single is “I кров кипить” (“And the blood boils”). To say that someone’s “blood boils” is to suggest that they are very angry. In terms of this song, Ukraine’s Eurovision 2018 star appears to be annoyed that his lover is not around to help heal his soul: “And the blood boils, and the soul is cool / I know it hurts for me and you / And the blood is boiling and I do not know what to do / When there is no temptation to you”. However, there is little angst in the sound of the song. Instead, it steadily moves along as a mid-tempo R&B-pop track. (Jonathan)
28. Dami Im – “Pray”
What we said: Hallelujah! There has never been any doubt that Dami Im is a powerhouse when it comes to vocal ability. Now her skills are showcased once again with the new single “Pray”. It’s a soulful ballad that builds with the addition of a gospel choir, but Dami’s heartfelt delivery remains the focal point. In the lyrics, Australia’s Eurovision 2016 star discusses the fact that we all need to take a moment to rest and reflect every now and again: “Can we stop and take a breath? / Maybe we just need to pray / Hallelujah, hallelujah / When it’s more than we can take / It’s time for us to pray”. (Jonathan)
27. Roxen, Strange Fruits Music & DMNDS – “Money Money”
What we said: Money, money, must be funny in a rich man’s world. Roxen is living in that world for their new single “Money Money”. Teaming up with music producers DMNDS and Strange Fruits Music, the Romanian singer delivers a catchy dance-pop song. Lyrically, Roxen is aiming to solve all their problems with a big bundle of cash: “They say love makes you happy / I say ‘Money money, money money’ / When it’s gone, who’s your daddy / I say ‘Money money, money money’”. In the accompanying music video, the Eurovision 2021 star spends their time in a fancy limousine alongside two female companions in balaclavas – one of whom Roxen snogs. The three of them enjoy all the riches they’ve accumulated, but the law eventually catches up with Roxen in the end. (Jonathan)
Previous top tracks: “Wonderland” (#5 in 2020)
26. 3JS – “Vreemde Leegte”
What we said: In December 2020, 3JS member Jan Dulles sadly lost his daughter, Donna, at the age of three months due to post-birth complications. While the Eurovision 2011 star naturally took time away from the spotlight to grieve, Jan has now released a song as part of Dutch trio 3JS that is dedicated to Donna. Titled “Vreemde Leegte” (“Strange Emptiness”), the song discusses how Jan still feels his daughter’s presence with him: “When I know you’re there / I become silent and hold on to that moment / Where are you? / It doesn’t work without you / It never lets go of me”. (Jonathan)
25. KEiiNO – “UNBREAKABLE”
What we said: Despite finishing in second place at Melodi Grand Prix 2021, KEiiNO have made it clear that they’re “UNBREAKABLE”. The Norwegian trio of Alexandra Rotan, Tom Hugo and Fred Buljo have released the folk-inspired new single. Alexandra kicks proceedings off before Tom takes charge for the second verse, and of course it wouldn’t be a KEiiNO single without Fred adding in some joiking to the mix. The lyrics of “Unbreakable” see the Eurovision 2019 stars talking about a girl who has to battle through the elements: “Girl, let me tell it to you now / You’re stronger than the wind / Unbreakable”. This concept is inspired by the Russian folklore novel The Bear and the Nightingale. (Jonathan)
24. Mahmood – “Inuyasha”
What we said: Mahmood has never made secret his love for things such as Pokémon and anime. And now the Italian star is bringing that into his music. His new single is titled “Inuyasha”, which is the name of a manga/anime series centred around a half-dog demon, half-human character called Inuyasha. The Eurovision 2019 runner-up dresses as his own version of Inuyasha, with a bit of Italian fashion flair, for the music video: “I was in the seventh grade when I watched Inuyasha’s episodes on MTV at midnight. I never thought that one day I would be able to transform.” Sonically, the track is a strong mid-tempo hip-hop offering that Mahmood takes further with his passion and charisma. (Jonathan)
23. Dino Merlin (feat. Senidah) – “Dođi”
What we said: Dino Merlin’s newest release, “Dođi” (“Come by”), is a collaboration with Slovene-Montenegrin singer Senidah, who also happens to be our Wednesday wishlist pick for Montenegro. The track combines the two artists’ styles well and discusses the fear of loneliness that many people have experienced during the tough times we currently live in. The music video was shot in Sarajevo and Lukomir, the highest inhabitable place in Bosnia and Herzegovina at a whopping 1495 metres above sea level. Since its release, the music video for “Dođi” was trending in all former Yugoslavia countries and Switzerland. (Mario)
*While Dino Merlin’s “Dođi” was released on the final day of 2020, it was too late for inclusion in last year’s top tracks countdown. Hence its appearance on the 2021 list.
Previous top tracks: “Mi” (#34 in 2020)
22. Katerine Duska – “Athenian Skies”
What we said: Katerine Duska was born in Montreal, Canada, but now resides in Athens, Greece. The Eurovision 2019 star is honouring her current home town with the new song “Athenian Skies”. In a post on Instagram, Katerine commented: “This is my love letter to my city Athens and its night that incessantly inspires”. The music video features Katerine ditching her date to spend a night on the town with her friends, while the lyrics further explore this carefree feeling: “At night we do what we like, ay / Living a million lives under Athenian skies / I can’t afford you for too long”. The star’s indie-pop style is still present, but there’s also more of a diva attitude in the music and visuals. (Jonathan)
Previous top tracks: “ANEMOS” (#24 in 2020)
21. Tina Karol – “Скандал”
What we said: Since competing at Eurovision 2006, Tina Karol has grown to become one of Ukraine’s biggest stars. And she proves just why with her new single “Скандал” (“Scandal”). Karol mixes a catchy pop beat with a dramatic undertone to the production. The accompanying music video features the Ukrainian star being filmed like some sort of test subject. However, she sings that she won’t be forced into doing what any particular person wants her to do: “I am not for your victories / I’m more ice than snow / Not for your victories / I need an escape from you”. Karol’s official Twitter account explained more:
“The main meaning of the song is liberation from the barriers. The singer exists in a moment when getting rid of the pain of the past gives freedom to the future. She becomes feminine in feelings and cold-blooded in her conclusions.” (Jonathan)
Our Top Tracks of 2021 ranking is determined by independent votes from a panel of wiwibloggers. They are Jonathan, Renske, Oliver, Robyn, Tom, William, Cinan, Mario, Padraig and Josh.
Which songs do you think should feature on the list? Are you surprised by our choices so far? Let us know in the comments.