Hi everybody!!!

Did you think that only because we are enjoying Summer days in the Northern hemisphere there are no ESC-related news?

Well, if you were thinking that, guess what? Wrongggg!!!! 😉

Wanna take a first look at (or remember) some of this year’s contestants’ new releases on the WWW? Find the vids below as well as some opinions on each one after listening to them just once (kind of replicating the ESC experience, if you will):

Nina Sublatti (Georgia) – Locked Box

Continuing with the mysterious and hypnotical sound of “Warrior”, Nina delivers here a more intimate performance, with some Björk (not Hera) and perhaps some Tori Amos thrown into this track. Despite only being 20 years old, Nina manages to sound very adult and intriguing. the only downfall is that the track is, at times, a little bit repetitive. Nevertheless, it is still pleasant to hear this contemporary and effective song. I am not a big fan of fade-out endings but that fits here.

Nina Sublatti (Georgia) – You Call Me Devil

Far from her Eurovision entry, Nina’s voice is hard to recognise here, but not in a bad way, showing her versatility. In a deep tone, Nina follows the rhythm of You Call Me Devil perfectly. This is a track featuring war-like drums and emotional and dark backing vocals finishing it off. Simply delicious… Nina’s “Locked Box” EP is now available for purchase from the usual download stores.

Vaidas Baumila (Lithuania) – Nauja Diena

This track is titled “Brand New Day” in Lithuanian. The sound is more inclined to contemporary rock and shows a more believable side of Baumila. The video is a very good effort to show the life of a performer, from the very beginning, waking up in the morning, all through shows, TV appearances, events and trips. Vocally clean and effective, this is a taste of what is yet to come during the rest of his Summer concerts in his homeland.

Leonor Andrade (Portugal) – Já Conheci

The song title means “I’ve already met”. A powerful ballad full of pain and heartbreak with another energetic interpretation from Leonor. The dark electronic beats add more drama to create an elegant and sincere atmosphere, making it easier to understand what is being told through the lyrics “I’ve already met what makes me cry, I’ve already felt my world falling apart, I’m not coming back here, I’m not loving like this again”. The black and white video only features Leonor in a matching outfit with a minimalist scenario and some additional effects to reflect her feelings. With music and lyrics by Andrade, this track is also available for download.

Elina Born (Estonia) – Kilimanjaro

An up-tempo and cheeky tune, perhaps worthy of a more grown up Taylor Swift. The song is fun but Elina’s voice sounds a little plain and, therefore, her vocal range is not appropriately showcased. Kilimanjaro is the first single out of Elina’s self-titled album. It was written and produced by her ESC friend Stig Rästa and Vallo Kikas.

Stig Rästa (Estonia) / Traffic – Sekundiga

Traffic is a band that had already taken part in Eesti Laul before Stig and Elina won this year. Stig is Traffic’s guitarist, but he is not the only Estonian ESC star appearing on the video: Elina Born, Tanja, Getter Jaani, Tanel Padar and Ott Lepland all have cameos here singing “Sekundiga” (“Seconds”). The track has a folky/country vibe to it and is not that bad… The video, however, looks like it was made by a teenage student for a school project. In spite of being full of stars, it is quite boring to watch.

Voltaj (Romania) – Din Toata Inima

“Wholeheartedly” is Voltaj’s new single and video. It is an upbeat anthem dedicated to their country. The video has a very high visual quality and presents beautiful postcards of Romania alongside a fantastic acrobat, who performs all over the land walking on a tight rope or riding a monocycle. Far from the sadness and melancholy of their ESC entry, Voltaj have here a contagious pride and happiness song inspired by the love for their place in the world, chasing to awake your feelings yet again. Great piece of work!

Daniel Kajmakoski (FYR Macedonia) – 10 Leta

This song is called “Ten Summers” and is a happy love song. To be completely honest, it’s nothing we haven’t seen or heard before but Daniel ‘s voice is remarkable and is the one thing to highlight from this, going strong and soft as easily as breathing in and out… The video is full of clichés and quite possibly a love song like this did not allow anything else but what we can see here. Average but nice.

Tamar Kaprelian (Armenia) – The Otherside

This one you may have already seen/heard. It is the collaboration of two of the girls of Genealogy (Tamar and Stephanie) with the representatives of Albania, Estonia and Greece. A heartfelt empowering ballad reflecting about the world we live in. You may say it is just another song with a message but the reality is that it is still a beautiful song with a sweet melody. Besides, the combination of these Eurovision girls’ voices is outstanding, flowing naturally from one lady to the next. The dancer in the video is the final touch of elegance and talent. Gorgeous girls, gorgeous sound.

Il Volo (Italy) – Grande Amore (Spanish version)

What can I say about this? The Italian boys singing Grande Amore in my language, at last! I love it, despite the fact that they needed to keep the title in Italian for song metric (and impact) reasons. The translation is really accurate as you would expect going from Italian to Spanish so there is no problem with that. The only disadvantage of this version is that Ignazio Boschetto’s solo parts are less strong/dramatic in comparison. The video is not doing justice to such a fantastic song… They could have saved the money (or make a proper video for it).

I represent South America in the team. Born and raised in Buenos Aires, and living in Europe since 2011, my passion for the ESC began by chance in 2002 (and I've been in love ever since). I speak six languages, love pop/dance music and I am addicted to travelling, no wonder I am a Eurovision fan! 😃

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