Less than two weeks until Estonia is going to start off their national final, Eesti Laul 2016. On social media, there is already quite the discussion going on about who should represent the Baltic state in Stockholm. Brent and Nick divided the two semi-finals and each reviewed one of them. We’re obviously starting with semi-final and you can read below what Brent had to say!

Sally – Go Away Bird
If there is one thing Estonia definitely knows is the indie rock sound. But I’m worried Sally is a little too much like ‘Goodbye to Yesterday.’ I Also find it really hard not to want to sing “Sonny” by the disco legends Bonny M. Its moody, it’s a little bit dark and has some very interesting vocals. Sally will definitely have you tapping your feet. It’d just hope that if it does get through people wont think Estonia is all too samey.

Play – Jüri Pootsmann
Oh boy this guy has the voice of someone much older than his years. He sort of sounds like George Ezra, but somehow with a deeper more soulful voice. This song is classic and dark and sexy. There is a heaviness that his voice provides that gives this song such gravity. Throw in the strings and the horns section and we have a song that rises above. All he needs is a suit, a spotlight and his voice and this is sure to be a winner.

Parmuphillihullus – meisterjaan
Mouth Organ. Mouth Organ! This song starts off with a mouth organ and is (I’m told by a reliable translator) is primarily a song about oral sex. Just in case you though the Eurovision Song Contest was starting to become a little too sublet here comes meisterjaan. The song is strange. I can’t tell if it’s a joke song or not and either way I end up a little frightened by the end of it. That said it probably has estonian’s in stitches and will go down a hit!

Patience – I Wear* Experiment
Ethereal vocals will take you back to a club in the 90s, especially once the beat comes in you’ll swear you were in a time warp. Don’t worry that is ok though, the 90s is cool again (like everything roughly 26 years old). Definitely catchy and easy to remember, an anthem that will be called from the rafters, but not one that is likely to capture the hearts of the masses. It is definitely fun though and if I could I would, but I can’t get it out of my head!

Meet Half Way – Pur Mudd
By far my favorite of the entire National Final, Meet Half Way has an almost ‘Alt-J’ quality but with a significantly more upbeat chorus, sort of like Alt-J meets The Presets. There is almost a dubstep undertone.It’s been proven in the last few years that diversity is being rewarded in the competition and this is definitely one that deserves multiple listenings. It’ll be interesting to see what they do for their live performance, but if they can pull it off it’s definitely a contender. This is some clever music, I couldn’t be more into this song!

Stories Untold – Grete Paia
This has drama written all over it. I demand a wind machine, a huge dress and fireworks. Strong songs by strong women are some of my favorite and this song delivers in spades! Stories untold is a somewhere between a ballad and a pop song and has Eurovision written all over it. I get the feeling if I was in a bad mood this song would definitely tell me that things would get better. I’m feeling stronger already!

Eiolemulolla – Pohaja-Tallinn Ft. Jaagup Kreem
Can you play your keyboard sideways on the back of a truck? These guys can! It’s a bit heavier rock than anything else we’ve heard to far and will be a great change of pace. It’s also another native language song, which are more of a rarity in this half of the Semi finals. It’s a relatively standard type of rock song, but that said it doesn’t get dull and the energy pushes through till the end. I’m sure if I knew the words I’d be screaming along!

Strong – Anett Kulbin
In stark contrast to the last one Strong is a lot softer a song, but no less hard hitting. Its emotional and Anett’s vocals soar. Sometimes it’s the simpler a song that is more effective and this is an example of that. Really just her voice and the piano – which I’m very much hoping she sits behind for her performance. That would be the complete package and you’d probably find me standing behind someone hiding my tears. This song is just stunning.

Miljon Korda –Gertu Pabbo
Another song that is somewhere between a Ballad and a pop song (but definitely more on the side of pop), Miljon Korda is what I often think about as a quintessential Eurovision song. National language, upbeat and very produced – compared to Strong it sounds incredibly produced. Production aside, if the performance is strong and her dress is fantastic I think this will do very well.

Unikaalne – La La Ladies
La La Ladies as as fun as you’d expect! The only opportunity they missed was working their name into their song! (let’s be honest they need to do this from now on. Every. Single. Song.) These ladies are fierce and fresh and the song is so fun and enjoyable that you can see why they have been chosen to round out the competition. If they can get their dance moves and tight as their harmonies we might have a very very tight race for the Estonian 2016 Eurovision selection!

An Australian from Melbourne who's passion exploded after our first ever inclusion and my first ever attended ESC. Don't worry I've been heavily into it since 2004, even taking over a high school assembly with my own (in hindsight terrible) version. Relatively new to the ESC community, but with a background in media and theatre, I only look forward to my yearly (but lengthy) pilgrimage.

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