Here’s what you can expect from this Saturday’s Melodifestivalen. A little insight into the bunch of artists that SVT have got lined up for us, and what we can expect from the songs.
1. Outtrigger – Echo
Songwriters: Outtrigger, Joy Deb, Linnea Deb and Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad
Metal. Urgh. These chaps shot to fame last year when their metal cover of Robin Stjernberg’s ‘You’ went viral. Skip forward one year later, and ‘You’s composers have co-penned their Melodifestivalen debut, along with Anton who used to be in Le Kid. For all its sins, metal music does have a short history of doing quite well at Melodifestivalen. Bugger.
2. EKO – Red
Songwriters: Joy Deb, Linnea Deb, Anna Lidman, Hannes Lundberg and Michael Ottosson
These guys are here as they won the Svensktoppen Nästa contest last year, thus automatically earning them a place in Melodifestivalen. They’re a synth group who promise an electro track that harks back to the 80s yet still sounds fresh. And despite knowing nothing else about this trio, we are quite looking forward to hearing what they have to offer.
3. Oscar Zia – Yes We Can
Songwriters: Fredrik Kempe, David Kreuger and Hamed Pirouzpanah
Like Manda and JEM last week, Oscar Zia is another X Factor graduate. He’s got a bit more form with televoters though, as he was cast for Let’s Dance (the Swedish version of Strictly Come Dancing) a few months after finishing on X Factor. He ended up proving more popular as a dancer than a singer – beating his position on X Factor by finishing 2nd on Let’s Dance. He’s released two singles since then – ‘#Fail’ and ‘Without You’. Both sizable hits on iTunes, but they didn’t earn enough Spotify plays to make the actual Swedish singles chart, and Swedish radio didn’t seem to bother too much with them either. Both good pop songs, though, ‘Yes We Can’ will clearly need to be a lot better than both, to make any kind of an impact in the competition. Thankfully, the early song descriptions are good. We’ve heard the song likened to having the classic Cheiron boyband sound – which is going to be amazing if true. It’s also going to be a big dance number on stage, so he’s going to be bringing the show element on Saturday.
4. Shirley Clamp – Burning Alive
Songwriters: Bobby Ljunggren, Henrik Wikström, Marcos Ubeda and Sharon Vaughn
The return of Shirley Clamp! After a great start to her Melodifestivalen career in the mid noughties, she suffered a humiliating comeback in 2009. A botched vocal on the key change translated into her finishing last in her heat. And her only return to the contest since has been as part of the group Shirley’s Angels in 2011, with whom she scored a more respectable Andra Chansen placing with ‘I Thought It Was Forever’. Musical output has been thin on the ground since then, with the sole release being last year’s disco track ‘Step By Step’, tying in with her stint promoting Weight Watchers. ‘Burning Alive’ is brought to us by mostly the same team behind Helena Paparizou’s ‘Survivor’. Do we dare to hope for something just as epic? Well if it’s not as good, then it’ll be that comparison that goes against her in the end. In terms of the type of artist she is and the career she’s had, she’s going to be lumped in with Helena Paparizou and Sanna Nielsen whether she likes it or not. And those two have set the bar incredibly high over the last couple of weeks. If our Shirl doesn’t match that, we can’t imagine the Swedish televoters being very forgiving. They’ve abandoned her before remember.
5. State of Drama – All We Are
Songwriters: Göran Werner, Emil, Gullham, Sanken Sandquist and Sebastian Hallifax
Last year these guys secured a direct place in the final, leaving behind them what was a pop bloodbath in heat three. We still haven’t forgiven them, and we’re expecting more tuneless drivel from the band. They call ‘All We Are’ a youth anthem. We call it a cynical ploy to pick up votes from the demographic most likely to telephone into these things. Yes, we’re still bitter. They put ‘Heart Strings‘ in 5th place, the bastards!
6. CajsaStina Åkerström – En Enkel Sång
Songwriter: CajsaStina Åkerström
A successful artist since the 90s, CajsaStina has been approached to do Melodifestivalen many times before, but always refused – until now. She credits her song, for her change of heart. An autobiographical ballad. Results wise, will she do an Anna Järvinen or a Louise Hoffsten with it though? With nothing else like it (or her) in this heat, we reckon she might have a good chance of doing quite well. Especially in light of Ellen Benediktson’s victory a few weeks back.
7. Ace Wilder – Busy Doin’ Nothin
Songwriters: Ace Wilder, Linnea Deb and Joy Deb
Ace Wilder got off to a brilliant start to her career in 2013. Granted, that’s in terms of quality rather than actual success, but quality’s the most important one out of the two so she’s at least getting it right. Her debut EP ‘A Wilder EP’ housed the two singles ‘Do It’ and ‘Bitches Like Fridays’, plus two new tracks. And such was the high standard of pop on there, it means that our Ace has actually never released a bad song. We’re hoping her flawless track record continues on to Saturday. She’s written her song ‘Busy Doing Nothin’ along with Joy Deb and Linnea Deb. And while those two may have been responsible for the song that won Melodifestivalen last year, they were also behind the song which finished in 8th place last week. We’ve never actually seen or heard Ace perform live, so we can’t really predict how this one is going to go. She’s the one we’re most looking forward to in this heat though, so we’re hoping for more HotNess than HotMess.
8. Dr. Alban & Jessica Folcker – Around the World
Songwriters: Dr. Alban, Jakke Erixson and Karl-Ola
Not the odd pairing you may at first think. These two first met each other in the 80s (!!!) when she worked in his clothes shop (!!!!!!) as a 15 year old. The following decade she sang on some of his hits, before herself becoming a big domestic star and a smaller international star, thanks to somewhat being the muse of Denniz Pop in the early days of the Cheiron set. Both Dr Alban and Jessica had their biggest hits in the 90s, and have had varying levels of success since then with various comebacks. Jessica has competed in Melodifestivalen twice in the mid noughties, flopping spectacularly both times despite the good songs she’d been given. Perhaps luck wasn’t on her side though, as one performance took place while she was deathly ill, and another mere days after she’d given birth. She managed to launch an impressive comeback last year, with a handful of genuinely great tracks. He’s been much quieter, and much less successful since his prime 20 years ago. For ‘Around The World’ they’ve promised a party track with a great deal of nostalgia injected into it. And we quite like the sound of that.