EDIT: YOU CAN NOW LISTEN TO THE STUDIO VERSIONS OF ALL THE SONGS – LINKS BELOW BESIDE EACH SONG TITLE.
This weekend the Melodifestivalen circus returns to the televisions of Sweden and the online streams of any international pop fans that know what’s good for them. Heat 1 of the six week EVENT arrives in Gothenburg, and seven acts with seven songs compete for your love.
That’s right – seven. It’s not eight per heat anymore. They’re still competing for the same four prizes as they always have been though. The two with the most votes will progress to the big final in mid-March, and the two who find themselves in 3rd and 4th position will get a chance to perform again in the Andra Chansen round in early March, hoping to nab a wildcard ticket to the final.
So who’s competing in Heat 1 then?!
Below we’ve done our guide to the seven songs and artists. Essentially, all you need to know about them before you’re actually able to hear the songs for yourself (and FYI: that’ll be via 30 second clips of the rehearsals on Thursday, plus the studio versions of the songs will be put online on Saturday at 3pm UK time. All over at svt.se/melodifestivalen).
Right then. Let’s get this started. Let’s meet the artists in the order that they’ll be performing on the night;
Molly Pettersson Hammar – I’ll Be Fine LISTEN
Låtskrivare: Molly Pettersson Hammar, Lisa Desmond, Tim Larsson, Tobias Lundgren, Gavin Jones
By all accounts, this one is the dark horse of the heat – if not the whole competition. A soulful, piano-driven, up-tempo song that showcases her vocal ability – which in itself is something to behold. The songwriters on board couldn’t be more Scandipop-friendly if they tried. They’ve been behind Linda Bengtzing’s biggest hits (Lundgren, Larson), Timoteij’s ‘Tabu’ album (Desmond), and Zara Larsson’s breakthrough hit ‘Uncover’ (Jones). The Swedish press consensus: A soulful, gospel track that sounds like a poppier version of an Adele or Emeli Sande hit. The piano into is quite the ear-catcher. WATCH MOLLY’S FIRST REHEARSAL HERE.
Daniel Gildenlöw – Pappa LISTEN
Låtskrivare: Daniel Gildenlöw
The man from Pain of Salvation (Melodifestivalen 2010) return to the contest all on his lonesome. He describes it as a touching song, one with a calm and peaceful tempo, and quite naked. HOW EXCITING! And there we were hoping that Pappa would be more Mamma Mia than Bröder. The Swedish press consensus: A sad and wistful guitar ballad about an absent Father. WATCH DANIEL’S FIRST REHEARSAL HERE.
Elize Ryd & Rickard Söderberg – One By One LISTEN
Låtskrivare: Elize Ryd, Jimmy Jansson, Karl-Ola Kjellholm, Sharon Vaughn
A flamboyant tenor who dabbles in jazz and musicals, has been paired with the front woman from a metal band. On paper (and photo!) this is a total car crash. But as time has proven over and over again, if anything can turn a car crash into an un-missable spectacle, it’s the Melodifestivalen stage. And these two had better go ALL OUT. We want jaws to be dropped and pearls to be clutched. Songwriter wise, the last time Kjellholm and Vaughn got together for a co-write, they came up with Helena Paparizou’s ‘Survivor’. And Jimmy Jansson contributed four more of Paparizou’s ‘One Life’ album hightlights – ‘Save Me (This is an SOS), ‘Set Your Heart On Me’, ‘Don’t Hold Back on Love’, and ‘4 Another 1’. So there’s a whole lot of awesomeness behind this song, which has been described as a dramatic powerballad. The Swedish press consensus: Pop-opera fodder, but with less of a novelty to it than when those two genres normally get melted down together. Still, it’s got schlager touches to it. WATCH ELIZE & RICKARD’S FIRST REHEARSAL HERE.
Dolly Style – Hello Hi LISTEN
Låtskrivare: Emma Nors, Palle Hammarlund och Jimmy Jansson
You pretty much know what you’re getting here from looking at that picture, don’t you? But if you don’t, then just take one listen to this song here. That’s the last time Nors and Hammarlund had a track of theirs released, and it’s also the foundations of their Dolly Style concept – J-Pop with a Scandipop twist. The Swedish press consensus: Like a modern day ‘Barbie Girl’. 90s technopop with a cheeky lyric. WATCH DOLLY STYLE’S FIRST REHEARSAL HERE.
Behrang Miri feat. Victor Crone – Det Rår Vi Inte För LISTEN
Låtskrivare: Behrang Miri, Albin Johnsén, Måns Zelmerlöw, Tony Nilsson
Don’t go expecting another ‘Jalla Dansa Sawa’ (Melodifestivalen 2013). With this new song, Behrang Miri has taken things in a more mellow and urban direction. He says that it’s a reflective song with a message and a meaning, one that is conveyed in both the music and the lyrics. So it sounds like it’s been inserted into the running order purely to assist the Swedish viewing public to comedown from buzzing their tits off after that Dolly Style number. Well played, SVT. Well played. The Swedish press consensus: A hip-hop verse with a melodic pop chorus. Albin’s influence as a songwriter is apparent. WATCH BEHRANG’S FIRST REHEARSAL HERE.
Jessica Andersson – Can’t Hurt Me Now LISTEN
Låtskrivare: Aleena Gibson, Fredrik Thomander
“A fantastic ballad that moved me to tears when I first heard it”, is how she describes the song. And it’s no wonder – the two songwriters behind it are fairly familiar with producing the odd heart-wrenching ballad or two. Aleena Gibson is the woman behind Sanna Nielsen’s ‘Empty Room’ and Molly Sandén’s ‘Why Am I Crying’, while Fredrik Thomander contributed to Agnetha Fältskog’s ‘A’ album in 2013. Jessica’s popularity with the Swedish public can never be underestimated. She’s now as near as one can come to being a national sweetheart. Based on pre-contest murmurs, there are two other songs in this heat that are pretty much guaranteed the pair of final tickets. But we’d be surprised if Jessica didn’t find herself at least competing in Andra Chansen in five weeks’ time. The Swedish press consensus: A ballad with a lot of comparisons to Sanna Nielsen’s ‘Undo’. The lyric is about moving on. Although the vocal is what’s the real stunner here, rather than the song itself. WATCH JESSICA’S FIRST REHEARSAL HERE.
Eric Saade – Sting LISTEN
Låtskrivare: Arash Fahmi, Fredrik Kempe, Hamed ”K-one” Pirouzpanah, David Kreuger
The big one. You all know Eric Saade and everything he’s done since winning the contest the last time he entered, in 2011. This year he’s using Melodifestivalen as a launchpad for his big comeback to pop music in 2015. Just yesterday he tweeted “Whatever happens…There’s gonna be a lot of New music this year! #WorkingHard”. And what better way to make a splash than on the Melodifestivalen stage – performing in the same slot that Loreen did with ‘Euphoria’, closing Heat 1. All the descriptions you’d hope and expect to hear regarding the song, have been given to us. Up-tempo, massive chorus, like nothing he’s done before, and all via a huge stage spectacle. And Eric’s not the only returning Melodifestivalen winner. The songwriting trio Kempe, Pirouzpanah and Kreuger won Melodifestivalen last year with Sanna Nielsen’s ‘Undo’. The Swedish press consensus: Best song of the week. And with oodles of saxophone. Nothing like ‘Manboy’ or ‘Popular’ – this could actually be a radio hit. Comparisons to Avicii’s ‘Wake Me Up’. WATCH ERIC’S FIRST REHEARSAL HERE.
You can stream the full show wherever you are in the world, over at svtplay.se, at 7pm UK time on Saturday. Or check back here on Sunday for our review of the show, plus a link to the stream on catch-up.
You can pre-order the Melodifestivalen 2015 CD, featuring all 28 songs, over in our store.