The fifteens songs that will be competing to represent Norway at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest were released a couple of weeks back.
During this weekend, three heats will take place over three nights (Friday 7th, Saturday 8th, and Sunday 9th). And then next Saturday 15th, it’s the big final. Each heat contains five songs, and as is the law of these things, as many musical genres as possible are represented. Well, actually this year it looks like there’s somewhat of a Margaret Berger effect going on. There are a lot more electronic SLASH alternative SLASH synth solo female tracks than normal. But that’s never a bad thing. It means that there’s no room for any hard rock or death metal this year. So that’s one more thing we have to be thankful to Margaret Berger for.
Quality wise it’s a bit of a mixed bag in Norway this year. Unfortunately, most of them range from average down to poor. And that’s quite a surprise really when you consider that this year Norway could have glided back to Eurovision on the glory that would automatically be bestowed upon them after last year’s entry – Margaret Berger’s seminal ‘I Feed You My Love’. As a result of the overwhelming mediocrity however, this has allowed four songs of the fifteen to really stand out. Three because we really like them. And one because everyone else seems to be going nuts for it.
So Norway. You really MUST pick one of these four songs if you would like to hold your head high at the Eurovision Song Contest, and earn yourselves a good result. Don’t fuck it up.
Let’s start with the three that we’re into, shall we? Let’s. (the other 11 songs can be listened to via NRK’s website)
Thea Leora & Hilda Stenmalm: ‘Best Friend’s Boyfriend’
A delightful teenpop number that soars and bangs via a string heavy verse and then a rock-out chorus. It’s got bags of charm and a little bit of cheek too. It doesn’t really seem like a Eurovision song, but rather a standalone pop hit. And far from being Europop, it’s actually more of a song that an American teen singer would release – albeit one written by a Scandi, as they all are. Both Thea and Hilda, despite their youth, have been featured on Scandipop before. Scandipop Award winner Hilda, and both incarnations of Thea – here and here. The girls released a video for their song yesterday. Here it is;
Linnea Dale: High Hopes
A former Donkeyboy vocalist (she sang on their biggest hit ‘Ambitions’), Linnea Dale fills the now annual crediblefemaleelectropopstar quota that NRK seem to afford to every MGP (following on from Lise Karlsnes and of course Margaret Berger herself). She’s the kind of artist who can stand on the Melodi Grand Prix stage, and have Norwegians at home thinking, “yes – we would be very proud to have her represent our country”. ‘High Hopes’ is a quirky electro track that doesn’t really peak or collapse, but instead carries on its business in a permanent state of GOOD. As with Thea & Hilda’s ‘Best Friend’s Boyfriend’, ‘High Hopes’ doesn’t sound like a Eurovision song. It could easily be the standard lead hit off of Linnea Dale’s new album. But then that also applied to Margaret Berger’s ‘I Feed You My Love’ too, and we all know how well that turned out for everyone involved. Very. For more Linnea Dale, check out her ‘Room In The City’ single that we scribed about last year. For ‘High Hopes’ though, she’s also released a video. Here you are;
Elisabeth Carew: ‘Sole Survivor’
Another lady who we’ve featured on Scandipop before. But unlike the previous two artists, we’d say that ‘Sole Survivor’ DOES sound like a good Eurovision song. It’s epic pop and would sound perfect being performed in an arena setting. The production is big, the chorus is big, and it deserves a stage as almighty as Eurovision to showcase its size. If you’re in the market for a typically good Scandinavian national selection song – then ‘Sole Survivor’ is the one you want. No video for it unfortch. But here’s the song;
FINALLY, there’s one more. ‘Silent Storm’ by Carl Espen. We’re not the biggest fan of it, but everyone else seems to love it, and it’s the overwhelming favourite to win Melodi Grand Prix this year and represent Norway at Eurovision. It’s a deathly soft and minimal ballad that’s sung with a soulful and emotional vocal. Perhaps we’d like it more if we weren’t already familiar with a similar song that Carl’s Nordic neighbour Isak Danielsson came out with at the turn of the year – ‘Long Live This Love’. To us, ‘Silent Storm’ just sounds like a poor man’s version of that. But it would probably do extremely well for Norway in the competition. So there’s that.