Eurovision 2022 Reviewed – Pt1: Rave-ready tunes and Celtic legends

Eurovision contestants Reddi
Denmark’s Eurovision contestants: Reddi © EBU/ AGNETE SCHLICHTKRULL

From the 10th May, 40 countries will battle it out to be crowned winner of Eurovision 2022. After Italy’s Måneskin won last year, Turin will host the grand finale on the 14th May. Seem like a lot to sit through? Fear not. WAT has your back, here’s your definitive guide of this years’ ones-to-watch and who to skip.

Albania: Ronela Hajati – Sekret

Sekret packs a lot into 3 minutes. It opens with rousing choral singing, then adds traditional Eastern European instruments, an exciting electronica production and Hajati’s husky voice adds a boost of power.

Medieval twerking. There’s a lot going on musically and visually in Sekret, Albania’s entry.

Armenia: Rosa Linn – Snap

Armenia has pivoted to full Lumineers style for Eurovision this year. Linn’s generic folk song has an anthemic chorus, complete with a chanted “Oh-oh”.

Australia: Sheldon Riley – Not The Same

Accompanied by parred back strings and piano, Riley gives a raw and emotional performance. He does have a lovely voice, but the song itself is unfortunately very forgettable.

Austria: LUM!X feat. Pia Maria – Halo

The high-energy number brings together the talents of multi-platinum producer and DJ LUM!X (Luca Michlmayr) and 18-year-old singer Pia Maria. A classic europop banger and the only entry this year to namedrop Socrates.

Azerbaijan: Nadir Rustamli – Fade To Black

You’d think a four-man writing team could come up with something a bit better than: “It hurts so fast/ When love goes bad/ Until at last/ We fade to black.” Perhaps the questionable songwriting could be forgiven in the place of, say, a big catchy hook or exciting and unusual instrumentation. There’s none of that here. 

Belgium: Jérémie Makiese – Miss You

Winner of The Voice Belgique 2021, Makiese contributes slick R&B soul for Belgium this year. Miss You feels a little anti-climatic but mixes up it up from back-to-back rock and pop entries.

Bulgaria: Intelligent Music Project – Intention

Following the runaway success of Eurovision winners Måneskin last year, there are a lot more rock entries this year, each with varying degrees of success. Intention sounds like it should be on the b-side for a classic rock band from twenty years ago.

Croatia: Mia Dimšić – Guilty Pleasure

This sounds so much like a Taylor Swift song I’m surprised Dimšić hasn’t been sued yet. There is zero originality here. Perhaps Guilty Pleasure is a discarded song that didn’t make it onto Folklore?

Cyprus: Andromache – Ela

Half in Greek, half sung in English, Ela has a lovely swirling chorus and instruments including the Greek bouzouki and Albanian fyell brezi add a Mediterranean flavour.

Czech Republic: We Are Domi – Lights Off

Electropop group We Are Domi bring the heat with this rave-ready tune. A thumping deep house bass line, a sexy synth hook and singalong lyrics, what more do you need?

Ticking all the boxes. Czech Republic’s entry: Lights Off by We Are Domi.

Denmark: REDDI – The Show

One of my personal favourites. The Show opens as an unassuming ballad then switches to peppy pop rock. It sounds like it should be in a feel-good teen movie and I’m here for it.

Estonia: Stefan – Hope

What I love about Eurovision is its position as a cultural touchstone for the day’s popular music. Hope is clearly influenced by the sea shanty trend (see Nathan Evans’ Wellerman), blended with the twanging guitars of country music.

Finland: The Rasmus – Jezebel

Finland understood the rock assignment better than Bulgaria with a catchy track about a femme fatale;Woke up with bruises on my body/ Hands tied like Jesus on the cross.” It’s a bit silly but fun.

France: Alvan & Ahez – Fulenn

Another of my favourites. Far from Eurovision contestants’ usual bland lyrics, Fulenn is written in the Celtic language of Breton and based on the local legend of a young woman who emancipates herself from societal norms by dancing at night bathed in the light from a bonfire. Now that is a theme I can get behind.

Georgia: Circus Mircus – Lock Me In

A completely bonkers entry from Georgia which sees them dressed as clowns in the music video and shouting “Circus Mircus” before every keyboard synth instrumental. Look, lockdown affected us all in different ways, okay?

Completely bonkers. Georgia’s Circus Mircus perform Lock Me In.

Germany: Malik Harris – Rockstars

Apparently, Harris was inspired to write this song after watching the final episode of The Office. Sadly, this run-of-the-mill ballad about “the good old days” is nowhere near as entertaining as Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s hit comedy series.

Greece: Amanda Tenfjord – Die Together

Die Together starts small with intimate Billie Eilish-style and multilayered a cappella from Tenfjord. The song gently unfurls to include static chords and the final chorus soars with a full scale orchestra for maximum emotional punch. 

Iceland: Systur – Með Hækkandi Sól

Iceland’s ethereal folk number is truly beautiful. Carried by the swaying rhythms of the guitars and the trio’s soothing voices, Með Hækkandi Sól (With the Rising Sun) is sung entirely in Icelandic and it’s about the end of Winter and the warmth of Spring.

Magical. Iceland’s entry: Með Hækkandi Sól by Systur

Ireland: Brooke – That’s Rich

An estate agent by day, 23-year-old Brooke serves up radio friendly pop with a sprinkle of Olivia Rodrigo-esque sass. It’s a bop but quite predictable and will struggle to stand out from the crowd.

Israel: Michael Ben David – I.M

One for your inner diva, David’s personality and charisma carry this unapologetic pop number. There’s a brief, albeit interesting, shift in the middle 8 as drumming and folk singing add an ethnic twist.

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