After being cancelled last year, Eurovision is rising like a phoenix in 2021 to bring us some quality tunes! Here are five to look out for:
Malta: Destiny – Je Me Casse
I have to talk about Destiny really, given that she’s the bookies’ favourite to win at the time of writing, and it is a deserved position! Je Me Casse is a quirky, mainstream, feminist empowerment anthem, with a bit of Charleston thrown in for good measure! The song jumps on the current moment and runs with it, weaving an important message into what is a cracking upbeat tune. Add to that Destiny, who won the Junior Eurovision Song Contest and has an incredible voice, and this could just be a winning formula!
United Kingdom: James Newman – Embers
James Newman, brother of John, wanted to bring a banger to Eurovision this year, and Embers is definitely that! It brings to the table a current sound, very familiar to the UK audience from the charts and particularly as background music on shows like Love Island. Newman is a very credible, Brit Award winning songwriter and the quality shows on this track which represents our music scene well and which we should be proud of. How it will do is another matter altogether, though. Newman deserves success, but this year’s contest has an incredibly strong line-up of songs, which may make it hard for his very radio-friendly track to stand out. I do, however, think there is a route to the left-hand side of the scoreboard, and I hope Newman gets there!
Iceland: Daði og Gagnamagnið – 10 Years
You may recognise Daði from his 2020 entry Think About Things, which went viral and received airplay on BBC Radio One, a big achievement for one of our Eurovision songs, let alone one from another country. It was also used as a track on Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing On Ice, so it really transcended Eurovision. This year Daði is bringing a similarly fun and funky song 10 Years, which lyrically is a beautiful tribute to his wife, who also performs in the band. It has it all really – the quirky dance moves are back, as are the rather dorky performance and cute homemade vibe which made Think About Things such a hit. The consensus seems to be that 10 Years is somewhat of a downgrade, but I wouldn’t write it off just yet! Some people may try to over-compare, but ultimately it is just as fun and catchy a song, and Daði already has a fanbase across Europe, making this a dark horse to do very well!
San Marino: Senhit – Adrenalina
It is mad that this song is from San Marino and it was a crazy day when we found out that Flo Rida would be featuring on a Eurovision studio track! What will happen in Rotterdam is anybody’s guess, but either way, this is a quality summer banger from the microstate whose entries are sometimes questionable!
Ireland: Lesley Roy – Maps
Finally, I’ve got to promote my favourite song of the year, Lesley Roy’s Maps. One to listen to if you are a fan of late noughties/early 2010s positive pop music, it is a soaring, emotional tune about finding yourself in times of confusion. The beat is thumping from the first second and it carries you through the whole three minutes. The instrumental track invokes a really powerful atmosphere and it has a strong Irish identity. It is a fast-paced, genuinely beautiful song, and on top of this Roy is a lovely, generous artist who is worth checking out!