NF Fan Favourites
As any Eurovision megafan knows, Eurovision neither starts nor ends with the main contest. National Final season always introduces the world to new and exciting artists, many of which don’t get to go to the main event. Here are some of the best releases from National Final artists this month, including numerous songs from Ukraine released in the run-up to or to celebrate and honour Independence Day.
Noa Kirel – “פנתרה”
I know what you’re thinking: “Noa Kirel isn’t a National Final artist! She has been selected for Eurovision, and Israel didn’t even have a national selection this year!”. While that is true, she hasn’t been on the Eurovision stage yet, and changes in artists or a country’s participation are not unprecedented. But, Noa Kirel did release some music following the announcement (and the confirmation a month later) that she would compete in Eurovision for Israel. “פנתרה” (Panther) is a pop track that opens with a great trumpet solo, features a beat change between verse and chorus that needs to be heard to be believed, and features many other cool hallmarks of Mediterranean music. As the song clocks in just under 3 minutes, it will be interesting to see whether Noa Kirel will bring a similar track to Eurovision, or whether she will opt for something very different.
Markéta Irglová – “LILA” (LP)
Oscar winning Czech-Icelandic musician Markéta Irglová has released a new album. She is best known to Eurovision fans for competing in Söngvakeppnin 2022, in which she didn’t make it to the final but did take third place in the That Eurovision Site National Final Awards. New album sees Markéta Irglová continue with her distinctive, ethereal mix of folk and indie. The 9 track long “LILA” includes singles such as the previously released the Kate Bush-esque “My Roots Go Deep,” stripped back string and piano ballad “The Season,” and “Girl From A Movie,” a contemplative track dealing with how we see eachother through personal filters that also reflects on the enduring personal legacy of Markéta’s film Once.
Margaret – “Niespokojne Morze”
Last time I personally wrote about Polish and Swedish National Finalist Margaret was following her nomination for another MTV EMA in 2021. The Polish singer-songwriter has been releasing music on a steady schedule since, and in August she presented her latest track: “Niespokojne Morze” (Restless Sea). The Polish-language track has already charted in Poland and deals with being in a relationship and feeling like being adrift in a restless sea, surrounded by dark water.
Roxolana – “Люди як кораблі”
Roxolana finished fourth in Vidbir this year with “Girlzzzz” and has released a handful of tracks since. Her latest release is “Люди як кораблі” (People are like ships). The song is pop track that starts slow and builds up to a very nice climax. Lyrically, the track is about the psychological impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. On YouTube, the title of the track is explained as saying that “[in] this world, we are all different, like those ships – someone can be a small boat or a big sailboat, a boat or a liner, but all of us, Ukrainians, swim in the same current and must stick together to reach our shore”.
Alina Pash – “НЕбратські народи”
Vidbir 2022 winner Alina Pash also released new music. She dropped new track “НЕбратські народи” (Non-fraternal people) while performing at Sziget Festival. Alina Pash says the track, which sees Alina continue her distinctive mix of folk music with modern elements, is a direct response to Russian propaganda:
One of the main narratives of Russian propaganda is the image of fraternal peoples – Ukrainians and Russians – who should be one family. But there is no brotherhood, there are attempts by Russia to occupy Ukraine and destroy UkrainiansAlina Pash to nv.ua
Tayanna – “ДОРОГИ”
Vidbir 2017 finalist Tayanna has released her latest song, “ДОРОГИ” (Roads). Just as Roxolana’s song mentioned above, the track deals with the psychological pressure and feeling of alienation that the Russian invasion has caused among Ukrainians. In a press release, Tayanna says about the song that she wrote the song “when I first got to Poland during the war. I stayed in a tiny hotel room, the feeling of home disappeared completely, I realized that the road to it was closed”.
Jerry Heil – “#КОХАЙТЕСЯ_ЧОРНОБРИВІ”
The biggest hit in August by a Ukrainian National Final contestant comes courtesy of Jerry Heil. The Vidbir 2020 contestant has followed up last month’s collab-heavy single “#Kupala” with new track “#КОХАЙТЕСЯ_ЧОРНОБРИВІ” (#Love_BlackEyebrows). The song is both a meme track and features lyrics taken from poems by famous Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko (yes, same name but no, not the same person as the Go_A member). The video starts with quite the impact by featuring President Zelenskyy before moving on to footage of 1995 Ukrainian comedy film “Москаль-Чарівник” (Muscovite Wizard).
While I do have to stop listing all these releases now, I do want to highlight the other Ukrainian National Final contestants that I found new music from this month: Cloudless Orchestra (2022), Khayat (2020), Max Barskih (2012), and Monatik (Eurovision 2017 Semi-Final 1 opening act).
Fedez featuring Tedua – “Sapore RMX – with Dzeko”
We close things off with a new track, well, remix, from Italy. Fedez competed in Sanremo 2021, finishing second with “Chiamami per nome,” a duet with 2016 Italian representative Francesca Michielin. Canadian DJ and hitmaker Dzeko has ended his two year hiatus by remixing Fedez’ biggest hit from 2021, “Sapore” (Taste). Dzeko turned the danceable song about complicated relationships into a track that is truly ready for the nightclubs. In a press release, Fedez says about the remix that he “was really curious to see, or rather listen, what would be born from the creativity and the remix of sound. So different. And the result is a beautiful piece that I am sure will make everyone dance and enjoy”.
Listen to all the songs above and more
We’ve made a handy Spotify playlist of the songs in this article and all other releases from Eurovision artists this month, including remixes and other special releases. And yes, I will include all the Ukrainian National Final related releases I had to brush over. See it as a treat to make up for the fact that the banger that is the Hooverphonic safety announcement is not on Spotify (Boo! Boo I say.). So get ready for everything from Circus Mircus and Noa Kirel to Eye Cue, Aksel, Eleni, and Benjamin Ingrosso. The playlist gets updated every month, so don’t forget to follow it to always stay up to date. Did we miss anything? Then send Angus a message over on Twitter.
What is your favourite Eurovision related release of this month? As always, let us know what you think by commenting below. Also, be sure to follow ‘That Eurovision Site’ on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as we prepare for Eurovision 2023.
Photo Credit: Lake Malawi – Bára Nosková / Samira Said / Montaigne