If you’ve never heard of Eurovision, the European song contest akin to American Idol but better, then you are missing out. Eurovision is a continent wide song contest that has been happening since the 1950′s and has included such well-known performers as ABBA and Celine Dion. A few years ago my Bosnian friend Mila introduced me to this contest and I’ve been hooked ever since. This year’s contest will culminated on May 18th in Malmö, Sweden and here are some of my favorite picks for this year.
Valentina Monetta - Crisalide (San Marino). Now, I’m not usually a fan of uber-pop ballads in Eurovision, but the imagery of this video piqued my curiosity In the English translation of the song, the words are all about hope, love and positive inspiration about keeping on trying. It’s worth a listen if you like poppy ballads.
Takasa – You And Me (Switzerland). This is a fun little song from the neutral land of Switzerland that just makes me smile. It is a very heartwarming song that reminds me of Iceland’s 2011′s entry “Aftur Heim (Coming Home)”, by Sigurjón’s Friends, and I’m all about happy feel-good songs.
Koza Mostra & Agathon Iakovidis – Alcohol Is Free (Greece). Who could resist a bunch of Greek guys in kilts singing about alcohol (is free) — need I say more? Here is a fun little ditty, even though the only words I actually understand in the entire song are ‘alcohol is free’.
Natália Kelly – Shine (Austria). This girl has a natural born talent and if you didn’t know she was from Austria, you would guess she was an up and coming singer in the states. This song is all about empowering yourself and as she says, “Trust me, you will shine.”
Gianluca Bezzina – Tomorrow (Malta). Ukeleles. Love Song. Happy Music. That’s all you really need to know about Malta’s entry. I really do hope you check this one out as it might become a favorite on your 2013 summer love playlists.
ByeAlex – Kedvesem (Hungary). Even thought I don’t understand a single word that is being sung in this song, I really just love the music. It reminds me of if Andrew Bird and Zee Avi had a Hungarian lovechild.
Elitsa & Stoyan – Samo Shampioni (Bulgaria). This is the type of ethno Europop that I just adore. It is poppy, yet retains some traditional elements (like voice, instruments and melody) to the song. I’ve been a huge fans of this type of entry in the past with such artists like Ruslana. Bulgaria definitely has my vote for this song.
Krista Siegfrids – Marry Me (Finland). Oh Finland! This Avril Lavringe meets Miranda Lambert meets, well, Finland works really interestingly well in this super pop song called Marry Me. You’ll actually might even find yourself humming this one for a few days like I did. There are really no words to describe it and you just have to watch it to understand why I find it so catchy.
Amandine Bourgeois – L’Enfer Et Moi (France). With a voice like Adele and a musical sound like the Black Keys, Amandine Bourgeois might having a winning combination for the first time in years for France. In past years French entries have been lacking the ingredient to make their songs a winner, but this years entry definitely has a chance. As a side note, this video is a bit NSFW so watch it when you are home.
Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson – Ég á Líf (Iceland). Get ready to grab a tissue because this one might make you cry. It’s entirely in the Icelandic language (which I don’t understand) but seems to be a story about a father and son relationship.
Margaret Berger – I Feed You My Love (Norway). I’m not sure how else to describe this song except James Bond-y. It has an interesting tune and lyrics and it’ll definitely be put on my Europop playlist this year.
This year has actually turned out to be one of my favorites for Eurovision on terms of talent, and I was pleasantly survived to see there wasn’t too many Jedward-type parody acts this year. Who are your picks for Eurovision 2013? Click here to see the whole list and let me know in the comments below who you would vote for!