New Music Round Up: July 2017 (Part Two)!

The new music round up for July continues with part two and includes a double feature from Romanian singer Elena Gheorghe and Irish representative from 2017 Brendan Murray. Also among the mix are Barei (Spain, 2016), Ira Losco (Malta, 2016), Firelight (Malta, 2014), Marco Mengoni (Italy, 2013), Joci Papai (Hungary, 2017) and Polina Gagarina (Russia, 2015). Check out all these new songs and more below!

Barei ft.Porta- ‘Worry, Worry’

★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆

‘Worry Worry’ is Spanish singer Barei’s fourth release in as many months and sees her team up with Spanish rapper Porta. The song is sickening and I don’t mean that in the drag queen vernacular where sickening is a good thing. I mean the song literally makes me feel sick. You know that feeling when you’re hungover and you have to be somewhere, so your friend drives you and you’re sitting in the back of the car trying not to throw up, your head spinning round and round. That’s how I feel when I listen to ‘Worry Worry’. I think it may be the repetition of the first syllable of words in the chorus, but it just gives me a sore head. Add to the mix the fact that none of the lyrics make any sense. I was going to quote you an example but you can literally pick any of the lines in the song to prove this point. I was a bit disappointed with this song, because I’ve admired Barei’s other songs from 2017 ‘I Don’t Need to Be You’, ‘Forget It’ and ‘Wasn’t Me’.

Nevena Bozovic- ‘Dangerous Drug’

★★★★★★★★★☆

Nevena Bozovic represesnted Serbia at Eurovision 2013 as part of girl band Moje3. The group narrowly missed out on a place in the Grand Final when song ‘Ljubav je svuda’ finished eleventh in their semi final, just six points off a qualifying spot. Not only this but Nevena is the first artist to appear at both Eurovision and Junior Eurovision. Since the group disbanded after their Eurovision performance, Nevena has released a number of solo singles including ‘Pogledaj me’, ‘Bal’ and ‘Siesta’. Her latest single is called ‘Dangerous Drug’ and is a complete anthem. What appears at first to be a ballad, turns into an exceptional snappy piece of pop music.

DJ Valdi ft Elena- ‘Hot Bhangra’

★★★★★★★★★☆

Elena Gheorghe is probably best known for her 2009 performance at Eurovision where she represented Romania with song ‘Balkan Girls’. Although the song only managed 19th place in the final, it was easily one of my favourites that year, so imagine my delight when the dulcet diva announced that she would unveil not only one but two songs this month. Both songs see Elena team up with a DJ. The first pairing sees her team up with DJ Valdi for the Bollywood inspired ‘Hot Bhangra’ while song two pairs her with DJ Project for ‘Duminica’, a Romanian language song meaning Sunday, which slows the tempo down and which has less of an impact than ‘Hot Bhangra’.

DJ Project ft Elena- ‘Duminica’

★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

Brendan Murray- ‘Chances on the Road’

★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆

Brendan Murray failed to make much of a mark on Eurovision when in 2017 he became the fourth Irish participant in a row to fail to qualify for the final with song ‘Dying to Try’. With Louis Walsh at the helm, the former Hometown singer didn’t really stand a chance with a dated ballad and rubbish staging ideas. Maybe when given the creative control to show off his talent himself he’d have more of a resonance with a contemporary audience. Well now is his chance as he showcases two new songs for his fans. The first is called ‘Chances on the Road’ which sees Brendan play acoustic guitar and do his best vocal impression of Janet Devlin, while the second song ‘Don’t Take Me For Granted’ is… well much of the same. While there is no doubting that Brendan is a talented vocalist, what he offers here is little to get excited about.

Brendan Murray- ‘Don’t Take Me For Granted’

★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆

Francesca Michielin- ‘Vulcano’

★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Francesca Michielin’s ‘No Degree of Separation’ placed in 16th place for Italy at Eurovision 2016. Since Eurovision Francesca has released the track ‘Un cuore in due’ and erupts back onto the music scene with new single ‘Vulcano’ (see what I did there?). ‘Vulcano’ is a departure from Francesca’s archetypal balladeer style and has a bit more of a dance track vibe with a great drum beat. The result is a success. The track is more fun than her previous efforts and I really hope her future releases are in a similar style.

Polina Gagarina- ‘Dramy bolshe net’

★★★★★★★★☆☆

‘A Million Voices’ earned Polina Gagarina a second place finish at Eurovision 2015 (along with a lot of boos). Since representing Russia at Eurovision, Polina has been incredibly busy not only appearing as part of Russian TV talent search show Golos where she acted as mentor to fellow Eurovision 2015 singer Aminata of Latvia, performing at the World Cup 2018 Qualifying Draw, but also releasing a plethora of new music including ‘Cuckoo’, ‘I Will Not’, ‘Not a Couple’ and ‘Dance with Me’. Polina’s first release of 2017 is entitled ‘Dramy bolshe net (No More Drama)’. No expense has been spared on the music video with swanky house, fancy luggage, smashing flatscreen TVs, designer clothes and designer ex-boyfriends. Polina continues to be the perfect Russian pop princess poster-girl with all the elements needed for a cocktail of success. As Louis Walsh would say she looks like a popstar, sounds like a popstar, she’s got the whole package. The song itself (particularly at the chorus) puts me in mind of tATu’s Eurovision song ‘Ne Ver Ne Boysia’.

Joci Papai- ‘Özonviz’

★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Joci Papai warbled his way to an eighth place finish at Eurovision 2017 with his song ‘Origo’. His follow up single ‘Ozonviz’ continues to promote his Romansh heritage. His vocal style is similar to his Eurovision song with warbling, borderline yodelling sounds. The video, directed by Jimy H., sees a female dancer (style inspired by Slavko Kalezic?) pirouette to create a sandstorm and later blindfold and embrace Joci. Following this a number of items including a phone, the blindfold, musical instruments and furniture sink to the bottom of a pool of water.

Firelight- ‘Victor The Hungarian Man’

★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Firelight are a Maltese folk band who finished 23rd at Eurovision 2014 with ‘Coming Home’, a tribute to those who fought in the First World War. Since Eurovision the band have released their debut album ‘Backdrop of Life’ and they even performed at the wedding of one of my friends in Malta in 2016 at the villa where Claudia Faniello filmed the video for ‘Breathlessly’. The band are back three years on with a new single, with the interesting title ‘Victor the Hungarian Man’. The song is a folk ballad that blends perfectly the voices of the band’s two vocalists Michelle Mifsud and Richard Micallef with an interesting addition of harmonies spoken in Hungarian.

Severina- ‘Kuda za Vikend’

★★★★★★★★☆☆

Most googled person in Slovenia and Croatia in 2015 and Eurovision 2006 12th place finisher for Croatia, Severina has returned with new music in 2017. Ahead of  new album expected for release later in the year, Severina has already released the singles ‘Mrtav bez mene’, ‘Kao’ and ‘Otrove’ and now builds on these with new release ‘Kuda Za Vikend’. The song is a weird hybrid of a modern dance song, pop and folk. There’s flutes, a dance beat, sexy beach dancing, an anime wig, autotune, a catchy chorus and lyrics that appear to be about a taxi.

Ira Losco ft. Shyli- ‘Oh My God’

★★★★★★★★★☆

Ira Losco has two Eurovision appearances under her belt. The first gained her a second place finish in 2002 for ‘Seventh Wonder’ while her most recent attempt ‘Walk On Water’ came in twelfth in 2016. During her Eurovision 2016 performance Ira revealed to her fans that she was pregnant and since then she has taken a short hiatus from music to have the baby. She comes back from maternity leave with a banger of a song entitled ‘Oh My God’ and is supported by female rapper Shyli.

Marco Mengoni- ‘Onde (Waves)’

★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

‘L’essenziale’ gave Marco Mengoni a number one single in the Italian charts, a win at the San Remo Festival and a seventh place finish for Italy at Eurovision 2013. Since Eurovision Marco has enjoyed a string of successful music releases including ‘Pronto a correre’, ‘Non passerai’ and ‘Non me ne accorgo’ from 2013 album ‘#prontoacorrere’ and the number one singles ‘Guerriero’ and ‘Ti ho voluto bene veramente’. Last year saw another new album from Marco which included the singles ‘Parole in circolo’, ‘Solo due satelliti’ and ‘Sai che’. Marco’s first release of 2017 is ‘Onde (waves)’ which has his trademark piano ballad style.

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