New Music Round Up: August 2017 (Part One)!

The summer may be over, but while August brought the rain, it has also been raining musical goodness from our favourite past Eurovision stars. This month has seen new releases from Russia’s Sergey Lazarev, Icelandic singer Svala’s band Blissful, Turkish singer Hadise, as well as new music from the 2012 winner Loreen. Check out the new songs below and what we had to say about them!

Sergey Lazarev- ‘Tak Krasivo (So Beautiful)’

★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

‘Tak Krasivo’ (or ‘So Beautiful’ in English) sees Russian 2016 singer Sergey Lazarev move away from his catchy brand of pop that we know and love him for. Instead of masterfully crafted pop songs like ‘Take It Off’, ‘Cure the Thunder’ and ‘Seven Wonders’ or even mid tempo ballads like his Eurovision song ‘You Are the Only One‘, we get a boring ballad with echo harmonies that leave us wanting him desperately to return to what he’s best at. Sergey’s vocals are still on point however and he manages to convey a real sense of emotion- perhaps the song is about his relationship with his son, who Sergey recently revealed existed.

Hadise- ‘Sampiyon (Champion)’

★★★★★★★★★☆

Turkey may be experiencing a Eurovision hiatus in recent years, but it’s acts like Hadise that remind us why we miss them so much and has fans wishfully hoping that they will return to the Contest year after year since withdrawing in 2012. The ‘Dum Dum Tek’ singer is back with a new track and ‘Sampiyon’ is an instant hit. The video sees Hadise prance around in a cheerleader outfit along with her cheer squad. The song is sang in Turkish and has many of the elements that helped propel her to a second place finish at Eurovision 2009. The mix of Turkic horns and drums with a more Western pop style vocal is what makes ‘Sampiyon’ a success.

Alex Vorobyev- ‘I Love You’

★★★★★★★☆☆☆

You may remember Alex Vorobyev (aka Alex Sparrow) from when he represented Russia at Eurovision 2011. His song ‘Get You’ gave Russia a less than impressive 16th place finish. Since Eurovision he’s had a string of hits in the Russian charts including ‘The Beauty’ and ‘She’s Crazy, But She’s Mine’ and now he’s back for new song ‘I Love You’. The song derives its inspiration from 1950s American do-wop diner jukebox classic pop which is reflected in the Pop Art style single cover. The song is a little bit like Meghan Trainor’s ‘All About That Bass’ or Sean Kingston’s ‘Beautiful Girls’, both of which are annoyingly infectious.

Loreen ft Elliphant- ‘Jungle’

★★★★★★★★☆☆

Having already released her Melfest 2017 track ‘Statements’ and just last month another single ‘Body‘, Loreen has given us a taster of what we can expect from new album ‘Nude’ due for release later in the year. A third new track comes in the form of ‘Jungle’ a collaboration with Swedish rapper Elliphant. The song has Loreen’s trademark synth style enough to keep die hard fans happy, but the addition of a new ska vibe stands it apart from her previous work and could win over new fans.

 Tim Chou (A Friend in London)- ‘Morrison’

★★★★★★★★★☆

Danish angsty babe Tim Schou has ditched his Eurovision 2011 band A Friend in London and has gone solo. From a ‘New Tomorrow’ to a new direction which sees Tim take inspiration from the Doors frontman Jim Morrison. The lyrics see Tim compare how he feels to tortured soul Jim Morrison who died in suspicious circumstances in Paris aged only 27. This imagery is further built on through the accompanying video which sees Tim plagued by a demon in the form of a man following him about and physically assaulting him.

Vaidas Baumila- ‘Tai Buvai Tu’

★★★★★★★☆☆☆

The next song sees us visit Lithuania for the latest single from Vaidas Baumila. Vaidas formed one half of the duo that sang for Lithuania in 2015. Along with Monika Linkyte, Vaidas performed ‘This Time’ which came in 18th place and won over audiences when the pair shared an intimate moment together on stage. Since Eurovision Vaidas has released ‘Panama’, ‘Dviese’ and now new song ‘Tai buvai Tu’. The video sees Vaidas travel with girlfriend while the song acts as an accompanying serenade with acoustic strings and heart warming vocals. Beautiful.

 Lindita- ‘Rock Whine’

★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

Ahh Lindita…Quite possibly my least favourite entry from Eurovision 2017. Nevertheless, the Albanian and former American Idol contestant follows up her Eurovision song ‘World’ with ‘Rock Whine’. The song manages to turn it around a bit. It has a poppier, beach summer vibe- an excuse for Lindita to roll about in the sea and sand in skimpy outfits under palm trees. Although a vast improvement on ‘World’, ‘Rock Whine’ still falls short. It never really fully takes off and is evidence of an artist who is still struggling to find her own artistic style.

Blissful (Svala)- ‘Make It Better’

★★★★★★★★★★

Svala’s song ‘Paper’ was easily one of my favourites from last year’s Eurovision Song Contest, which was why I was deeply disappointed when Iceland didn’t make it to the final for a third year in a row, despite having great songs on each occasion. Not only was the song great, but Svala has a real unique artistic style with a top notch vocal, an quirky fashion sense and commanding stage presence. Svala returns with a new song for 2017 ‘Make It Better’, teaming up with Einar Egilsson, her husband and musical partner in band BLISSFUL. The song is a little bit like a much less annoying version of Rihanna’s ‘Work’ or even Akon’s ‘(I Wanna Make Love) Right Now’. Svala’s voice is the stand out thing about ‘Make It Better’, which along with tropical drums, funky, fun beat and catchy chorus make it a stand out summer hit. 10/10!

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