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

August had so much new music that we had to split into into two parts! Read Part One here. Part Two has new music from former Eurovision winners Lena and Alexander Rybak, as well as France’s Amir, Kallay Saunders from Hungary, Krista Siegfrids from Finland and Australia’s Guy Sebastian.

Kallay Saunders- ‘Nachos’

★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

A song about tortilla chips? Yes, that’s just how Hungarian singer Andras Kallay Saunders rolls. The singer first came to our attention in 2014 when he represented Hungary at Eurovision that year with song ‘Running’. An impressive fifth place finish just wasn’t good enough to beat the ‘Unstoppable’ Conchita Wurst. Kallay Saunders returned to Hungary’s national selection show A Dal with his band in both 2016 and 2017 with ‘Who We Are’ and ‘Seventeen’ respectively, but missed out on both occasions. ‘Nachos’ is the latest in a long line of releases from the band and sees them move in a slightly different direction with a rap song about crisps and a video that has a woman’s bum front and centre.

Lara Fabian- ‘Growing Wings’

★★★★★★★★☆☆

Lara Fabian represented Luxembourg in 1988, although she finished in fourth place with song ‘Croire’, she missed out to another Canadian singer- Celine Dion! Since her appearance at Eurovision Lara has gone on to sell over 20 million records worldwide and made an attempt at returning to the Eurovision stage in 2015 when she competed in Italy’s Sanremo Song Contest but she finished last of the 20 artists in the Big Artists Contest. She is back in 2017 with song ‘Growing Wings’, an impressive ballad which uses beautiful scenery both as imagery in the song’s lyrics and in the video for the song.

Krista Siegfrids- ‘1995’

★★★★★★★★★☆

Krista Siegfrids has supplanted herself firmly as one of our favourite Eurovision acts of all time. Krista wowed us with her lesbian kiss anthem ‘Marry Me’ in 2013 and has continued to impress with her own brand of scandi electro pop with follow hits ‘Amen!’, ‘Can You See Me?’ and more recently ‘Be Real’ and Melfest entries ‘Faller’ and ‘Snurra min jord’. In anticipation of a new album, Krista releases new track ‘1995’, a song about two teenagers in love who meet again many years later as grown ups and ponder what life would have been like if they stayed together.

Amir- ‘Etats d’Amour’

★★★★★★★★☆☆

Amir’s cheeky smile and poptastic Eurovision 2016 hit ‘J’ai Cherché’ won him a place in our hearts. Since Eurovision he’s had success with follow up singles ‘On Dirait’ and ‘Au Coeur de Moi’ and now delivers another hit ‘Etats d’Amour’. The song is a mid tempo song with a snappy chorus and deals with a familiar subject matter to Amir: Love. It has a similar pop/dance style to Amir’s previous releases.

Alexander Rybak- ‘Til Julie’

★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

Violin virtuoso and Eurovision 2009 winner Alexander Rybak is back with new track ‘Til Julie’. The song is dedicated to Alex’s girlfriend Julie Gaarud. Does the song provide a ‘Fairytale’ ending? The song is a beautifully, fragile, melodic piano serenade which is interplayed nicely with some beautiful scenery in the video. While sweet, and a nice homage to the woman he loves, there is one down side…there’s no lyrics and so we can’t sing along.

Guy Sebastian- ‘High On Me’

★★★★★★★★☆☆

Guy Sebastian has an impressive career: Australian Idol Winner, X-Factor Australia Judge, first ever Australian Eurovision representative, seven Australian number ones, and seven hit albums. Since his fifth place finish at Eurovision 2015, Guy has impressed with new releases ‘Black and Blue’, ‘Candle’ and ‘Set in Stone’ and now he embarks on latest single ‘High On Me’. The song has a similar vibe to Guy’s Eurovision hit ‘Tonight Again’ with Pop Jazz instrumentation, but additional soul vibe with Guy’s vocal.  We got high on Guy, and he’s addictive!

Genetikk ft Lena- ‘Lang Lebe Die Gang’

★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

Lena won Eurovision 2010 with ‘Satellite’ and although she wasn’t able to do the double the following year with ‘Taken By A Stranger’, the German singer has had seven years of solid success releasing hits such as ‘Neon (Lonely People)’, ‘Stardust’, ‘Traffic Lights’ and ‘Beat To My Melody’. She’s back in 2017, having already released two tracks (‘If I Wasn’t Your Daughter’ and ‘Lost In You’) from upcoming album ‘Gemini’ (not to be confused with UK Eurovision disaster Jemini). Lena’s latest release ‘Lang Lebe Die Gang’ sees her team up with Genetikk. German language rap isn’t something that guarantees success, remember Trackshittaz from Eurovision 2012? To be honest this is a pairing that doesn’t really work in my opinion. It’s good to take risks and try something new, but this is not a risk that pays off. While Lena does well to give attitude strutting alongside the rap outfit in the video, and her vocal is definitely the highlight of the song, it’s not something I can condone and is definitely not something I’d be in a rush to listen to again.

JOWST- ‘That Feeling’

★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Norwegian DJ and producer JOWST, teamed up with Aleksander Walmann for Eurovision 2017 song ‘Grab the Moment’. The song fared well in the final, placing 10th. The duo are back with a new song ‘That Feeling’ which does its best to give us a beach party anthem. Aleksander’s voice is really accomplished, which is why I despair when his songs are distorted (I assume under the advice of JOWST) by unnecessary synthesiser effects. The song does its best to recreate the success of recent Ibiza jam ‘I Took a Pill in Ibiza’ by Mike Posner not only in the style of the song but to an extent with the lyrics as well. If for instance you take the line in the chorus ‘Nothing can beat that magical feeling…’, you can’t help but feel that that magical feeling is a result of having taken a pill in Ibiza.

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