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

October is traditionally a spooky month as it ends with the advent of Halloween, but it’s not all ghouls, ghosts and goblins. Instead of a trick, here is a treat: the release of even more superb tracks from our favourite Eurovision stars from the past few years! Here is Part One of our New Music Round Up for October!

Ola Salo (The Ark)- ‘I Call Your Name’

★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

Swedish singer Ola Salo is formerly of the band The Ark who in 2007 came in 18th place at Eurovision. The glam rock band enjoyed huge success in their native Sweden with an impressive four number one albums and eleven years of hit singles. Ola now braves it on his own and releases new single ‘I Call Your Name’ in 2017. The song is funky rock, think Editors in drag, however is borderline bland and slightly flat.

O’G3NE- ‘But I Do’

★★★★★★★★★☆

Dutch siblings O’G3NE competed at Junior Eurovision in 2007 and ten years on returned to Eurovision finishing 11th in the Grand final with song ‘Lights and Shadows’. The girls’ song was written by their father about coming to terms with his wife’s long term illness. Their mother passed shortly after their Eurovision appearance. O’G3NE are back with new music and classy new hairstyles to match. They debuted new single ‘But I Do’ at the Gouden Televizier Ring Gala earlier this month. The song is a perfect pop ballad that packs a punch, exactly what we’ve come to expect from the girls. There is a hint of Gospel thrown in for good measure and the comparisons to Destiny’s Child are not unfounded.

Ira Losco ft Fr. Rob Galea- ‘Dominoes’

★★★★★★★★☆☆

Two time Maltese representative Ira Losco teams up with priest Fr. Rob Galea for her latest single ‘Dominoes’. Ira came to our attention in 2002 when she gave Malta their best ever result at Eurovision when ‘Seventh Wonder’ came in second place. She returned to Eurovision in 2016 with the banger ‘Walk on Water’ which continued her successful streak at Eurovision with a twelfth place finish. Ira had recently taken some time off from music following the birth of her first child but ‘Dominoes’ is set to mark her comeback in style. Fr Rob is probably one of the coolest priests I’ve ever encountered and he sounds a bit like Eric Saade. His vocal works well with Ira’s for this understated pop ballad that had me thinking a little bit of the Liberty X and Rev Run song ‘Song 4 Lovers’.

Nina Kraljic- ‘Negdje’

★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

Nina Kraljic was the Croatian entry at Eurovision 2016. Her performance of song ‘Lighthouse’ unfortunately grabbed more headlines for her elaborate dress, than for her actual song. The song only managed to finish in 23rd. Not to be set back by an unfavourable Eurovision result, Nina released her album ‘Samo’ in September 2016 and peaked at number 8 in the Croatian charts. As well as ‘Lighthouse’, Nina released the title track from the album ‘Samo’ in late 2016 and now focuses her attention on new single ‘Negdje’. The song opens with almost Spanish strings, Nina’s voice is quietly introduced on the track before taking over completely on the chorus. Overall the song does well to showcase Nina’s vocal ability but isn’t very memorable.

Robin Bengtsson- ‘Dark Angel’

★★★★★★★★★☆

Robin Bengtsson was the big winner at our Eurovision NI Awards 2017 last weekend, taking home three gongs including Best Male, Best Song and Best Staging for his song ‘I Can’t Go On’. His first release since his top five Eurovision placing in May is called ‘Dark Angel’. The track is instantly a hit, a mid-tempo song with a great chorus that has a bit of an ’80s disco vibe.

Tim Schou (A Friend In London)- ‘Young Vince’

★★★★★★★★★☆

Tim Schou, former lead singer of Danish band and Eurovision fifth place finishers in 2011, has gone it alone. A few months back he released a song in tribute to the Doors front man ‘Morrison’ and follow this up with new track ‘Young Vince’. His latest offering is inspired by Don McClean’s ‘Vincent (Starry, Starry Night)’ and Tim’s emotional delivery of the song is paired with an equally emotional video of his recent time spent in Ghana.

Aminata- ‘Prime Time’

★★★★★★★★★☆

Aminata is one of Latvia’s recent success stories at Eurovision. The singer wowed us in 2015 when she competed with self-penned song ‘Love Injected’, finishing in sixth place, their first qualification in six years. The following year her song ‘Heartbeat’ was performed by singer Justs who gave Latvia a selection qualification in a row. Not content with her Eurovision success, Aminata also competed in the Russian version of the Voice (Golos) where she was mentored by fellow Eurovision 2015 contestant Polina Gagarina, and off the back of this she has launched her debut album ‘Red Moon’. Four singles from the album: ‘Bridges’ ‘Fighter’, Red Moon’ and Your Arms’ and their subsequent success have allowed Aminata to embark on a new album, of which the first release is new single ‘Prime Time’. ‘Prime Time’ builds on Aminata’s trademark electronic style and potentially gives her her best release to date.

Freddie- ‘Nincsen Holnap’

★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Freddie will probably best be known for being that freakishly tall man in the asymmetric shirt who represented Hungary at Eurovision 2016. Although ‘Pioneer’ qualified for the final, it only managed to finish in 19th place. Freddie has released music since his Eurovision appearance including ‘Na jó, Hello’ in 2016 and ‘Ez a vihar’ and ‘Csodák’ earlier in 2017. The video for his new song ‘Nincsen holnap’ sees Freddie and his mates ride in a top down car ROAD TRIP! Freddie’s raspy vocals are given a pop injection, and we see a side to him we haven’t seen before.

Aram MP3- ‘Sksum Enq’

★★★★★★★★☆☆

Aram MP3 was one of the favourites to take the Eurovision crown in 2014 when he represented Armenia. In the end he was beaten by Conchita Wurst and his song ‘You’re Not Alone’ managed fourth place in the Final. Since Eurovision Aram MP3 has served as a judge on the Armenian selection show Depi Evratesil in 2016/17 and has released a number of duets with fellow judge and Eurovision participant in 2016 Iveta Mukuchyan including the catchy hit ‘Dashterov’. His next release ‘Sksum Enq’ and is an interesting of pop, rap and electronica with some Armenian strings thrown in for good measure.

Sergey Lazarev- ‘Whispering’

★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

Sergey Lazarev was pipped to the post at Eurovision 2016, finishing third to Ukraine’s Jamala and Australia’s Dami Im. His song ‘You Are the Only One’ and its staging during the Contest impressed nevertheless and since Eurovision Lazarev has added to his already impressive stack of hits. Earlier this year he treated us to ‘Lucky Stranger’, ‘Idealnij Mir’ and ‘Tak Krasivo’ and now follows it up with the release of new song ‘Whispering’. I am the biggest Sergey fan but this track is just a bit boring, an acoustic ballad that lacks the appeal of some of his poppier tracks from his back catalogue.

More Eurovision stars released new music this month. Check out Part Two of our New Music Round Up: October 2017 next week!

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