Dare to Dream: The Race to Eurovision 2019 (Part IX: Croatia, Sweden, and Austria)

We have one more week to Eurovision! Who is excited about the competition? Today’s post will feature artists and songs from these three countries: Latvia, Romania, and Denmark.

If you haven’t check it out already, please check out Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII, and Part VIII of the series. Those three blog posts feature songs from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Montenegro, Belarus, Cyprus, Finland, Serbia, Poland, Slovenia, Australia, Belgium, Estonia, and Iceland, Georgia, Portugal, Greece, San Marino, Armenia, Ireland, Moldova, Switzerland, Latvia, Romania, and Denmark.

Sweden: John Lundvik – “Too Late for Love”

John Lundvik is a well-known musician in his home country as he has been involved in various projects like composing the song “When You Tell the World You’re Mine” for the wedding of Queen Victoria in 2010. He also has been involved in the production of many soundtracks like Empire.

“Too Late For Love” isn’t the only song in this year’s Eurovision that was written by Lundvik. That is right! This singer-songwriter has TWO songs in this competition. The other song is “Bigger Than Us”, which he co-wrote with three other people. It will be performed by the UK representative Michael Rice.

But, we are jumping the gun a little bit as this post is all about “Too Late For Love”. This song is a feel-good song with lots of positive vibes emitting from the lyrics as well as the melody. I love Lundvik as his vocals remind me of John Legend’s: rich, powerful, and full of soul. My favorite part of this song is the chorus as the backing women’s vocals add a bright yet soulful touch. (2020 Edit: These women formed their own group, called The Mamas, and competed in the 2020 Eurovision for the same country.)

Lundvik’s entry for Sweden in this year’s Eurovision will have the audience get up on their feet and bounce along with this feel-good song. They might even feel more positive afterward. It is safe to say that “Too Late For Love” will make it to the finals for its positive vibe but also for Lundvik’s soulful, talented vocals.

Fun Fact: Before he was a musician, he was a runner for IFK Växjö from 2002-2006. He even won a bronze medal in the 2005 Swedish Championships.

Austria: PÆNDA – “Limits”

This year’s Eurovision is the first for this Austrian singer-songwriter. However, she has been singing since was six by being involved with various choruses and bands. When she was fourteen, she started to write songs. She currently writes and records all her songs by herself.

Personally, I like “Limits” because of PÆNDA’s vocals. They can be perceived as whistle-like as they are sung in a higher range. But, I love it because although she sings in a higher range, PÆNDA adds color within those notes, especially during the chorus.

However, this song wouldn’t make it to the finals as the mixture with PÆNDA’s higher range and a slower tempo is not a good match. The problematic result with these two is that the song is too lethargic and boring. Another problem is that because PÆNDA is limited to sing in a higher tone and range, there is no room for the singer-songwriter to really showcase a diverse set of talent within her music and vocals. With these two problems, the audiences might be turn off by this song by the chorus.

“Limits” is a beautiful song but it is too lethargic to make it to the finals.

Croatia: Roko – “The Dream”

Roko was born to a family of musicians as his parents were both singers. He began his music career in 2017 after winning on the competition show Pinkove Zvezdice. He is nicknamed the “Croatian Michael Buble”.

I really love Roko’s vocals as they are clear, beautiful, and full of talent and power. From the start, Roko shows his vocal talent by changing up his tones: from the clear, soft tones in the beginning to the powerful vocals during the chorus that is full of emotion. He has an impressive range too, as you can hear during the chorus. Finally, I also love the fact that Roko switches to Croatian in the middle of the song. It is a nice touch as I love it when contestants sing in their native languages.

The instrumentation is very basic, but the song’s substance is with Roko’s vocals. They are what make “The Dream” enjoyable to listen to. Roko will have no problems going to the finals.

So what do you think, which song is your favorite? Comment below!

And, since I have a lot of travel bloggers and readers from the world who visit this blog, what are your favorite memories or sites in these countries? Let me know in the comments below.

Since this is an ongoing series, I am going to share my prediction scorecard at the end of each post. It is a way for me to keep track of my predictions and see if they came true in May.

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