Dare to Dream: The Race to Eurovision 2019 (Part VIII: Latvia, Romania, and Denmark)

Dare to Dream: The Race to Eurovision 2019 (Part VIII: Latvia, Romania, and Denmark)

Wow, the time has flown quickly! Next week is Eurovision and I still haven’t completed all my reviews! 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, and Part VII 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, and Switzerland.

Latvia: Carousel – “That Night”

Did you know that this isn’t the first band/group with the name Carousel to appear in the Eurovision competition? Ok, so it isn’t the same name as the one in 2013 representing Switzerland was named Carrousel. But, still!

Carousel originally made their debut in 2015 as a duo with Sabīne Žuga and Mārcis Vasiļevskis. The other two members, Staņislavs Judins and Mareks Logins. joined this year. “That Night” seems to be their only release so far as I can’t find any other songs online.

“That Night” is a mid-tempo acoustic pop-rock song that features a basic lineup of instruments. However, it is a very pretty song, especially with Sabīne Žuga’s beautiful vocals. They are full of color, a vibrant tone, and brings warmth. You can hear that warmth in during certain parts of the song like the slow vocal trills the chorus and the scale run at the ending. Žuga’s vocals are the highlight of the song as it brings color, beauty, and warmth to this acoustic piece.

This song will most likely make it to the finals due to Žuga’s beautiful vocals. But, I don’t see it winning Eurovision as it doesn’t have that flair that past Eurovision winners had. Don’t get me wrong, “That Night” is a beautiful song but it doesn’t have an individualistic flair like Netta’s “Toy” had.


Romania: Ester Peony – “On a Sunday”

Ester Peony was born in Romania but she lived in Canada for four years. After moving back from Canada and graduating from Romanian high school, Peony went to music college to study jazz. It was that time when started to write for other artists as well release her own material. Peony began to release covers on Youtube in 2015. There, she got noticed by a Romanian music label, which offered her a music contract.

She released her first major single, “Sub aripa ta”, the next year. After a handful of singles and one EP being released throughout the year, Peony got her chance to represent Romania in the 2019 Eurovision after winning the Selecția Națională 2019 competition.

While being interviewed on various news outlet about “On a Sunday”, Ester Peony described the song as “a mid-tempo blues, R&B, soul and 2000s-influenced “dark” electropop ballad backed by percussion, “Western” guitar, “stuttering” synthesizers and “driving” trance beats”.[1] You can hear this mixture primarily in Peony’s vocals with her tone and vocal techniques like the one she uses to spread out the word “pay” at the 35-second mark. You can hear it in the instrumentation but more in the singer’s vocals.

Peony’s vocals remind a bit of Japanese singer-songwriter Angela Aki. When I hear the chorus of “On a Sunday”, I think back to Angela Aski’s cover of “Kiss By a Rose” and think that Aki’s and Peony’s vocal tones are the same. Maybe I am a bit crazy but the two do sound alike.

The Song Itself

“On a Sunday” is a brilliantly crafted song with a soulful dark mood. The lyrics also reflect this dark mood as they are about one’s obsessive thoughts on a failed relationship. Although many would argue that the lyrics are beautifully penned with a unique story, for me, the true talent within this song is the vocals as they are full of emotion that magnifies the song’s message.

“On a Sunday” will make to the finals just with Ester’s vocals but will not win. The reason is that the instrumental isn’t interesting enough and the lyrics are either a hit or miss (I like them somewhat but not many critics like them).

Trivia: Her musical influences are Delia, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Cher, Queen, Michael Jackson, and Ariana Grande.


Denmark: Leonora – “Love Is Forever”

Before embarking on a singing career, Leonora was actually a figure skater. She won gold medals at Danish figure-skating championships and compete at various world competitions. Yet, her heart was set on being a singer, so gave her skating career up.

“Love in Forever” is another song that fits into the category of “universal appeal” as it has a sound that has been heard time and time again. It is really boring as the instrument is too basic and vocals are a bit airy. Leonara has a nice range, but her vocals are too airy for this song. It would better if she would cap off some of that air in her tone and add some depth in this song. Just look at Natasha Bedingfield, she has the same vocal tone as Leonara but she doesn’t make them breathy, but she makes them more earthy.

“Love in Forever” will not make it to the finals as it is too basic in the instrumentation, vocals, lyrics, the vocal arrangement (it just features the main vocals, it would be cooler if added some harmonies), and just the atmosphere.


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 the Czech Republic, Hungary, or Montenegro? 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.

Semi-Finals First Round

Country
Standings at the Finals

BelarusPOWER PLAY SAVE – Finals
CyprusEliminated
Czech RepublicEliminated
FinlandFinals
HungaryFinals – MAY WIN
MontenegroFinals
PolandFinals – MAY WIN
SerbiaEliminated
SloveniaEliminated
AustraliaFinals – MAY WIN
BelgiumEliminated
EstoniaFinals
IcelandEliminated
GeorgiaEliminated
PortugalFinals
GreeceFinals
San MarinoFinals

I have edited the first half’s chart to add Belarus into the finals pool. The reason is that there should be at least 10 finalist in each half of the semi-finals in order to have 20 winners from the semi-finals and 6 pre-qualified contestants to make 26 entries in the finals.

Semi-Finals Second Round

Country Standings at the Finals
ArmeniaFinals
IrelandEliminated
MoldovaFinals
SwitzerlandFinals
LatviaFinals
RomaniaFinals
DenmarkEliminated

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References

[1] Un Site De Muzică, www.unsitedemuzica.ro/stiri/Ester-Peony-inainte-de-plecarea-la-Tel-Aviv-Mi-am-format-personajul-si-propriul-stil-p7326.

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. I hadn’t heard of these songs before. I think I prefer Love Is Forever. I like the title.

  2. Yes, I am also preparing for Eurovision and this year I am very excited because I believe in the competitor competing for my country: Italy!

  3. Best TV event of the year! I miss being able to watch it!

  4. This is awesome. I am also preparing for Eurovision this year, this is the first time that i follow it, going to be super exciting.

  5. Wow! Both Ester and Leonora have beautiful voices. I never heard of either of them before. I am not following the Eurovision this year but may this most talented win.

  6. I love “Love is Forever” best, I think, but all of these are great! Thanks for opening my eyes to new music!

  7. Wow good luck to all of them! This is a great opportunity for budding musicians 🙂

  8. Wow these are all so beautiful. I had never heard of any of these but wow they all sound so great.

  9. Loving ‘On a Sunday’ . ‘A mid-tempo blues, R&B, soul and 2000s-influenced “dark” electropop ballad backed by percussion, “Western” guitar, “stuttering” synthesizers and “driving” trance beats’?! Just as I love it. And since I love Celin Dion’s music too and this song makes an influence, it’s one for me!

  10. These are some very talented people! I really thought her song was very catchy and cute too!

  11. Wow, I’m not familar with these artist or this event, but how wonderful that Leonora turned her skating career into a singing career.

  12. I don’t really follow Eurovision but it sounds fun. Nice to have so many the countries show the best they currently have

  13. Very interesting event!! Great to see so many musicians represented from all these countries in one place.

  14. I just love the title “Love is forever” never heard before but will definitely going to listen

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