We at ESCBubble love to support and promote new music from the huge pool of ex-Eurovision and National Final acts, so once again we’ve taken a look back at the month of April’s new releases. Our team have listened to every song we could get our hards on and have selected these ten gems as the pick of the crop.
Let’s see who has made this month’s countdown…
10. Gromee – Hope [Glory To The Heroes] (Poland 2018)
We start off this month with a fine return from the decks of Gromee, who participated in Eurovision in 2018 with ‘Light Me Up’. Although his entry ‘Light Me Up’ only managed 14th in the semi finals in Lisbon, his career in his home land goes from strength to strength and he’s had 6 top ten singles since the Contest.
‘Hope (Glory To The Heroes)’ is a very topical release, as Gromee has dedicated the song to thank medical workers around the world for their heroism in the fight against Covid-19. This instrumental euphoric track was produced in collaboration with Marcin Nierubic and is definitely a must listen to cheer your spirits in 2020.
“Gromee’s tribute to the heroes who have selflessly put the care of others above themselves is an emotional, almost classical track but manages to reach an amazing crescendo in his signature EDM style. This put a huge smile on my face and makes me yearn for brighter times ahead” – Nick
9. Sergey Lazarev – Posledniy Den’ Pompeii (Russia 2016/2019)
Sergey Lazarev is a huge fan favourite, placing third twice for Russia in 2016 & 2019. However since his latest appearance, Sergey has had a habit of releasing music that could well of won the whole contest. ‘Poledniy den’ Pompeii’ is a super modern synth-pop ballad. It has dramatic instrumentation, a great hook and allows Sergey’s vocals to be as fiery as we know them.
Translating as “The Last Day of Pompeii”, the build throughout the song signifies the dramatic last few hours for the ancient Italian city before the infamous Vesuvius eruption. The drama in the song is perfect for a gripping movie scene with his screams at the end showing his passion.
“It is a fantastic composition, telling the story of two lovers’ passion and burning while intimating like the last fire of Pompeii, and man we do need that in this corona time! In this song Sergey once again shows his vocal capacities, where I still do not understand a word, but its not needed since he is capable to transmit the feeling and passion through his voice and the music. And there’s a few people excited to feel the last fire of Pompeii with Mr Lazarev.” – Ahmad
8. Tamta – S’Agapo (Cyprus 2019)
Tamta has always been something of a pop princess, with some huge bangers released in the past including “Unloved” and then of course her song for Eurovision last year “Replay“. ‘S’Agapo‘ is a modern-sounding, dance cover of the very famous Greek song ‘S’Agapo’ originally releasd back in 2002 by Mariada Pieredi.
The video compliments the song well, and looks incredibly professional considering the whole thing was filmed at home alone in lockdown on a mobile phone! Check out the video below and get ready to dance around your house.
“‘S’agapo’ is not much different from other singles Tamta has released in the past. I love the beat it has. It starts slowly but then becomes this dance track you could easily hear in clubs this summer and it kinda gives you positive vibes with or without understanding what she is actually saying.” – Fouad
7. Måns Zelmerlöw – On My Way (Sweden 2015)
A man who needs very little introduction, Måns returns with his latest single from the current album ‘Time’. The video commences by stating that the song is written to himself in the past as a youngster, and tells him to have trust in his own self and not to worry about anyone who doesn’t believe in him.
The 2015 winner has definitely flourished since ‘Heroes’ took him to victory, he’s hosted the Contest himself with the glorious Petra Mede and relocated himself to the UK where he now resides and often contributes to the BBC’s Eurovision coverage.
“On My Way is the fourth single lifted from Måns’ album ‘Time’ and is a letter to his younger self where he tells us he’s on his way getting closer to where he is supposed to be (which is apparently the UK). Very much a Måns sound, nothing groundbreaking here and his fans will be satisfied that they’ll be getting exactly what they expected – a well crafted, pleasant song.” – Anne
6. Roxen – Escape (Romania 2020)
No artist from the cancelled 2020 contest has featured on our new music articles more than Romania’s Roxen, and it’s her quarantine related release ‘Escape’ which holds the 6th spot on our chart this month.
The 20 year old from Cluj-Napoca will be returning as the Romanian act in 2021, and we’re intrigued to see whether she’ll be back with a modern ballad like ‘Alcohol You’ or the more clubbier sounds she’s released since then such as ‘Over And Over’ and now ‘Escape’. One thing is for sure, she’s versatile and has a very bright future ahead!
“No month without new music from Roxen, she could easily release an EP with all of her songs so far. “Escape” is a bop with good energy, this kind of music suits her the best in my opinion. I don’t think it’s her best song, but her Home Edition Video lifts the song, she’s very likeable.” – Marco
5. Mahmood – Redemption Song (Italy 2019)
Mahmood impressed us all with his track “Soldi” last year, which came second at the Eurovision Song Contest. Since then he’s had a series of incredible releases; “Barrio“, “Rapide” and “Eternantena”. Now he brings a beautiful cover of Bob Marley’s classic “Redemption Song“. Speaking of the 1980 Bob Marley classic, Mahmood said:
“Redemption Song is a song to which I am very fond of, one of my favorites of Bob Marley. I will do it in a more intimate, piano and vocals, a bit different from the original. I hope you like it.”– Mahmood
The cover shows a much more vulnerable and raw side to Mahmood, however dare I say his voice has never sounded so beautiful. The natural vulnerability there is absolutely stunning… try to listen to this song without being covered in goosebumps – we dare you!
“Once again Mahmood shows us his wonderful vulnerability in this beautiful cover of a Bob Marley classic song. His vibrato vocal provides a haunting, emotional quality of storytelling which fits so well to this track and its meaning. Bravo Mahmood, simply stunning!” – Kyle
4. SaRaha – It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (Sweden NF 2016)
Wewe basi simamaLyricis from SaRaha “Kizungizungu” (9th in Melodifestivalen 2016)
Uh we uh we
One of the highlight’s of Sweden’s 2016 Melodifestivalen final was the infectious African rhythms of debutant SaRaha, The 36 year old Tanzanian-Swede, fought her way through Andra Chansen and finished 9th overall with the dancefloor afro-smash ‘Kisunguzungu’. Since then she’s been pretty quiet both in her musical output and hasn’t yet reappeared at Melfest.
So it’s great to see her return with a cover of R.E.M.’s popular classic ‘It’s The End Of The World As We Know It’. A release timed with the Covid-19 pandemic she’s taken the more rocky original and turned into a chilled but still boppy version. Let’s hope this return means we might see her at Melodifestivalen again very soon!
“It’s a song with a good beat that really grabs your attention and I like how Saraha has made the song her own by making it sound unique. Hope to see her back at Melodifestivalen.” – Matt
3. Chingiz – From Past To Present (Azerbaijan 2019)
‘From Past To Present‘ by Chingiz Mustafayev is more than just a song. It’s a full fledged adventure. He shows us nothing but musical quality as he creates a beautiful mix, blending authentic Azeri sounds with classic instrumentation with modern beats all from his home recording studio.
Chingiz shows just how talented he is, not only sounding vocally perfect with his chants but also playing a series of both percussion and string instruments. Close your eyes and enjoy the beautiful ambience the song brings.
“At the Eurovision Song Contest we got to know Chingiz Mustafayev singing his very contemporary entry ‘Truth’, delivered by Borislav Milanov and his Symphonix team, with a technically advanced show to boot! (Remember the robot arm giving him the laser heart?) Chingiz has, however, always been strong in performing songs in the national music style of Azerbaijan, Muğam, which his voice lends itself perfectly for. In his new song ‘From Past to Present’, Chingiz dives into Muğam again, dressing the part in his music video, making that no matter if you look at this clip or listen to the music with your eyes closed: after approximately 9 minutes, you’ve been on a journey through Azerbaijan!” – Nathan
2. Loïc Nottet – Mr/Mme (Belgium 2015)
Talented Belgian musician Loïc Nottet is gearing up to release his sophomore album ‘Sillygomania‘ in the next few weeks on May 29th, having pushed it back slightly as a result of COVID-19, but he has treated us already to his first ever French language single “Mr/Mme“. Similarly to Chingiz’ track, this song feels more like an adventure than just a single song. In just over 6 minutes in length the song has many winds and turns in pace and tone.
Nottet’s voice is quite frankly a marvel. The range he has and power and ability to deliver in his upper range is phenomenal. You can feel how meaningful this track is to Loïc from the emotion which radiates from his stunning vocals. Speaking on Instagram about what he wanted to show with this song;
“Never say never”! That’s what I answered when you asked me if I was going to sing in French one day! Today it’s done with “Mr/Mme”! I hesitated for a long time to share it with you, but after a long reflection with myself, I realised that this song meant a lot to me and that it might tell your own story without even knowing you personally! Basically, we are all the same and our weaknesses are often the same!”Loïc Nottet
Within the song and indeed the music video which provides us with a tour of the city of Brussels, Loïc Nottet is lost. He feels a need to escape and leave behind everything, however struggles internally within himself over these feelings and emotions. The resonating song concludes with Loïc thanking his fans for everything, thanking them for their support and their love, and sharing that with that he feels valued and will survive through hard times.
“Well it’s hard to know where to start whilst talking about this song! I don’t speak French but the emotion in the song translates so easily, and when you then actually read the lyrics it makes even more sense. You can tell from the vocals and the tone of the video that Loic is expressing pure passion from the heart. It’s such a touching song, I’d even go as far as to say spine tingling. It leaves me very excited for his upcoming album!” – David
1. KEiiNO and Electric Fields – Would I Lie (Norway 2019 & Australia NF 2019)
On top of our chart in April we feature a barnstormer of an ESC collaboration. Norway’s 2019 act KEiiNO are never far away from our list since they’ve produced bop after bop following the Contest, and has now culminated in the release of their debut album ‘OKTA’
For their latest single Fred, Alexandra and Tom team up with the runners up from 2019’s Australia Decides – Electric Fields. The eclectic duo of Zaachariaha Fielding and Michael Ross describe themselves as “two feminist brothers” and were both former X Factor auditionees who started working together in 2015 (although they had previously met before their talent show days). ‘2000 and Whatever’ was an incredibly energetic pop romp which in another year would have surely been a hugely popular Australian Eurovision entry. Michael says his favourite Eurovision act is Aminata, so there’s a musical hookup waiting to happen!
‘Would I Lie’ is everything you’d expect from both acts – a mix of Sami and Aborginal cultures all solidified by a pulsating electronic beat. Don’t forget to check out ‘OKTA’ too!
“When I heard of the collaboration I was excited: what would a mash-up of the stand out sounds of Spirit in the Sky vs 2000 and Whatever be like? While it’s interesting to bring two pop/indigenous groups from opposite ends of the world together… in the end, Would I lie is a mish-mash of too many styles, and too many vocalists that it merely blends in. However, I do encourage them to try, try again!” – Cain
We hope you enjoyed our picks from last month. As always we have saved you the hassle of saving all of the songs and have made some ready made Spotify and YouTube playlists for you below. See you again this time next month and let us know your favourite tune from our selection!