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.
Starting with our number 10, join us as we countdown the Top 10 releases from the past couple of weeks!
10. Samanta Tina – I Got The Power (Latvia 2020)
Latvian legend Samanta Tina is back with her much-awaited follow up to ‘Still Breathing’. Taking to the umpire’s seat is Samanta who once again delivers a feminist, empowering track. The song itself, ‘I Got The Power’ co-written with Aminata is taking a look at the unrealistic standards and pressures that are put on female beauty – the video starting with statistics over the number of females who don’t feel beautiful.
The tennis themed music video, directed by Samanta herself, shows her umpiring a tennis match with the theme very much staying true to itself. Following up on the success of ‘Still Breathing’, of course this song also has an epic industrial-sounding drop. We can’t wait to see what she brings next year!
“Samanta Tina is back with a new song, and fans of her 2020 would-be Eurovision entry ‘Still Breathing’ will not be disappointed with ‘I Got The Power’. Again written together with Aminata Savadogo (Latvia 2015), I Got The Power is another stereotype busting feminist anthem challenging the impossible standards that many women feel they have to try to meet.” – Joe
9. Amaya – Trust Issues (Slovenia 2011)
It’s been almost a decade since the amazing Maja Keuc took to the Eurovision stage in 2011 – securing the best result to date since 2001. With ‘No One’ she gave us Christina Aguilera powerhouse vocals but with her newest song “Trust Issues” we feel a much softer R&B vibe. The sound is a lot more mature than we’ve seen from her before and feels like a natural follow-up to previous single ‘Concrete’.
If this is the path that Amaya will be following from now then it’s definitely trendy, with global artists like Ariana Grande moving towards this pop/R&B hybrid. There’s no official video yet but make sure to check out a quarantine special acoustic rendition below. It’s safe to say that she still has the pipes!
“Amaya improved as an artist amazingly. You can truly see that she’s doing the music with true emotions, you can see that she was involved in a songwriting process and that she’s following herself now. And I can’t wait to see what’s next from her.” – Jan
8. Diodato – Un’Altra Estate (Italy 2020)
Diodato’s Eurovision 2020 single became a song of defiance amidst the Coronavirus pandemic – with inspiring videos of Italian tower blocks singing the song. Whilst he didn’t get to perform in Rotterdam this year, if you haven’t seen it you should definitely check out his incredible performance filmed last month at the Arena di Verona.
His follow-up single, ‘Un’Altra Estate’ (translated as ‘Another Summer’), has now been released and it lives up to our high expectations! The song is more of a mid-tempo ballad telling the story of the horrible past few months and hope for closure that comes as we enter the Summer months.
“One of the things that impressed and intrigued me most in this lockdown period was what my window showed. Forced to stay at home, I let my gaze wander over the city landscape that glimmer painted. I have seen the last days of winter already telling the spring that would come, while in our hearts there remained a painful cold, a frost that still struggles to melt now. Nature went on despite our absence and thanks to it it regained its spaces, its scents. A powerful and at the same time motionless spring seemed to want to encourage us, almost to tease in a cruel way or perhaps just to show us the way to return with a different awareness. I opened my window in Milan and I felt the scent of the sea. They are the jokes that makes the desire to return to live. Arrive on a beach and find yourself in front of that mysterious and powerful expanse, dense borderland that teaches you to breathe and face freedom. In my closed eyes, I took the first steps towards her, until I slowly got wrapped up in her infinite embrace. I warmed my body with slow but increasingly constant movements, aiming for the horizon, because after all I still believe in that horizon.”– Diodato
It’s yet to be confirmed whether Diodato will return to Sanremo or indeed Eurovision next year – but if he brings a song as good as this or ‘Fai Rumore’ then we will definitely be having our fingers crossed!
“We fell in love with Diodato when his song ‘Fai Rumore’ won San Remo and became the Italian entry for Eurovision this year. His new song ‘Un’altra Estate’ (‘Another Summer’)is not taken from his hit album ‘Che vita meravigliosa’ so is brand new, but still gives us the anthemic uplifting sound we have come to expect. Bravo Diodato!” – Anne
7. Ilse DeLange & Michael Schulte – Wrong Direction (Germany 2018/Netherlands 2014)
Ilse DeLange and Michael Schulte have more than just being extraordinary artists in common – they’ve also both got Top 4 finishes at Eurovision under their belts! Earlier in May the German/Dutch duo teamed up to be part of the Europe Shine A Light celebrations aired in lieu of the Eurovision Song Contest on May 16th. They performed a brilliant rendition of Nicole’s 1982 winning song, “Ein Bisschen Frieden”. Check out the performance from the show here;
In addition to that beautiful over, the two have also collaborated on the song ‘Wrong Direction’. The lyrics tell an emotional story of life moving on, moving away from who you were and away from what you knew. The story narrates the journey of two past-lovers moving further away from each other.
“I wish I had a time machine
Just for a taste of how it used to be
I miss the way that you miss me
Now you don’t miss me anymore”Lyrics from “Wrong Direction”
Their voices go very well together, with Schulte’s soulful tone and Ilse’s more folk-inspired vocal. They even recorded a performance for the official video – you can check it out below.
“Such a sweet song and their harmony is more beautiful here, simply magical. I hope they will continue as a duo, their emotions blend together very well. The song is catchy, simple, perfect for radios.” – Marco
6. Little Big – Hypnodancer (Russia 2020)
Little Big were one of the favourites to win this years contest with their hypnotising track ‘Uno’ and now comes another song quite literally about hypnosis! The catchy beats that we’ve come to love feature in ‘Hypnodancer’ which sees band member Ilya in a casino playing a game which can only be an ode to their Eurovision track – it’s Uno!
The video is brilliant – comic genius touches including the bonkers ‘Hypnodance’ dance moves on the casino table being used to disillusion the other players (and at one point the police!) to collect all the winnings each round, pencil shavings replacing drug culture and the familiarity of the band not taking themselves too seriously.
“Little BIG is the discovery of the year for me. When I heard ‘Uno’ I fell in love with that song immediately, and then started listening to their other songs, and fell in love with the band as well. “Hypnodancer” is yet another super-catchy song of theirs, very entertaining, and stayed in my head from the moment I first heard it. Simply the best song released last month!” – Ervin
5. Miki Núñez – Me Vale (Spain 2019)
Miki Nuñez rose to fame when he participated in Operación Triunfo 2018, where he finished as high as 6th place but actually the episode right after the final where a Eurovision entry would be chosen! With the infectious banger ‘La Venda’ he brought the party to Tel Aviv at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 representing his native Spain.
With COVID-19, musicians have a harder time recording video clips, for example. But not Miki, who took matters into his own hands and just shoots his own music video! In ‘Me Vale’ (Translation: I Don’t Care) we meet Miki’s parents, who he tells he’s gonna record a music video right there in their house, as well as Miki’s younger brother Eloi, who’s shooting the video for Miki.
The song itself is about how Miki thinks that, whatever problems may arise on the way, as long as he gets to spend time with the person he loves, he doesn’t care, it’s worth it! Even though confined to his home, we see Miki still makes the best of his current situation, doing all kinds of things he enjoys.
Special cameos for Miki’s friends holding #MeVale signs, friends from his Operación Triunfo experience but also celebrities such as radio DJ Tony Aguilar, TV host Roberto Leal and football player Sergi Roberto.
“Miki is making the best of life and is inspiring us to do the same!” – Nathan
4. Duncan Laurence – Someone Else (Netherlands 2019)
Last years winner Duncan Laurence has gained a reputation for laying his heart on his sleeve within his lyricism. Following on from winning Eurovision last year in Tel Aviv, Duncan has spent a lot of the past year songwriting, recording & touring and this is the finished product.
Released alongside his EP ‘Worlds on Fire’, ‘Someone Else’ is a lovely slice of indie pop music. Speaking of the song, Laurence says that, “‘Someone Else’ is about the feeling you can get when you’re all by yourself and your head starts spinning and replaying memories of a previous relationship. The emotional roller coaster of constantly thinking of that one person you loved so deeply but who you can’t be with anymore.” He performed the song live on the celebration of Eurovision 2020 hosted by the EBU, Europe Shine A Light.
His five-track EP ‘Worlds on Fire’ includes this single, his winning song for last years contest ‘Arcade’, and previous single ‘Love Don’t Hate It’.
“Duncan’s lyrically quality has always stood out and one again he delivers with powerful emotive language that reaches into your heart and pulls on the heartstrings to provide a beautiful moving track. The melody gives a great mellow vibe which allows you to sit back and appreciate the message that hits you to the core.” – Kyle
3. Athena Manoukian – Dolla (Armenia 2020)
Greek-Armenian performer Athena Manoukian has bucket loads of confidence and charisma – a total natural on stage. Her song for this years cancelled contest, ‘Chains On You’ differed from some of her past songs by being more hip hop and R&B influenced and we’ve been obsessed ever since the Depi Evratesil performance! ‘Dolla’, as you could probably have guessed from the name, carries on this trajectory of urban artistry from Athena.
You could definitely hear this on radio in pretty much any country, it sounds almost like a song that could’ve been released by Rihanna recently. The verses build to the chorus perfectly and make you want to start dancing – before the ‘Dolla’ chorus kicks in and makes a visit to the dance floor essential. Written by Athena herself and produced by DJ Paco, this has us super excited for more music from Athena. There’s no official video or audio on YouTube just yet, but make sure to give the song a listen on Spotify, Apple Music or other streaming platforms. A teaser video can be seen below.
“Athena Makounian, who would have represented Armenia in Eurovision this year, is back with her first post-contest release. Dolla, which she co-wrote is a slice of tropical r’n’b with a really catch chorus perfect for those long summer nights ahead. Athena is still waiting to hear if she will go to Rotterdam next year, and based on this track, she really deserves that chance!” – Danny
2. Daði Freyr – Where We Wanna Be (Iceland 2020)
Daði Freyr has seen a lot of viral success following the release of his 2020 Eurovision song ‘Think About Things’. The song has become a huge hit on popular app TikTok, with people across the world posting videos of them dancing to the feel-good track. The song has even been charting well across Europe, including being the first Eurovision song to reach the UK Top 40 since they introduced streaming.
It’s not much of a surprise that Daði is looking to ride on that hype. With 2021 participation yet to be confirmed, he has released his follow-up single ‘Where We Wanna Be’, and you bet that the COVID-19 inspired home music video features even more iconic dancing.
The song itself is very similar to Daði’s signature sound. ‘Where We Wanna Be’ is an optimistic song about enjoying yourself and being happy despite the negativity of the circumstances gripping the world at the moment. Even better than the message of the song and the hypnotic dancing is the layers of retro synths which make it difficult to not want to join in and bop along!
“I think it’s a fun song and I’m glad his songwriting is creating some gems.” – Cain
1. The Mamas – Let It Be (Sweden 2020)
The Mamas are back with their follow-up single! Our favourite thing about them is the feel-good factor they give off with their songs and performances and this is no different. Having performed the song on the Swedish replacement show version of the Eurovision Song Contest, it’s already been a hit in Sweden!
We’ve known each other for a little over a year, during which we’ve had a roller coaster of emotions and experiences. If ‘Move’ describes life in general, ‘Let It Be’ reflects the time we live in now. We were living our dreams just a little while ago, and now we’re in a reality where we’re worried about the health of our families and friends and the state of the world. “Let It Be” encourages us and reminds us that you can only change what’s possible to change, and that you have to keep believing that everything else will be resolved.
’Let It Be’ is a song about love, perseverance and patience. Love leads the way, although we cannot always change the circumstances of what we’re going through at the moment. Sometimes we just have to let it be.The Mamas talking about ‘Let It Be’
You can catch The Mamas talking about ‘Move’ and the full story of how they came to be formed in our interview with them below:
“The Mamas return after their Melodifestivalen victory with an infectious, joyous bop that is the perfect tonic for the difficult time we’re going through. From the very first listen I just wanted to get up and dance to this club ready stormer. I really really hope these amazing women get their chance to go to Eurovision again after losing out on the opportunity this year” – Nick
We love to make your life as easy as possible and so we’ve collated the songs into both a YouTube and Spotify playlist below. Let us know what you think of this month’s chart and we’ll see you next month!