It’s that time again for the team at ESCBubble to rank some new releases from former Eurovision and National Final acts, this time for the month of July.
As Europe melts from a heatwave, our editors have found their favourite 10 summer scorchers for you to listen to. As always we’ve added on a Spotify and YouTube playlist so you can play whenever you want!
10. Brendan Murray – ‘Let Go’ (Ireland 2017)
Brendan Murray has had quite a rollercoaster career – starting in Louis Walsh boyband HomeTown before competing at Eurovision 2017 in Kyiv, Ukraine. His song ‘Dying To Try’ unfortunately failed to qualify for the grand final, but this didn’t stop him having success on the UK X Factor a year later where he reached the semi finals before placing 5th.
‘Let Go’ continues his path along the electro pop line. The track is a mid-tempo pop number and it’s no understatement to say his unique wisp-like vocals go extremely well when partnered with EDM beats. It’s super refreshing to hear him tackle something at a quicker tempo after the many ballads we’ve heard him sing previously.
“I’ve always been a huge fan of Brendan and just absolutely love his voice. So happy to see he is still writing and performing.” – Niamh, Ireland
9. Eleftheria Eleftheriou – ‘Oi Istories Mas’ (Greece 2012)
With a video shot on the beautiful island of Naxos, Eleftheria Eleftheriou from Eurovision 2012 has teamed up with Katerina Stikoudi for the latin tinged party anthem ‘Oi Istories Mas’ (Eng: ‘Our Stories’) and it just screams summer beach anthem.
Eleftheria is no stranger to us when it comes to hot uptempo bangers, and we remember fondly the time she tempted Europe with her ‘Aphrodisiac’ finishing 17th In the grand final. Not her first attempt to go to ESC, she was involved in quite the National Final scandal when her entry ‘Tables are Turning’ was disqualified after being leaked just before the official presentation of songs for Greece’s 2010 selection. She had also previously attempted to represent her native Cyprus too back in 2006, when only 16 years old.
”From the very first moment I heard it, I felt like I had been transported to the beach and I just wanted to party with my friends. Fuego.” Georgios, Cyprus
8. Levante – ‘Sirene’ (Italy NF 2020)
Levante quickly became a fan favourite after her appearance in Sanremo earlier this year with the enchanting ‘Tikibombom’. Her follow-up single, ‘Sirene’, continues to deliver on the momentum picked up at Sanremo. It’s a very serene melody, with Levante’s raspy and soulful vocals flowing like a stream throughout the song. Speaking of the songs meaning,
“Do you remember? We parted singing “we are the wind and not the flag” … We went into the wind while holding dreams in our hands. The nights to look for good stars … and then find yourself in the midst of strange destinies. I decided to sing to her these strange fates and somehow, as I know how to do, send you my warmest embrace and only the truth, nothing but the truth. I swear. ‘Sirene’ talks about us.”– Levante
Despite the above being a little cryptic, if you close your eyes whilst listening to the song you’ll totally get it. It’s just easy listening from a beautiful voice with so much depth to it.
“Levante deserved to win Sanremo. She could sing anything and make it sound beautiful.” – Steffen, Norway
7. KaYra – ‘Nuogi’ (Lithuania NF 2020)
She’s an alligator, she’ll be your gladiator – she’ll also be your personal marionette!
Who could forget the impact of Lithuania’s KaYra, whose ‘Alligator’ took her to 7th place in the final of this year’s national selection “Pabandom iš naujo”. Her incredible charisma and stage presence definitely gave us the vibe that she will continue to challenge for the national final crown in future. You can see this for yourself in our interview with her in Kaunas!
Her latest single is called ‘Nuogi’ (Eng: ‘Naked’) and gives us a more stripped affair. The song is about the themes of separation, distance, coldness and disobedience. About people who talk but don’t say anything, who hear but don’t listen.
It’s usually not comfortable to talk about feelings, especially if it hurts or is embarrassing. My work means exposing my soul, but I chose not to be ashamed and to speak out loud, so I feel a lot of responsibility for what I want to say with my songs.KaYra reflecting on the meaning behind ‘Nuogi’
“Her song ‘Alligator’ was THE surprise from Lithuania this year, so I love the more vulnerable side to her she is showing here’” Audrius, Lithuania
[Not available yet on Apple Music]
6. Sergey Lazarev – ‘Я не могу молчать’ (Russia 2016, 19)
There are not many Eurovision acts with careers as successful as Sergey’s. Initially he started his pop career in 2000 as part of a duo called ‘Smash!!’, alongside Vlad Topalov before venturing solo in 2005. Since then he’s released 7 studio albums, 55 singles and of course finished 3rd on two occasions at Eurovision.
Now that he’s finished releasing the singles for his previous album ‘Evo Ya’, he has a brand new track for us to enjoy called ‘Я не могу молчать’ (Eng: ‘I Can’t Keep Silent’). The song was produced by Timur Yelchin and the lyrics were written by Alexander Malinovsky. A great uptempo song, it’s just perfect for some cool summer vibes!
My summer premiere. This song is for all lovers. Love is a feeling familiar to everyone. When in love, I want to shout about it to the whole world!Sergey speaking about his new single.
“This song is so cool, and gives you a summer feeling any time of the year. My favourite song at the moment!” Joanna, Poland
5. Sirusho – ‘Mher’ (Armenia 2008)
Is Sirusho the queen of Armenia? It’s very likely! She burst on to our radar all the way back in 2008 with the iconic banger ‘Qele Qele’. The one thing we love about her music is that it always has a brilliant rhythm, an incredulous drumbeat and the ethnic instrumentation which delivers some of the best Armenian music.
‘Mher’ is no different. We have chanting, a tribal drum beat as she sets out on her journey to slay the dragon in the music video, a duduk. What more can we ask for!? Speaking of the song and the epic video, Sirusho declares that the song represents younger generations who still hold as much courage, strength, fearlessness & persistence than past generations whilst referencing powerful women being the future. “A lion is a lion, whether female or male”. Sirusho references.
“Sirusho is always releasing brilliant songs and this follow up to ‘Zoma Zoma’ reminds me again how amazing she is as an artist.” – Hannah, USA
4. Poli Genova – ‘How We End Up’ (Bulgaria 2011, 16)
Poli Genova is back and is serving up one of the hottest bangers of the year so far. Her first single since the birth of her son Daniel and the lead song from her new album ‘Tvoya,’ this high energy dance pop is definitely more ‘If Love Was A Crime’ than ‘Na Init’.
In the video Poli is rocking an all pink look and is having a blast alongside a large ensemble of backing dancers. As always she really does this genre justice and it’s certainly made it’s mark with the ESCBubble team this month, as our 4th favourite!
“This track just pops from the very beginning, so catchy, cool and Poli looks great” Karen, UK
3. Kállay Saunders – ‘waste my time’ (Hungary 2014)
András Kállay Saunders is one of the most talented performers in Hungary at the moment. No stranger to Eurovision and the Hungarian selection shows, he still holds Hungary’s best result since 1994 (5th) with ‘Running’ from 2014. Since then he’s been releasing many songs under his own name plus projects including The Middletonz. His newest release comes as a collaboration with Gabriel. ‘waste my time’ is an uptempo pop song where the two singers sing about escaping somebody who is messing them around.
“Who gave you the right to waste my time?” is the hook for the song and their voices blend together perfectly. The song itself is very on trend. It sounds commercial and exactly like something you’d hear on the radio. It has tinges of R&B/hip hop included and it sounds like it could easily be a song by The Weeknd or Drake. Hopefully these guys will be able to share their success!
“‘waste my time’ is the ultimate cool anthem that you’d play on repeat after getting out of a toxic relationship” – Erika, Hungary
2. PAENDA – ‘Want me not to want you’ (Austria 2019)
PAENDA represented Austria at last years contest with ‘Limits’ and unfortunately was not able to make it out of the semi final. Having said that, we can’t fault most of her music. She has mastered electropop at this point, having a really unique vocal to help her music flourish.
Simply put, ‘Want Me Not To Want You’ is an utter banger. It’s the perfect song for hot weather, BBQ season and even any roadtrip playlists you’ll be taking this month. The music video features PAENDA cooling down in a pool but this song is definitely warming us up.
“PAENDA delivers another brilliant song. This is my favourite.” – Wolodymyr, Ukraine
1. Mahmood [feat Sera Ebbasta & Feid] – ‘Dorado’ (Italy 2019)
And here is the team’s overwhelming favourite from July – and it’s the return of 2019’s Mahmood. Not the first time he’s topped our chart, he once again delivers a magnificent piece of urban meets dance meets pop, showing again that he has the most distinctive and unique sound and voice.
For ‘Dorado’ he teams up with fellow Italian Sfera Ebbasta (who he previously teamed up with for ‘Calipso’) and Columbia’s Feid. Already a hit back in Italy, it’s peaked at number 14 so far on the singles chart. The video itself was shot at the Egyptian Museum in Turin and sees Mahmood living his best life dancing amongst some sphinxes!
“Mahmood cannot put a foot wrong since winning Sanremo. After Barrio and Rapide he once again makes his urban pop sound pop again with Dorado. I can’t stop listening!!” Eletta, Italy
We hope you enjoyed our top 10 picks for July! Let us know on our socials as to whether you agree with our choices. Playlists with all of the songs in both YouTube and Spotify forms are also below. See you next month!