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Ask ESC Insight: What Has Eurovision 2018 Added To Your Summer Music Playlist? Written by on May 25, 2018 | 2 Comments

As the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 is packed away in a little box, what musical earworms, hook-laden tracks, and thematic albums has this year’s Contest delivered? As summer stretches out before us, we Ask ESC Insight to look beyond the 43 to what has reached their playlist for the off-season.

Ewan Spence

The World Can Wait’ by Waylon

The question is about music not about the man. Because if it was about the man, I’d be lobbying AVROTROS to give Ilse DeLange the 2019 ticket so she can bring the Glass Microphone back to Amsterdam. Waylon was perhaps the biggest disappointment of my two weeks on the ground in Portugal.

Yet ‘The World Can Wait’ (this year’s ‘Rocks And Honey’) is an intriguing album of shifting moods, with high tides of excitement, and low tides of loss and despair. In other worlds it’s a very gentle slice of Americana, put together with a twelve strong writing team, some fantastic musicians, and lyrics that catch in my throat.
So thank you Eurovision, you’ve handed me a fantastic album which leaves a curiously bitter taste in my mouth.

Sharleen Wright

Сберегу’ (‘I Will Save’), by Alekseev

He was already well on my radar with many thanks to our little jaunt to Ukraine in 2017, but our unsuccessful Belorussian entrant has already moved very much on from his Eurovision foray and back into his comfort zone with more modern Russian-language beats.

The very latest offering in ‘Сберегу shows him to be a far more confident artist than what we saw live in Lisbon, and the video provided of a recent concert below demonstrates that he doesn’t need a ridiculous rose gimmick to gain audience attention.

Lisa-Jayne Lewis

Wild Wild Wonderland’, by Saara Aalto

Aalto’s latest album is a piece of pure, unadulterated pop at its most glorious! I can’t pick a single track off of it because they just come thick and fast.

There is one track in the middle that slows things down a bit, it’s kind of like Ireland in the second half of this years Grand Final, it’s called ‘Dance Like Nobody’s Watching’ but the slightly slowed down tempo doesn’t hamper the enjoyment of the album in any way. I will say I sort of get the feeling this was the long list of songs in the mix for Saara at this years Song Contest (with the exception of ‘Dance Like Nobody’s Watching’), and after many meetings and discussions ‘Monsters’, ‘Domino’ and ‘Queens’ came tumbling out the bottom and into UMK, but probably there are others that could have equally have made the cut.

It’s not an album to make you question life, the universe and human existence, it’s a bunch of fun, uplifting songs to enjoy in your car, driving through London with the roof down while the sun shines in the sky (well that’s how I intend to enjoy it anyway!)

John Lucas

Moura‘, by Ana Moura

When I wasn’t furiously analysing rehearsal footage or dancing like a fool at the Euroclub, I spent many a beautiful night wandering through the cobbled streets of Lisbon, just soaking in the relaxed romanticism of one of the most atmospheric Eurovision host cities I’ve yet to pay a visit to.

The soundtrack to my holiday was primarily ‘Moura’, a beautiful 2015 album from local Fado sensation – and Grand Final opening act – Ana Moura. It’s a summery, full-bodied slice of Portuguese soul from a singer at the peak of her powers. Wherever you’re reading this from, I recommend playing it loud while the sun’s still shining. It’ll instantly transport you to a balmy afternoon in Portugal.

I miss it already.

Eleanor Chalkley

Vu D’ici’, by Madame Monsieur

One of the joys of Eurovision is discovering a fully formed musical act that has just been waiting for their moment of wider public attention. Madame Monsieur have graced the 2018 Eurovision season with such French concepts as elan, panache, joie de vivre and amour. The album is an hour of the excellence you got with ‘Mercy‘ – emotive storytelling, chill beats, songwriting craft and a certain je ne sais quois.

Now we’ve started the summer playlist, what do you want to add to it? National Final singers, deep cuts in the archives of this year’s performers? Or something more left field? Let us know your 2018 treasures in the comments – and don’t forget to link to choice tracks!

About The Author: Ewan Spence

British Academy (BAFTA) nominated broadcaster and writer Ewan Spence is the voice behind The Unofficial Eurovision Song Contest Podcast and one of the driving forces behind ESC Insight. Having had an online presence since 1994, he is a noted commentator around the intersection of the media, internet, technology, mobility and how it affects us all. Based in Edinburgh, Scotland, his work has appeared on the BBC, The Stage, STV, and The Times. You can follow Ewan on Twitter (@ewan) and Facebook (facebook.com/ewanspence).

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2 responses to “Ask ESC Insight: What Has Eurovision 2018 Added To Your Summer Music Playlist?”

  1. Prane Finishit by Eugent Bushpepa

    For me, the find of the contest has to be the rocker from Albania. He has never released an album, but, if Wikipedia is to be believed, he is working on putting one out. His high energy covers of metal and rock staples such as Here I Go Again by Whitesnake and November Rain by Guns N Roses are worth checking out. He has some stuff on Soundcloud, and YouTube too. I love the energy of ‘Prane Finishit’, it’s a track that grabs you from the opening bars and doesn’t let go until the fade out. He has an amazing almost operatic voice which just takes you away every time you listen. His 11th place was a great result for Albania, I look forward to what he does next, he seems a lovely guy from the interviews I have seen, and deserves to do well.

    Link to video: https://youtu.be/Q3bitC4cThw

  2. Joanna says:

    I love that Madame Monsieur album.

    I also adore Something Beginning With…. by SuRie. It’s quite different to Storm, tending towards down tempo piano driven pieces. It’s got such hauntingly beautiful vocal performances that it’s made me almost cry in public a few times. My favourite tracks are We Were, Maybe Tomorrow and Here Comes The Flood.

    I’m also really enjoying Ivy Quainoo. Still a little annoyed Germany didn’t pick her in their national selection. House On Fire is a brilliant track.

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