September feat. Birgitta Haukdal – Aðeins Nær Þér

“Here’s something pointlessly confusing for you.”

Tim: Here’s something pointlessly confusing for you: a Scandivinavian dance pop act called September that is entirely not the September who did Can’t Get Over and Cry For You and that lot.

Tom: That is a very, very odd choice of name. Did they not Google it?

Tim: This lot are Icelandic rather than Swedish, though, as you can probably guess from the song title, which in English means Only Near You.

Tim: Don’t know much about the context of that title, but hey – it’s primarily a tropical-sounding dance tune with occasional pop nods, so its probably not all that important.

Tom: And some decent string-section synths in there, too. But you’re right: standard tropical dance.

Tim: At least, it should be that. Because this would be so, so much improved if that Galantis-style post-chorus were allowed to take the lead more often. There’d be less of the slightly uninteresting verses, and many more dance beats that everyone can properly enjoy. Because damn, they’re good, and I’d love a whole song of that, although I’d allow the odd vocal here and there to keep the variety.

Tom: For most tracks that come through here, I’d agree with you: but here, I don’t, I think they’ve got the balance about right.

Tim: Basically, I want more of the good stuff and less of the boring stuff. Is that really too much to ask?

Saturday Reject: Birgitta Haukdal – Meðal Andanna

“It turns into something of a Disney number.”

Tim: One of my favourites from the Icelandic final, and it’s like Eurovision from ten years ago has decided to pay us a visit.

Tom: When the instrumentation drops in – complete with twinkly chimes, no less! – it turns into something of a Disney number, if Disney liked synth-backed middle-eights and wind machines. Simple, major-key, with a style that seems almost aspirational – and a flowing white dress, too.

Tim: Yes, oh yes. Isn’t it lovely? It’s disappointing how few big schlager tracks we’ve had around this year, so it’s lovely to see that it really is alive and well in some quarters. Even with the Emperor from Star Wars being resurrected four times for backing singer duties, it’s a beautiful track.

Tom: I think perhaps they were going for more the “evil Disney crone” myself, but either way it does seem a bit odd.

Tim: The titles translates to “Among the Spirits”, and it’s basically about being lost in the darkness then finding her way home; I think she conveys that well enough, especially in the triumphant post-key change (THERE’S A KEY CHANGE!) final chorus.

Tom: Told you. Icelandic-Disney soundtrack.

Tim: It wouldn’t stand a chance of winning, mind, so from Iceland’s perspective it’s right that it didn’t go through, but, man, sometimes I pine for the days when Eurovision was all about the key change.

Tom: You and me both.