“A huge, dark expanse on screen. Perfectly fits the song, but won’t endear it to anyone.”
Tim: Tom, I don’t know if it’s been a great year for national competitions, or if I’ve just been watching more of them than previously, but there have been a hell of a lot of good songs rejected. Sorry to do this to you, but we’ve only got one more week, so we’re going to have to cram a load in. Let’s return to Sweden, with a somewhat melancholy song knocked out in 6th (SIXTH) place.
Tim: So it’s no real surprise, let’s face it – it’s way too dark, there’s very little sign of any audience cheering and not a huge amount to bring forth excitement.
Tom: Some very interesting directing choices there, too: Dotter’s isolated on stage, with no background, and frequently with unsettling camera angles: slightly out of the frame, or facing away from a huge, dark expanse on screen. Perfectly fits the song, but won’t endear it to anyone.
Tim: It brings to mind, a lot, Sanna Nielsen’s Undo from 2014, which of course went on to win; it’s led by a strong female vocal (WHAT a vocal), with precious little instrumentation behind. In terms of her movements, there’s a lot of inspiration from Loreen with nothing in the background, just her swinging around all over the place. Except, both of those cases had things to make up for them: Sanna had fun with the lighting, and Loreen had amazing upbeat music. This…this doesn’t have either of those.
Tom: Right! This feels almost like watching a rehearsal.
Tim: It’s a great song, but staged like this it sure as hell isn’t a competition winner.
“It just carries itself, and me as a listener, forwards.”
Tim: Just me for today, and if you recall we first met Dotter about eighteen months ago and Tom and I were both mildly impressed; here, I found the intro fairly promising, and then when the beat dropped and the vocal hit I let out an audible “oh, yes.”
Tim: Now, as I write this, it’s half eleven at night and I’ve just got home from a long shift at work where I haven’t sat down once, and this is just such a lovely, lovely track to lie back to, relax, close my eyes and just enjoy. Coincidentally, this morning I was listening to one of my favourite soundtrack tunes ever, and I like this track for the same reason: it just carries itself, and me as a listener, forwards, almost floating along. I don’t have to focus on it, worry about anything – just relax to it. It might just be the mindset I’m in at the moment, but this is just lovely.
Tim: Bit of Motown-y track for you today, from a new Swedish singer. Up for it?
Tom: Swedish neo-soul. This should be fun.
Tom: Oh, that intro’s very good, isn’t it?
Tim: It is, and I’d say that there are a number of good bits in there: from the nice stringy intro and outro, the chorus with its enthusiastic and unashamed desperation, the chanting that follows that, and her general singing voice, a perfect fit with the music here.
Tom: Yep, it’s all very good. I have an odd complaint, though. During that chorus, there’s far too much going on in the high frequencies: the strings, the tambourines, her voice, even most of the percussion. There’s almost nothing in the low frequencies. If they’d drop the strings by an octave or so, it’d all sound so much clearer and fuller. But yes: it’s a song full of good bits, particularly that middle eight.
Tim: In fact, there’s very little that couldn’t be described as a good bit – it’s a very enjoyable track, and I look forward to hearing more from her.