Eurovision First Listen: Malta’s Firelight sings “Coming Home”

Malta selected the pop-folk track "Coming Home" by Firelight to represent the island at the Eurovision Song Contest. What can the country do to make sure it succeeds in Copenhagen?

We’re still early in the Eurovision Song Contest selection process, but if Malta’s selections is any indication, pop-folk may be a dominant style in this year’s competition. Although Saturday’s selection show featured the normal assortment of misguided dance tracks and mixed-metaphor ballads, Firelight’s “Coming Home” rose to the top of the scoreboard and earned the right to go to Copenhagen. Here’s the track:

As it stands, I am rather conflicted about this particular entry. I’m impressed by the instrumentation and the harmonies and find my toe tapping when I listen. However, the track starts out sounding like a car or truck commercial until the keyboardist’s vocal solo when it sounds like a coffee commercial. Perhaps it was the ads featuring last year’s Maltese entry “Tomorrow” playing during the final that have put this association front of mind, but a Eurovision entry should strive to be more than a jingle.

My other issue with this entry is that the performance is not particularly telegenic. Most of the musicians are hidden behind instruments while the lead singer is sitting down. That style of staging runs the risk of the audience hearing the song without listening or committing the song’s existence to memory. The genre doesn’t lend itself to showy performances, so I would recommend Firelight trying to create a more cohesive look within the group. Not a uniform—this isn’t fifth-grade band class—but similar colors and styling would help.

The challenge for Malta will be making this song memorable. Perhaps the music video will solve the problem.

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