Eurovision First Listen: Tijana Dapcevic debuts “To the Sky” for FYR Macedonia

The first fully internal selection for the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest was presented Saturday by FYR Macedonia's Tihana Dapcevic: the pop song "To the Sky".

I have generally been a fan of FYR Macedonia in the Eurovision Song Contest, even after last year’s disaster of an entry “Pred da se razdeni” finished in next-to-last place (deservedly so). FYR Macedonia announced their artist, Tijana Dapcevic, rather early in this year’s cycle, allowing quite a bit of time to develop the track “To the Sky” for this year’s competition. Here is the track debuting in Skopje:

This is the most radio-friendly track to come out of FYR Macedonia since 2011 “Rusinka”—there is a little Katy Perry and a little Pink, but Tijana is not a carbon copy of either. The lyrics aren’t all that inspired, but given the dancehall influence in the track, I’m willing to be somewhat lenient in that regard. Besides, given how produced the track is, I don’t expect any rewrites.

My main concern at this point is presentation. The song debuted on the show Hit of the Month, which is your basic American BandstandTop of the Pops showcase where you aren’t going to get truly live performances. I always get nervous when entries are presented via lip-sync, so I hope Tijana has some live vocal performances—televised or in concert—on her itinerary before arriving in Copenhagen. A styling advisor might be helpful as well: the red shoes with an ill-fitting suit and a Skyler White haircut is not a strong look. I appreciate the boldness of the individual pieces, but they are not working in concert with one another.

The timing of this track may be what makes or breaks it in the competition. We are at the start of Eurovision selection season and this track could get swallowed up by the wave of entries to follow in the coming weeks. Though not the strongest to come out of this past weekend’s selections, it could stay in the middle of the pack if FYR Macedonia times a video release appropriately. We’ll see if this track is near front-of-mind by the end of selections in mid-March.

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