Eurovision First Listen: “Spet (Round and Round)” by Slovenia’s Tinkara Kovač

Slovenia may have a sleeper success on its hands with their Eurovision entry “Spet (Round and Round)” by Tinkara Kovac. But there’s something about the track that sounds a bit too familiar…

Slovenia is on the road to recovery in the Eurovision Song Contest after finishing in absolute last place in last year’s edition. What’s one way to guarantee not visiting the bottom of the scoreboard again? Clone the previous year’s winning song. If that is Slovenia’s strategy, they are doing a clever job. “Spet (Round and Round)” is not an outright clone, but attempts to emulate various elements of “Only Teardrops”:

For starters, there’s the flute solo at the beginning of the song. The length of the verse in relation to the chorus is similar, as is the overall tone of the melody. What “Spet” needs yet doesn’t borrow from “Only Teardrops” is the drumming between the verse and chorus. The absence is striking, as the overall song feels only about 85% complete, as if it has yet to meet its full potential. Perhaps it is a result of audio mixing or the studio where the group is performing, but there’s an energy sink to this song which is not working in Slovenia’s favor.

All is not lost. I doubt the country will get dinged for, at best, being inspired by last year’s winner as none of the similar elements are overtly copied. If Kovac and company can tweak the arrangement a little bit to boost the instrumentation and round out the sound, “Spet” could be a crowd-pleasing slow jam in Copenhagen.

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