Song Title: “Love Injected”
Semi-Final: Second, Position #10
Last year’s entry: “Cake to Bake” – Aarzemnieki (DNQ – 13th Place, SF #1)
Latvia had early success at Eurovision; in their first nine appearances, they qualified for the Grand Final eight times, and even won in 2002, just their third year in the contest. More recently, though, Latvia has had a rough time, with their last seven entries failing to qualify for the finals. While I thoroughly enjoyed 2013’s “Here We Go” (who doesn’t love a keytar and an iPad-tar?) and 2014’s “Cake to Bake” (because Eurovision), I can understand why neither did particularly well in the actual voting. So which Lativa are we going to see in the 2015 contest?
Holy sh …… I am completely, utterly obsessed with this song. I’ll be honest — the first time I watched this performance it was really challenging. Already a little startled by the initial bass drop and lack of a clear beat in the intro, the full measure of complete silence between the first chorus and second verse made me say, out loud, to my cat: “What the hell is happening to me right now?” So I proceeded to watch it on a loop for about 20 minutes. (Like you do.) I love the way this song is constructed, and Aminata does a really beautiful job of performing it. And those backup singers, OMG!
What keeps drawing me back to this video is how well the performance is produced. There is zero waste; not a lyric, note, light, or movement out of place. Everything is stripped down to only what’s necessary. Normally that is the antithesis of what I love about Eurovision, but it worked for Conchita Wurst last year, and I’d argue it works even better for Aminata. I get what Ben was saying about wanting a more creative and compelling staging, but to my eye this is exactly that. The energy and tension in this song comes from the mixture of joy and anguish in Aminata’s voice, and adding more (people, movement, stuff) would distract from, and be a diminishment of, that performance.
This is how totally undone I am by this song, folks. I’m sitting here, reviewing a Eurovision Song Contest entry, thinking unironically about deep meaning and emotional energy and WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME. I like Sweden’s song! A lot! But I want to be best friends with this one. So, Latvia: please just take my twelve points right now so I can go back to annoying my new downstairs neighbors with your song on repeat.