First Listen: Georgia Hopes to Cash In with “Midnight Gold”

Can an alt-rock song bring Georgia success at this year’s Contest?

I still don’t know what “oximated” means, but I can say that last year’s Georgian entry made the cut for inclusion in my best-of-Eurovision-2015 playlist. I will also admit to being … nervous … about what kind of song we’d get this year when the Young Georgian Lolitaz were announced. Fortunately, it’s not at all what I expected/feared:

I honestly can’t remember the last time we saw an alt-rock entry at Eurovision. (Lordi was hard rock, PKN was punk, and there have been plenty of rock/pop hybrids. Am I forgetting someone else?) Aside from being 10-15 seconds too long, this song is pretty great, if you’re into that sort of thing! I like the simple instrumentation of the verses, even if it means the only thing we have to listen to is a pedestrian bass line. I have mixed feelings about the distortion break, though. It makes the song less repetitive, but also seems like the most obvious candidate to be chopped for time.

Overall, Midnight Gold has great structure, mostly clear lyrics, a nice arc, a good ending, and a tight performance from the musicians. It almost feels like it’s not a Eurovision entry, which could either be its greatest strength or its biggest downfall. Standing out from the crowd can be helpful when voting time rolls around, and yet there are some types of music ESC viewers just don’t tolerate. This is a risky gamble for Georgia, but I’m cautiously optimistic.

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