First Listen: Iceland’s “Calling” Out to Stockholm

Does Iceland's "Hear Them Calling" get lost in translation?

Iceland is one of my favorite countries to watch for Eurovision after they sent Pollaponk a few years ago.  That entry had everything I love in a Eurovision entry – poppy, colorful, and positive.  You didn’t need to know what the group was saying to be swayed by their message, but the eventual english translation managed to smoothly capture the spirit of the original song without diminishing it.

And then there’s this year’s entry.  The original “Raddirnar” felt like an Of Monsters and Men track1 made for Eurovision, with some mystery about it and great brass arrangement.  The music is still there, but the English version, “Hear Them Calling”, feels a little…awkward.

The performance is nice, but the staging is completely derivative of last year’s winner (and a general increase of “Look! I’m interacting with the computerized background!” performances at award shows).  Depending on the crop of entries in its final, I can see Iceland getting to the finals, but the English translation and copycat staging could give Greta Salome (who’s already performed before as part of 2012’s “Never Forget”) a second low-placing finish.

  1. I am familiar with Icelandic bands, you guys  

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