Watch: Switzerland hopes to be ‘Unbreakable’.

The music videos for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest entries are flying in thick and fast and the latest one comes from Switzerland. Check out the band Sinplus looking better than ever:

Switzerland 2012: Unbreakable performed by Sinplus

Unbreakable is, in my opinion, amongst the best contending songs in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest and this music video only serves to highlight that. Set in a futuristic world where everyone lives in a Matrix-like state, Sinplus attempts to free everyone by harnessing the power of music and the message of their song. It is a bold, clean-cut video with a striking attention to detail and very vivid cinematography. One of the best videos this season.

All in all, the alpine nation has a really strong, tight package. I can’t wait to see Sinplus “rock, rock the place” in May. Good luck lads!

Sinplus + ‘Unbreakable’ = Eurovision

So the first official entry to the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest is known. Rockers Sinplus and their anthemic Unbreakable was chosen by the Swiss to represent the Alpine nation at the world’s biggest music festival. In my opinion, the Swiss chose well. Unbreakable was by far the best song and performance of night during Die Grosse Entscheidungsshow. Once again, the Swiss have elected to send a modern, catchy song with strong vocals. This  time, its anthemic rock very much in the style of The Cure or even The Killers. Thus, we have a very contemporary rock entry and the 2012 season is off to a flying start. The lads are young and charismatic and should go a long way in lending a more modern image to the Eurovision Song Contest, much like Lena did.

Commiserations to my two other favourites. Lys Assia was great and I’m all for classic chanson but as one of the ‘experts’ said, this is 2012. While C’était Ma Vie was a fantastic slice of nostalgia & charm, I fear it wouldn’t have done well at the Contest. My other favourite, Wrong To Let You Go by Katherine St-Laurent came across great visually and vocally but ultimately, it wasnt enough for the Swiss.

I am so very happy for Sinplus and their candidacy for Switzerland. It’s hard to believe 2012 has started already and what a flying start it has been too!

Switzerland decides tonight! Let the show begin…

The 2012 Eurovision Song Contest officially kicks off with the first of the national finals taking place tonight. Switzerland will be the first country to select their entry for 2012. After months of internet & jury voting as well as preliminaries, tonight it will all come to a head during ‘Die Grosse Entscheidungsshow’ as the very best of Swiss talent, both established and upcoming, compete for the right to sing for Switzerland at Europe’s biggest music event.

The line-up is pretty strong with a wide range of different music styles and genres. From contemporary Rhianna-esque pop to nostalgic French chanson, opera and modern rock to name just a few, it’s quite hard to pick an outright winner which is what makes it even more exciting.

My personal favourites are Unbreakable by Sinplus, Wrong To Let You Go by Katherine St-Laurent and C’était Ma Vie by Lys Assia. I’m quite excited about the idea of the Grande Dame of Eurovision and 1956 winner competing against Swiss youngsters. Whatever happens, it’s going to be something to talk about at the watercooler tomorrow. I also quite like Black Smphony by Atomic Angels but I find the chorus lacking. My outside favourite is Quand Je Ferme Les Yeux by Sosofluo is a pleasant little ditty sung in French. It was a surprise to find my favourites all performing in the last three slots. That bodes well but of course, it will all depend on the live performance and stage presence.

The Running Order:
Patric Scott feat. Fabienne Louves – Real Love
Emel – She
Chiara Dubey – Anima Nuova
Guillermo Sorya — Baby Baby Baby
Macy – Shining
Sosofluo — Quand Je Ferme Les Yeux
Atomic Angels – Black Symphony
Ivo – Peace And Freedom
Ze Flying Zézettes Orchestra – L’autre
Raphael Jeger – The Song In My Head
I Quattro – Fragile
Sinplus – Unbreakable
Lys Assia – C’était Ma Vie
Katherine St-Laurent – Wrong To Let You Go

How it works: A panel of jurors will comment on each of the 14 performances but will have no say in the result. The final result and winner will be decided by 100% televote.

How to watch: A webcast of the show will be made available on SF’s website here. The show commences at 20:05 CET.

Good luck to all the finalists! Here’s to a great show and may the best song win!

Il Divo go to the movies with ‘Wicked Game’.

Celebrated vocal quartet Il Divo have released their sixth studio album ‘Wicked Game’. The two personal highlights of this record are without doubt the covers of two of my favourite movie soundtracks: Come What May from Moulin Rouge (which has been reincarnated in Italian as Te Amare) and Don’t Cry For Me Argentina from Evita. These two majestic songs take on an even grander lustre with Il Divo’s incredible vocals and magnificent orchestral arrangement. Have a listen:

Come What May (Te Amare)

Don’t Cry For Me Argentina

These two songs are a perfect fit for Il Divo, as they are very theatrical in nature and their arrangement lend themselves most wonderfully for grandiose production such as this. Unfortunately, the rest of the album is nothing to write home about.

Radio Télévision Suisse announces its shortlisted candidates.

Swizerland’s French language broadcaster, Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS), have revealed the names of the 27 songs that will compete for three spots in Die Grosse Entscheidungsshow 2012. People will have the chance to vote for their favourite songs until 20th October and the top 10 will then move on to the second phase of the contest, where they square off on the Swiss radio show ‘Option Musique’, and three songs will be selected to compete in the televised final.

Amongst the candidates, I am thrilled beyond words to find Wrong To Let You Go by Katherine St-Laurent and Demande-Moi (You Can Ask Me) by Marie-Élaine Thibert and Étienne Drapeau, as they are by and far my favourites. This also means that these two amazing songs have two chances to make it to the final, as they are both still competing on SF’s Eurovision platform as well. As with all things related to SF, it’s getting a bit complicated but as long as Wrong To Let You Go and Demande-Moi (You Can Ask Me) make it, I’ll be happy.

So please VOTE, VOTE, VOTE for these two songs!

Vote for Demande-Moi (You Can Ask Me) by Marie-Élaine Thibert & Étienne Drapeau here.
Vote for Wrong To Let You Go by Katherine St-Laurent here.

Album art for ‘Demande-Moi’ by Marie-Élaine Thibert & Étienne Drapeau.

I’m really loving Demande-Moi (You Can Ask Me), the stunning duet by Marie-Élaine Thibert and Étienne Drapeau. So much so that I went ahead and created album art for it. This is the first official album design I’ve done for the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest. It was impossible finding a picture of the two of these singers together. Instead, I decided to go for an abstract cover that embodied the sophisticated vibe of the song. To that end, I came up with a dream-like pastel watercolour painting with French couture-style typography. Hope you all like it!

Just to remind you on the amazingness that is Demande-Moi, you can listen to the song here and don’t forget to vote for it!

What music does to Same Difference.

The quality of entries on Switzerland’s digital Eurovision platform has shot up and through the roof over the past few hours. The deadline has now passed and people can vote for their favourite songs in a bid to get them through to the televised national final ‘Die Grosse Entscheidungsshow’.

And one of the entries recently submitted is by none other than British pop sensation Same Difference! Their entry entitled Music is a euphoric pop stomper that will make your head spin. It’s so catchy with lyrics that every Eurovision fan can relate to. I’ve always thought that Same Difference would be a perfect fit for the Eurovision Song Contest with their bright-eyed, unabashed love of pop and Music is exactly the sort of song I envisioned them competing with, only its so much better! Check out the song here.

I haven’t heard all the songs competing (nowhere close but now I’m looking forward to it) but Music is one of my favourites now, along with Demande Moi (You Can Ask Me) by Marie-Élaine Thibert & Étienne Drapeau. Funny how these two songs are both duos and the complete opposite of each other. I suspected, after Ell/Nikki’s win, that duos might be popular, but not to this extent!

New Music: ‘Demande-Moi’ by Marie-Élaine Thibert & Étienne Drapeau.

Introducing Marie-Élaine Thibert and Étienne Drapeau, who have joined forces to sing Demande-Moi (You Can Ask Me). This stunning duet sung in French and English is just plain amazing. It’s mature, dramatic, elegant and those voices! Demande-Moi is currently participating in the online leg of Switzerland’s National Final for the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest and is one of the best songs so far taking part. It’s got the full package, as these two singers complement each other perfectly and are very experienced. They will be able to take this song to another level live. And they’re both easy on the eyes as well, which can’t hurt at all. Check out the song here.

This is easily the highlight of the Swiss selection, along with Lys Assia’s comeback.

EDIT: Find out more about Marie-Élaine Thibert and Étienne Drapeau’s race to Baku here, as well as customised album art for Demande-Moi (You Can Ask Me) here.

New songs emerge on Switzerland’s Eurovision platform.

The pace is picking up over at the digital platform of Switzerland’s ‘Die Grosse Entscheidungsshow’ as artists across Europe and beyond scramble to upload their entries before the deadline. Like last year, I attempted to wade through it all hoping to stumble across a really good song. While I still maintain that most of the entries are poor, there quite a few hidden gems and some surprising artists.

Heinz Winckler – Who You Really Are: Although Heinz originally hails from Johannesburg, South Africa and is the winner of South African Idol, he is no stranger to the Eurovision Song Contest having covered Denmark’s 2009 entry Believe Again in Afrikaans. He is now attempting to make it to the Contest for real with a similar-sounding offerng Who You Really Are, which sounds very Niels Brinck. Bottom-line: Quite a decent song though not as instant as I was hoping for. [★★★★]

Katherine St-Laurent – Wrong To Let You Go: I’m really enjoying this song. It’s a big, delicate ballad with a pretty piano-driven melody that catches your attention in the first few seconds, which is important for a Eurovision song. The song then builds and builds, much like Nadine Beiler’s The Secret Is Love. In addition, the bridge is sung in French, which is just lovely. Bottom-line: A worthy contender for the live show, though could do with more French. [★★★★]

Bruno Dietrich – Sunshiny Days: I surprised myself by enjoying this. Sunshiny Days is a well-crafted country song and Dietrich’s gravelly voice suits this style of music perfectly. The whimsical title itself lends a clue to how much you’re going to enjoy this song. Bottom-line: A wonderful, unpretentious country number that will draw people in. [★★★★]

Joy Amelie – Lass Es Regnen: A sweet modern song made all the more special by the breathy vocal of Swiss singer Joy Amelie. Sung entrirely in Swiss German, it makes for easy listening and extremely radio friendly. I would imagine the song would benefit from a partial translation to English, but I prefer it like this. Bottom-line: A compelling song that ought to do well. [★★★]

Well, that’s all for now. I shall bring you more new discoveries as I come across them. You can also check out the all the songs of Switzerland’s online leg for yourself here.

The Swiss final ‘Die Grosse Entscheidungsshow’ will take place on the 10th of December.

Surprises galore in the Swiss online selection.

In what has been dubbed ‘the ultimate comeback’, Lys Assia, winner of the first ever Eurovision Song Contest way back in 1956, announced her intention to participate in the Swiss selection for the Contest. And she will do it with well-known songwriters at the helm. Ralph Siegel, who composed the winning song in 1982 for Germany and Jean-Paul Cara, lyricst of the 1977-winning song for France, have collaborated to create the song C’etait Ma Vie. Check it out here.

First off, let me state how much I admire the courage and confidence this spirited lady has! To come back to the Contest after well over 50 years just boggles my mind. As the Grande Dame of French chanson, she should get far based on name alone. And the song isn’t all too bad at all. It’s a sweet old-fashioned nostalgic ballad lifted straight out from the sixties. Its as if the past 20 years of pyrotechnics, sequins and costume changes never happened. This is all just too delcious for words.

Go on Lys! Show these young ‘uns how its done!