New Music: Marie Mai covers Robyn with ‘Sans Cri Ni Haine’.

French singer Marie Mai has just released a wonderful cover of Robyn’s Call Your Girlfriend. Reincarnated as Sans Cri Ni Haine, the song sounds spectacular in French.

Although it’s missing the heartfelt anguish of Robyn’s original, it’s still rather incroyable!

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The Trackshittaz shine a light!

Check out this really cool video of Lukas Plöchl, member of Austrian pop/hip-hop group Trackshittaz, performing the song Love Shine A Light, the winning song of the 1997 Eurovision Song Contest originally performed by Katrina & The Waves. It’s a great, updated rap version complete with a gospel choir and synchronized elevated hand movements!

Also, check out this performance of One Night In Bangkok, one of my favourite songs composed by Eurovision Song Contest-winners Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, under the guidance of one of my favourite singers, Kate Ryan who herself is a former Eurovision particpant for Belgium. I sense a pattern here…

So now it should come as no surprise that Lukas, together with Manuel Hoffelner as Trackshittaz, have finally made it to the Eurovision stage. They will be representing Austria at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest with the über catchy, utter zany song Woki Mit Deim Popo, loosely translated as ‘Shake your booty’. This is going to be a breath of fresh, fun air to the proceedings I reckon.


Morten Harket is ‘Scared Of Heights’.

Following his much-celebrated return to pop with the rather fantastic Lightning, Norwegian pop minstrel Morten Harket has followed up with the equally spectacular Scared Of Heights. The song is going to be the international lead single of his upcoming album ‘Out Of My Hands’. Check it out:

Scared Of Heights picks up where Lightning left off, in that it is a gorgeous string-laden pop song that echoes the eighties in a nod to Morten’s legacy with a-ha. On top of that, the falsetto chorus with Morten’s lush voice is truly wonderful. I really hope this record is a success, as it definitely sounds like one.


New Music: ‘Shining Heart’ by Laurentiu Duta & Andreea Banica.

Are you ready for a brand new summer hit fresh out of Romania? Then look no further than Shining Heart, a hypnotic song that promises wild parties and steamy summer nights. Acclaimed Romanian producer Laurentiu Duta is stepping out from the studio and into the limelight for the first time as a recording artist with this track. Laurentiu is well-known as one of the country’s biggest composers, having worked with stars like Andreea Banica and Elena Gheorghe as well as being the man behind Romania’s 2009 Eurovision Song Contest entry The Balkan Girls.

With Shining Heart, Laurentiu will be fronting his own music for the first time and to great effect. However, he is not alone as Andreea Banica is on guest vocals to make a great song even greater.

The song is iconic Romanian dance pop that is both mesmerizing and hard-hitting. However, apart from Laurentiu’s silvery soft vocals, my favourite part of the song is the chorus that sees Andreea channel German group ATC with a deceptively simple but instantly catchy, sing-along hook. I believe the combination of old and new europop serves as a wonderful celebration and homage to the genre and it is easy to see why Laurentiu Duta is such an acclaimed name.


A very berry treat for the Netherlands.

I saw these and thought they would fit perfectly for a Dutch treat at a Eurovision Grand Final Party! They are strawberries dipped in a variety of different condiments to provide a rather delicious replica of the Dutch national flag. Very cute and very easy to make as well. Have a look at the recipe below:

Ingredients
Strawberries
White chocolate chips
Blue sugar sprinkles / Edible glitter (for a more camp version, De Toppers style)

Instructions:
1. Wash the strawberries thoroughly and let them dry completely.
2. Melt the white chocolate to a smooth, thin consistency.
3. Place the blue sugar in a bowl and set aside.
4. Dip the strawberries in the white chocolate to cover two thirds of the berry.
5. Next, dip the strawberries in the blue sugar to cover one third.
6. Place the strawberries on wax paper-lined baking sheets & then in the fridge to set.

I hope you enjoy it. Bon Appétit!


Melodifestivalen 2012: The stage has been set.

With Melodifestivalen over for another year, its nice to still get updates and ‘backtrack’ through the past edition so that we don’t make like Peter Jöback and life doesn’t feel so Hollow. I recently found this time lapse video by Gustav Nyberg depicting how the stage of the Melodifestivalen 2012 was constructed. Check it out, its pretty awesome!


Watch: Engelbert Humperdinck picks up his microphone and the Union Jack.

The United Kingdom was the last country to unveil their entry for the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest and it is a warm, graceful ballad with a great sense of nostalgia and melancholy.

United Kingdom 2012: Love Will Set You Free performed by Engelbert Humperdinck

It reminds me of old Western movies from the 1950s, due in no small part to the Spanish guitar.

Personally, I think that Love Will Set You Free, performed by timeless crooner Engelbert Humperdinck, is a lot better than I had hoped for and the British public ought to be proud of their entry. Yes, there are quite a few ballads this year but none that sound quite like this. Drawn to open the Grand Final, ‘The Hump’ will no doubt deliver a noteworthy performance. And a little bit of Eurovision-geekery, the last time the United Kingdom was drawn to perform first, it was in 1976 with Brotherhood Of Man performing Save Your Kisses For Me, and we all know how that turned out.