ASFE is back in business!

Over the past few weeks, I was so caught up in the (pardon the pun) euphoria of the Eurovision Song Contest that the blog took a backseat. Add to that Sweden’s convincing victory and ‘A Song For Europe’ was, unfortunately, completely overlooked.

BUT, I’m back in business and positively bursting at the seams with excitement at Sweden’s fifth victory as well as the prospect of them hosting the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest. Check back for my upcoming editorials on the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest and all the latest happenings in European pop.

Remember, it’s only 348 days left till the next Song Contest!

Euphoria in Sweden! Loreen wins Melodifestivalen 2012.

Melodifestivalen, the Swedish national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, has just celebrated its final at Globen Arena in Stockholm and was won by Loreen with the song Euphoria. It was the standout winner after the votes of 11 international juries and the Swedish public televote. Thus Sweden will be represented at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest with Euphoria, performed by Loreen and composed by Thomas G:son and Peter Boström. Check out Sweden’s 54th Eurovision Song Contest entry:

I am just thrilled beyond words! Euphoria is so much more than an amazing song. It is a work of art. Ever since the first semi-final, I was hopelessly entranced by Euphoria and while I’m a huge fan of Danny, I had my heart set on Euphoria and Loreen’s unique interpretation of the song. Her vocals were flawless, the performance was an artistic showcase and everything was absolutely mesmerizing. On top of that, its a modern, catchy song that is completely in rhyme with the time. This will stand out a mile at the Eurovision Song Contest in May.

Sweden, you chose well. Grattis till Loreen och lycka till!

Melodifestivalen takes over iTunes!

Well, it certainly didn’t take long for this year’s Melodifestivalen entries to take over Sweden. In the Swedish iTunes chart, 9 of the top 10 are Melodifestivalen songs!

There are even more Mello songs further down the list and it would appear that this will remain the case for the next few weeks.

Loreen’s Euphoria is currently number one with Danny’s Amazing right on its heels. Lisa Miskovsky is sitting pretty at third place with a song that is a complete contrast to the first two. Clearly the Swedes love Why Start A Fire, so could it be a potential dark horse? She’s followed by newcomer David Lindgren’s Shout It Out and Why Am I Crying by Molly Sandén. Incidentally, quite a few entries have also started charting in other countries, such as Norway, Denmark and Finland.

One thing’s for sure, its going to be an epic finalen at the Globen this year and I can’t wait!

Mystery and Euphoria at Melodifestivalen!

The first semi-final of Melodifestivalen 2012 took place last Saturday and it was everything you have come to expect from Sweden: glossy, glamourous and hugely entertaining. But even I, with all my expectations, had them outshone by two performances that had me spellbound. First off, Dead By April made quite a monstrous splash on stage with their song Mystery. Introducing ‘the growl’ to Mello for the first time, it was something to behold. It was melodic and raw and I am thrilled that it qualified. You could tell that the boys weren’t expecting to, but really thrilled when they did.

Secondly was Loreen and Euphoria. What can I say about Loreen that hasn’t already been said a million times before? Everything about the performance was EPIC. From the song, to the vocals to the presentation. I absolutely loved the solo contemporary dance that was so unique, sophisticated, artsy and different from what we would normally expect from a song of this genre. That, combined with her flawless vocal… I was speechless by the end of it. I honestly think that this could actually be a strong contender for victory, not only at Melodifestivalen, but at Eurovision as well.

However, the true mystery of the night were the ‘Andra Chansen’ qualifiers. I thought the two spots would go to Marie Serneholt’s Salt And Pepper (who looked fab in the catsuit… meow!) and Afro-Dite’s generous slice of old-skool disco The Boy Can Dance. If you watch the videos, I’m sure you’ll agree. Instead, Sean Banan’s Sean Den Förste Banan and Thorsten Flinck’s Jag Reser Mig Igen qualified. Oh, and after last year’s third place, The Moniker came last.

And it’s only the first week! I get quite giddy thinking about what we have in store next.

The first trailer for Melodifestivalen 2012!

Melodifestivalen has always been an exciting, glamorous affair, with wind machines, glitter, shattering glass and oiled flesh on display. It’s not surprising that this has been proudly brought to the fore in SVT’s new trailer for the 2012 Melodifestivalen. It features head honcho Christer Björkman along with stars Charlotte Perrelli, Danny Saucedo, Love Generation and Loreen just to name a few, all… preparing… for the contest. It is an absolute riot! Check it out:

I never wanted to be Christer more than right now!

SVT reveals the first half of competing artists in Melodifestivalen 2012.

After teasing the Swedish and Eurovision public by announcing only the titles and composers of the songs participating in Melodifestivalen 2012, SVT have now revealed half of the artists set to perform them. Having divided them up according to the semi-finals they will be competing in, we can see that some of our earlier predictions have been right, with a few surprises along the way. Check the songs in the first two semi-finals and the artists who will be performing them:

Semi-Final 1 will take place in Växjö February 4th:

  • Euphoria – Loreen (Thomas G:Son & Peter Boström)
  • I Want To Be Chris Isaak (This Is Just The Beginning) – The Moniker (The Moniker)
  • Jag Reser Mig Igen – Thorsten Flinck & Revolutionsorkestern (Thomas G:Son & Ted Ström)
  • Mistery – Dead By April (Pontus Hjelm)
  • På Väg – Abalone Dots (Abalone Dots & Viktor Källgren)
  • Salt & Pepper – Marie Serneholt (Lina Eriksson, Mårten Eriksson & Figge Boström)
  • Sean Den Förste Banan – Sean Banan (Sean Banan, Joakim Larsson, Hans Blomberg & Mårten Andersson)
  • The Boy Can Dance – Afrodite (Figge Boström, Catrine Loqvist & Johan Lindman)

Semi-Final 2 will take place in Gothenburg on February 11th.

  • Aldrig, Aldrig – Andreas Lundstedt (Niclas Lundin, Maria Marcus, Randy Goodrum)
  • Baby Doll – Top Cats (Mårten Eriksson, Lina Eriksson, Susie Päivärinta)
  • Det Går för Långsamt – Mimi Oh (Anton Malmberg Hård af Sederstad & Niclas Lundin)
  • Ge Aldrig Upp – Thomas Di Leva (Thomas Di Leva)
  • I Din Himmel – Sonja Aldén (Sonja Aldén, Bobby Ljunggren & Peter Boström)
  • Shout It Out – David Lindgren (Tony Nilsson & Fernando Fuentes Vargas)
  • Soldiers – Ulrik Munther (Ulrik Munther, Johan Åberg, Linnea Deb, Joy Deb, David Jackson)
  • Stormande Hav – Timoteij (Kristian Lagerström, Johan Fjellström, Stina Engelbrecht & Jens Engelbrecht)

Referring back to our predictions, many fans will be pleased to see that Andreas Lundstedt, Loreen, Sonja Aldén, Marie Serneholt, Afro-Dite and TIMOTEIJ back in the competition! The surprise today is the inclusion of a brand new song Shout It Out to be performed by David Lindgren. I’m not familiar with him but apparently he has made his name performing in a number of musicals, including Mamma Mia! and High School Musical. So he’s got vocal chops, plus the song is composed by Tony Nilsson and Fernando Fuentes. That’s some serious Mello pedigree. The next batch of artists will be announced next week but so far, it’s shaping up to be a pretty impressive line-up indeed. The artists I’m most excited about are Loreen, Timoteij, Marie Serneholt, Dead By April and Ulrik Munther.

New Music: Loreen is going ‘Sober’.

Loreen has finally put us out of our misery with the follow-up release to her incredible Melodifestivalen entry My Heart Is Refusing Me. Her new track Sober continues in the same vein, starting out as a ballad before dramatically building up into a club explosion thats a frenzy of synth and beat. And all through the way, we are treated to Loreen’s amazingly powerful and emotional vocal. Check it out below:

This one’s an absolute stunner and all-round winner y’all!