Eurovision 2017 Review: Iceland – Svala – Paper

svala paper

Svala ready to conquer Europe with slick electro pop
Basically every year we can count on the Nordic countries to at least bring one proper electro pop track to the stage of the Eurovision Song Contest. This year Iceland is delivering the goods. After a national final of a few weeks, the established pop artist Svala emerged as the winner and she will represent her country with her self written track ‘Paper’.

40-year-old Svala already had a long career in her home country, is one of the coaches on the Icelandic version of The Voice and has been living in Los Angeles for years. She wrote ‘Paper’ together with her partner Einar Egilsson and the lyrics deal with overcoming problems and anxiety, not only in relationships but any kind. This personal message is portrayed with ‘Paper’ as a metaphor and a hell of a chorus to go with it. The electronic production is icy, stylish, slick and very much on point and Svala gives it her all, both in the belting on the chorus and the rap singing in the second verse. If you ask me, this is absolutely one of the best compositions in Eurovision this year, but with the bookmakers and overall, there does not seem to be a lot of buzz around her. Let me remind you though, that exactly the same was the case with Aminata’s ‘Love Injected’ back in 2015 and she managed to bring Latvia into the top 10 with a song in a similar sound. If we’re comparing to previous Eurovision entries, ‘Paper’ is basically a cross between ‘Love Injected’ and Margaret Berger’s ‘I Feed You My Love’ (4th place for Norway in 2013) and that of course is a big compliment.

Svala is a strong performer with loads of experience, a powerful voice, enough star quality and a flawless sense for style. I am sure she will combine this all for a thrilling performance on stage in Kiev. I for one can’t wait to see it.

UPDATE – Review on semi final performance:
I was surprised bookmakers and Eurovision press already predicted she would not qualify, while she delivered a vocally strong and visually simple yet effective performance. She hit all the big notes in the chorus, nailed the rap singing of the second verse and pulled out some fierce dance moves while she was it. It is a shame Europe did not seem to enjoy it, but for me it will definitely be one of those songs I keep playing after the contest!

UPDATE – Semi final results:
Svala did not come close to qualification with an overall 15th position. Juries put her in the 15th spot, while televoters voted her 14th.

Check all Eurovision 2017 reviews: Albania – Armenia – AustraliaAustria – AzerbaijanBelarus – BelgiumBulgariaCroatiaCyprus – Czech Republic – DenmarkEstoniaFinland – France – FYR MacedoniaGeorgia – Germany – GreeceHungary – IcelandIreland – Israel – ItalyLatviaLithuania – Malta – MoldovaMontenegro – The NetherlandsNorwayPoland – Portugal – Romania – San Marino – SerbiaSlovenia – Spain – Sweden – SwitzerlandUkraine – United Kingdom

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