Hooverphonic switched singers but still goes to Eurovision with ‘The Wrong Place’
After last year’s cancellation of Eurovision, a lot of countries opted to keep the same artist for 2021. In Belgium, they gave the band Hooverphonic another shot, but founding members Alex Callier and Raymond Geerts decided to change singers. 20-year-old Luka Cruysberghs, who was supposed to sing last year’s Eurovision entry ‘Release Me‘, saw her chances of performing at the contest vanish into thin air, when she was replaced by Geike Arnaert, who was the band’s lead singer from 1997 to 2008. With Arnaert on vocals, they hope to bring Belgium back to the finals for the first time since 2017 with their song ‘The Wrong Place’.
‘The Wrong Place’ was written by Callier, in collaboration with Charlotte Foret. The lyrics of the song are describing a “one night stand gone wrong” and the dark and moody vibe underlines that. The cinematic signature sound of Hooverphonic is there, but in a slightly more contemporary and exciting way than last year’s entry. The somewhat ominous instrumentation and Geike’s vocals bring layers of mystery that add to the atmosphere the ‘The Wrong Place’ paints in its lyrics (“Don’t you еver dare to wear my Johnny Cash t-shirt” is a line I never thought I would hear at Eurovision by the way.)
The track does not completely unfold on first listen. The chorus takes a little time to find its way into the mind, but once its there, it keeps on singing. The soaring melody gets just a little bit better with every spin. Now as we all know, this is not ideal for Eurovision, as most viewers will only have heard the songs once when they decide who to vote for, but an appropriate staging that underlines the mood of the song could surely make it more instantly memorable. The intriguing music video as a mood board would be a good start.
Either way I think Belgium has a good shot with the juries this year. ‘The Wrong Place’ is a strong composition that oozes quality and experience and I think Geike will be able to pull off the same on stage. It might not be instantly hit worthy enough to win the contest, but a place in the final and a decent result there should be well within reach for Hooverphonic.