Supernova 2020 – 26 Songs Review

 

On Thursday morning, the 9th of January 2020, LTV (The Latvian Broadcaster) released the 26 songs that intended for the national selection: “Supernova 2020″.

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Jury and Youtube views will determine the identity of 8 finalists that will compete in the national final.
The 8 lucky artists will be revealed on Saturday the 18th of January 2020.
The national final will be broadcasted live on the 8th of February 2020.

#1. Aivo Oskis – “Dive Deep”

Aivo Oskis.jpg

Aivo Oskis competed in “Supernova 2019″ and ended in the 8th place in the final.

It is opened with a mysterious blend sounds of computer-processed production. Aivo’s character is barely seen in the beginning. The Genre is something between Hip-Hop and Pop which can be identified with songs from the late 90’s and the beginning of the 2000s. The chorus is pretty catchy. In the verses, the singer tends to combine singing and talking. He has a nice voice and therefore, he should extend the usage in it. I would be glad to see the 3 minutes rule exploited better, even with more edges in the song. The final outcome is good.

#2. Alekss Silvers – “Again”

Alekss Silvers.jpg

Alekss Silvers competed in “Supernova 2019″ and ended in the 7th place in the first semi-final.

It’s a gentle ballad. The melody is based on guitar playing. But afterward, piano playing is included too. You can feel the connection between the singer and the lyrics by his interpretation. Alekss has a husky voice that fits the song. It’s a nice song with good performance. However, it may be a little repetitive. Emphasizing the peak of the song may be helpful.

#3. Alise Haijima –  “Me Me Song”

Alise Haijama.jpg

 It’s a song that aims for entertainment. I find it hard to find any subject in the song. The singer has a lot of charisma, but the song isn’t good enough. The Genre can be described as a Rap combined with soul. The production is a little bit “old school”. The transition between the verses and the chorus feels unnatural.

4. Annemarija Moiseja – “Undo”

Annemarija Moiseja

The song has potential. It’s a mid-tempo pop ballad. the combination between the singing and the production should be improved. I would be glad to see Annemarija singing more powerfully. She is comfortable on the stage and has self-confidence. The song grows on me as I hear it again. The song stands out namely because of its unique melody production. However, vocals need to be improved.

#5. ANNNA –  “Polyester”

Anna Madara Pērkone

Another entertainment song is coming, but this time is wiser. The “T-Shirts” song describes relationships through the metaphors of clothes. The singer has limited vocal abilities which she tries to cover by dancing movements and cool vibes. The melody includes the sound of ringing cash register, as the spokeswoman in the song buys another cloth to improve her feeling. The song is more suitable for advertisements than Eurovision.

 

#6. Antra Stafecka un Atis Ieviņš – “Coming Over”

Antra Stafecka un Atis Ieviņš

It’s a collaboration between a band and a singer. The lead singer of the band is a Rock singer with a husky voice, while the female singer has a sweet voice that belongs to the Pop Genre. Their song is a mainstream Country Pop song that’s radio-friendly. It’s generic, but it may be explained by the common genre it belongs to.
It reminds me of a song that was in the line-up of “Australia Decides 2019”: Sheppard – On My Way

#7. Audiokvartāls –  “Connection”

Audiokvartāls

The production and the melody on the song remind me of Pharrell Williams – Happy
The members of the band complete each other on the stage. However, the production is way better than the melody itself. The lyrics are a little bit disappointing. It can be improved by revamping and smoothing the transition between the verses and the chorus. The genre and style can be related to the ’80s. Something in the song feels periodic/ cyclic.

 

#8. Bad Habits – “Sail With Me”

Bad Habits

The three members of the band, playing guitar together. The lead singer has a shaky and husky voice. There are some difficulties in understanding the sung lyrics of the song. The Genre can be described as an American Rock – Country – Middle of the road. The guitars play a main role in the performance. In my opinion, practicing the pronunciation the words can be useful.

 

#9. DRIKSNA – Stay

Jānis Driksna.jpg

It’s Pop-Rock ballad that the elements of guitars are the main issue. The verses are more interesting than the chorus. The song sounds like many others. It is a good song but hasn’t any message in the musical sense. The lyrics writer is Aidan O’Connor who wrote the lyrics of Czech Republic 2016 Eurovision song – “I Stand” by Gabriela Gunchicoca

 

#10. Edgars Kreilis –  “Tridymite”

Edgars Kreilis

Edgars is back to the “Supernova” in the fourth time in a row. In the last two attempts, he finished in 6th place in the final.

Edgars always looks good on the stage. He is an excellent voice which lifts him up. This time, he sings a mid-tempo Pop ballad. The chorus is pretty catchy. The song contains some backing vocals which contribute to the whole package. I believe that the performance will be better, after revamping the song. Edgars’s vocal abilities are shown better in the chorus and at the end of the song. I think that his last year’s effort was better.
The song was composed and written by Edgars and Ingars Viļum (a member of “Brainstorm” that represented Latvia in Eurovision 2000).

 

#11. Elizabete Gaile –  “For You”

Elizabete Gaile

Elizabete brings a decent ballad to the competition. Her voice is soft and gentle, but she has a presence. Between a lot of blend songs, a quiet song can really stand out. The chorus gives us beautiful “peak moments”. The song is opened with piano, afterward guitar in the main musical instruments. The song has potential. One of the lyrics writees is Jūlijs Melngailis who wrote  Edgars Kreilis song from “Supernova 2019”.

 

#12. Katrīna Bindere –  “I Will Break Your Heart”

Katrīna Bindere

Katrīna Bindere is back to the national selection for the third time. Her last attempt was in 2015 with “Run To You“.

The song is opened with a cyclic beat. The melody is composed by piano. guitars and computer-processed beats. The song has potential and the singer is great. I want her to expose her vocal range more convincingly. Something in the melody should be changed especially at the last third of the song. The song has a sassy and edgy component that makes it better. As a demo version, it is good.
Jānis Driksna who also competes in Supernova 2020 is one of the writers and the composers of the song.

 

#13. Katrīna Dimanta  – “Heart Beats”

Katrīna Dimanta

Katrīna Dimanta is a member of Aarzemnieki who represented Latvia in Eurovision 2014 and failed to qualify with “Cake to Bake“.

The song has Latin/Spanish foundations. Katrīna Dimanta is en excellent singer with her own interpretation and powerful voice. I don’t like the staging and especially not the dancer with his ridiculous movements. The rhythm of the song changes in an interesting way. It has elements of Folk, Jazz, and Ethnic music. In my opinion, the song isn’t suitable for Eurovision.

 

#14. Laika Upe –  “All My Roads”

Laika Upe.jpg

Laika Upe competed in last year’s national selection and failed to qualify for the final of “Supernova 2019 with “Listen to The Way That I Breathe“.
The members of the band are Guntis Nurža (Vocals), Atis Čamanis (Keys/Effects), Jānis Pastars (Guitar), Reinis Petrovičs (Bass), Edgars Ansons-Tomsons (Drums).

The members of the band have a  strong connection between them. The Genre is electro Pop with jazz elements. It is radio-friendly and has good vibes and energy in it. However, it lacks fearlessness. The majority of the singing is in the chorus, while the verses are characterized by talking.
One of the writers is a famous name in the Baltics: Kaspars Ansons who was involved in the production of Latvia songs in Eurovision 2015 and 2016. He was one of the writers of “I’m Like a Wolf” from the Lithuanian selection in 2017.

 

#15. Līva –  “Not That Important To You” 

Līva Komarovska.jpg

It’s an Electro Dance song. The beginning is interesting, but it develops in a generic direction. The main weakness of the performance is the vocals of the singer. She is probably amateur in singing. The melody isn’t original.

 

#16. Madara  – “Māras zeme” (Mara’s Land)

Madara Fogelmane

Madara participated in “Supernova 2018” and ended in 3rd place in the final with “Esamība”.

Like in her last attempt, Madara plays the cello. The song is dedicated to nature. This time, Madara isn’t alone, she has an escort band with her. The majority of the song is in Latvian, but there are some lines in English. The song is spiritual and has its own magic and uniqueness.  However, the comparison to “Esamība” is inevitable. The melody and interposition of  “Esamība” was wiser and more sophisticated. Madara’s voice is a little bit shaky. It seems like the spiritual atmosphere takes over the other elements of the song.

#17. Maia – “Make It Real”

Maija Aukšmuksta

It’s an Electro Dance song. The melody in the chorus lacks musical instruments and it’s pretty acoustics along with the computer-processed backing vocals. The verses are pretty short and forgettable. This is a decent song, but Maia‘s limited vocal abilities are a disadvantage.

 

#18. Markus Rive – “Impossible”

Markus Riva.jpg

Markus Riva participates in every national selection of Latvia since 2014. Supernova 2020 will be his 7th attempt. In 2015 and 2019, Markus finished as a runner-up.

The song “impossible” was written and composed by Markus and Aminata. Aminata represented Latvia in Eurovision 2015 and wrote and composed Latvia songs in Eurovision 2015 and 2016. The song is well written and composed but the vocal performance isn’t enough. It feels like a crow in a peacock band. Songs like this require a strong singer. Markus comes from the world of Dance Pop. When it was too hard of him, Markus used to talk instead of singing. In the section between 2:07-2:27, the singer is totally out of range. I think that this is one of his weakest attempts in  Supernova history.

 

#19. Miks Dukurs – “I’m Falling For You”

Miks Dukurs.jpg

Miks Dukurs tried his luck last year with his song “Life”, but he hasn’t been chosen to take part in the official line-up of the national selection. It will be his 6th attempt in the Latvian selection.

Without a doubt, Miks Dukurs is one of the best vocalists of the participants in Supernova 2020. It’s a Rock Blues love ballad. The style is American, but it doesn’t bother at all. He is just standing on the stage, playing the guitar and sings his heart out. sometimes simples is beautiful and sufficient. It’s totally radio-friendly and therefore accessible.

 

#20. Rūta Ķergalve – “Izgaismots” (Eng: Illuminated)

Rūta Ķergalve.jpg

The melody is very basic. It is one of the only two songs in Latvian that competed in Supernova 2020. There is something spiritual in the song. Rūta looks good on the stage. The backing vocalists are great and contribute a lot to the whole package. However, you should be eclectic with a suitable filter to love the song. I’m afraid that is might be inaccessible to the majority of the listeners. It would be a dangerous choice for Latvia.

 

#21. Sabīne Blūma Blūmane – “Beuty Will Save The World”

Sabīne Blūma Blūmane.jpg

The song has one of the kitschiest titles in the running. Sabīne has a strong voice, but the song is too generic. It falls for every cliche od the Genre. It sounds like a Disney song. The lyrics try to carry a message, but the logic is missing.

#22. Samanta Tīna -“Still Breathing”

Samanta Tīna.jpg

Samanta Tīna is one of the most familiar names and faces in the Latvian music industry. She is well known for her participation in the national selection over the years. Samanta tool part in the Latvian selection for Eurovision in the years 2012-2014, 2016 and 2019. In each of the years 2012 and 2016, she participated with 2 different songs. In the years 2012-2014, she always finished in the top 3 in the final of the Latvian selection.

The song was composed by Samanta Tīna and the lyrics were written by Aminata. Aminata represented Latvia in Eurovision 2015 and wrote and composed Latvia songs in Eurovision 2015 and 2016. It’s an Electronic Indie Soul Rock song. The melody and the production itself are modern, refreshing and interesting. Samanta Tīna always proves she has got the required attitude, talent and voice and beyond. The song talks about women empowerment. Despite the difficulties in life, she can grow strong and breathe. The section after the chorus is successful and Samanta is dancing in it. The song contains a short section of Rap but it gentle and has the right place in the song. The 3 backing vocalists are a great choice. They build a tension that is broken into the peak of the song. For me, it is one of the best from Samanta Tīna in the national selection and her musical repertoire. The song has a huge potential to take Latvia back to the grand final of Eurovision. The song is ready to be presented and it’s far from being heard as a demo version.

#23. Seleste – “Like Me”

Seleste.png

The beginning of the song is attractive. However, the singing isn’t good enough. Her singing is lazy. The song could be darker and mysterious and by that being more interesting. The backing vocals are on point. I think that Seleste is still young and isn’t experienced enough for representing Latvia in Eurovision.

#24. Shanti – “Voices In My Mind”

Shanti

The melody is pretty catchy. Again, I’m having a problem with the strength of the vocalists. The Genre of the song as Electro House Pop. The song fits the ion shows or as malls music. With improved intention and vocal abilities, it could have been great. At the moment, it is an interesting melody that isn’t fulfilled. Can anyone check if the girls have the desire to sing on the stage? They are looking almost dead inside.

#25. Signe un Jānis – “Inner Light”

Jānis Aizupietis, Signe Aizupiete.png

The melody is pretty simple, but the production keeps blending it into different directions along the song. Signe has a stronger voice and a more prominent presence that Jānis has.  Their vocals should be improved especially in the high notes in the chorus. They are trying to transform the song into something dramatic and bigger than it is eventually.

 

#26. Toms Kalderauskis – Be My Truth

Toms Kalderauskis

Toms Kalderauskis tried his luck back in 2017 but was eliminated in the first round.

It’s a mid-tempo Electro Pop ballad. The main problem is that the singer’s vocal range doesn’t serve the required vocal abilities. There is nothing bad in the song. although is pretty flat. The vocal performance is far from being on point. It is a wonderful example of the wrong match between the singer and the song.

 

My Ranking

#1. Samanta Tīna – Still Breathing 

#2. Miks Dukurs – I’m Falling For You

#3. Katrīna Bindere – I Will Break Your Heart

#4. Annemarija Moiseja – Undo

#5. Alekss Silvers – Again

#6. Edgars Kreilis – Tridymite

#7. Laika Upe – All My Roads

#8. Elizabete Gaile – For You

#9. Rūta Ķergalve – Izgaismots

#10. Shanti – Voices In My Mind

#11. Aivo Oskis – Dive Deep

#12. Seleste – Like Me

#13. Antra Stafecka un Atis Ieviņš – Coming Over

#14. Katrīna Dimanta – Heart Beats

#15. Maia – Make It Real

#16. Signe un Jānis – Inner Light

#17. Markus Riva – Impossible

#18. DRIKSNA – Stay

#19. Madara – Māras zeme

#20. Audiokvartāls –  “Connection”

#21. Bad Habits – “Sail With Me”

#22. Sabīne Blūma Blūmane – Beauty Will Save The World

#23. ANNNA – Polyester

#24. Toms Kalderauskis – Be My Truth

#25. Līva – Not That Important To You

#26. Alise Haijama – Me Me Song

 

My prediction

I predict that the qualified acts will be 8 among the 10 following acts:

Samanta Tīna – Still Breathing
Markus Riva –
Impossible
Miks Dukurs –
I’m Falling For You
Alekss Silvers –
Again
Edgars Kreilis –
Tridymite
Laika Upe –
All My Roads
Madara –
Māras zeme
Katrīna Dimanta –
Heart Beats
Aivo Oskis –
Dive Deep
Katrīna Bindere –
I Will Break Your Heart

Playlists are available here 

Spotify

AppleMusic

YouTube (including official video clips/ studio versions)

YouTube (official auctions versions)

I live in Israel and watch Eurovision since the early 2000s. I work as a mathematician but have a big interest in singing, music, and writing

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