Review: “Supernova 2023” (Latvia)

14 artists will compete in the Latvian national selection for Eurovision 2023 – “Supernova 2023“.
The semi-final will be held on the 4th of February, 2023, while the grand-final will be held on the 11th of February 2023ץ

In this article, I will give my personal review of the 14 songs. They will be covered in alphabetic order.

#1. 24 Avēnija – “You Said”


This is a synth punk pop with light influence of R&B music.
The song start with bass guitar and clapping beat. The lead singer has a high tone of voice. Thereafter, we start hearing a synthesized deep voice that’s used as backing vocals.
The chorus continues the same line if the first verse, but this time we can hear bass stringing and keyboards playing. The synth voice from previous part is gone. The chorus is more melodical, and has 2 identical parts. The synth voice can be heard again after the chorus. Later on, we can hear whispers and an instrumental of bass guitar and drum beat.
The following part is once again the chorus. This time, the lead singer uses some falsetto in his singing.
There’s something fresh and uplifting about this song.
However, it sounds like the synth voice took over the song and in some sense bounded the level of diversity and creativity of it.

#2. Adriana Miglāne – “Like I Wanna”

It is an upbeat pop song.
The song starts with a cyclic keyboard beat, humming and singing the first part of the chorus.
The first verse’s melody is based on this cyclic beat made of keyboards playing. Adriana’s voice is gentle. soft and considerably high.
The per-chorus is faster, and the melody is just faster. Towards the end of this part, we can hear an electronic beat joining the melody. The chorus is a pop hymn, with backing vocals. the phrase “Like I wanna” repeats several times, and the beat controls the melody.
The second verse is more upbeat, the backing vocals are with weaker volume.
The chorus arrives again and it is catchy.
Towards the end she singing while the melody is gone.
It sounds like a summer hit from 2003, but still enjoyable.
It feels like more efforts were invested in the chorus.

#3. Alise Haijima – “Tricky”

It is a trap pop song.
The song begins with the first part of the chorus. The melody is based on string elements (viola?) and drum beat. The first verse is performed in a fast singing, almost spoken-word. Sometimes, it sounds like she sings through her nose.
The pre-chorus is faster and that’s when she delivers her charisma.
The chorus repeats the structure of the introduction. The string elements and keyboards are the main foundations of this part.
The part that comes after sounds like a Meghan Trainor‘s songs, with a very fast singing.
Mixture of string elements and keyboards playing created the bridge of the song.
The backing vocals sound like childish cheering.
I’m not impressed with the final outcome, there’s something cheap about this, or let’s call it “fast food” music.

#4. Artūrs Hatti – “Love Vibes”

It is a pop song with Latin influences.
The song starts with fading singing and reverb effect.
The melody is based on keyboards playing. The singer’s voice is duplicated.
Sometimes, it sounds like his voice is processed with auto-tune.
The first verse is built on a basis of saxophone.
Thereafter, his singing becomes calmer as a bridge before the chorus.
The chorus is upbeat, but the lyrics are too simple and effortless : “La La Love vibes”.
Later on, there’s a short instrumental part that involves beat and keyboards playing.
The rhythm in the second verse is slightly different. In this verse, we get more side of his voice like some huskiness. Once again, the chorus arrives. This time the instrumental part is richer and cross the chorus all along.
I have been waiting for a peak point which hasn’t been part of this song.
Sadly, the instrumental part is the most interesting part of the song.

#5. Avéi – “Let Me Go”


It is a modern mid-tempo R&B ballad.
The melody is based on guitar playing.
Avéi sings with an alt voice. Something about her singing sounds a little be not mature.
The melody is quite constant, until keyboards are added as well. The rate of the first verse is quite slow. Towards the chorus, the rate is faster. She gives a long note at the beginning of the chorus. The chorus is more captivating, and we can hear backing vocals as well. A very soft beat wraps the melody. The second verse is more intensive and continues the same line of the chorus.
The part that comes after is a melodic spoken word, that sounds like a R&B piece.
She shows us better vocal abilities in the second chorus.
The song clos with unplugged singing along guitar stringing.
The song is touching, and even though she is a very young singer, she created a moment.
My problem is that the firs chorus comes too late and that the song isn’t competitive enough.
However, revamp can make it more shiny.

#6. Inspo – “Sway”

It is a symphonic metal song.
The song starts with classic guitar playing, and the lead singer singing with a soft mid-high tone of voice. In the first verse, we can hear some backing vocals.
The pre-chorus is a little bit more faster.
Before the chorus, we can hear an instrumental part, composed by electric guitar and drums.
This melody continues to the chorus, which is more upbeat. There’s something powerful in her singing, even though she keeps it elegant and doesn’t shout.
The second verse is a classic rock with an acoustic production.
The second chorus relied on drums and guitar, but it less rhythmic than the first chorus.
Thereafter, we get a quite long instrumental part, composed of electric guitar and bass guitar.
The third verse is very short, and her high voice stands in contrast to the energetic drum playing. The song ends with another chorus.
It is a mixture or metal music with radio-friendly ballad. The lead singer is a great vocalist and proves it in each part of the song.
We didn’t have this kind of a rock music in recent year, especially one that come from a woman as a lead singer. The production isn’t too complex, and that’s why it fits the song. Well done!

#7. Justs – “Stranger”

The song starts with background music.
The melody is based on keyboards and guitar playing.
The first verse is quite slow, Justs voice is pleasant in a mid tone.
In the pre-chorus, the background music is switched to a combination of a percussion beat with keyboards playing. The rate of the melody is a bit slower at this part, and we hear some backing vocals. The chorus is radio-friendly, it relies on the smokey voice of Justs and guitar playing with percussion beat.
The second verse continues immediately after the chorus, it is softer regarding the vocal color. The pre-chorus is shorter and we get the chorus.
The third verse has a different structure, it is less melodic and finalized with a long note.
The song ends with another chorus.
The song is radio-friendly and easy to like, but I couldn’t find any uniqueness in it.
There are no peak points, and it falls in the field of forgotten songs.

#8. Katrine Miller – “Beaten Down”

It’s a ballad.
The song starts with an instrumental part, composed of the piano.
Then, Katrine starts singing with an angellic voice. The rate is slower.
As the chorus arrives, we can hear guitar stringing and backing vocals as well.
She uses a higher tone of voice in this part. The chorus also features violin playing.
The violin continues to the second verse, alongside humming through the backing vocals.
The second chorus is similar to the first one, but also includes drum beat.
The bridge starts with some vocal improvisations and then again the chorus arrives.
The song ends with piano playing.
It sounds like a basic Disney ballad. As a vocalist, Katrine is great.
However, the song is quite flat and doesn’t sail.

#9. Luīze – “You To Hold Me”

It is an emotional ballad.
The melody is based on keyboards.
Luīze starts singing with a deep and noticeable voice. The first verse already delivers emotions.
The first verse ends with a vibrato note.
Pre-chorus includes a soft drum beat and it is a bit faster. She sings this part with a higher tone of voice. The tension is built by the keyboards. The chorus is captivating with flawless vocal abilities. The first part is performed on a high note, almost operatic. In the background, we can hear backing vocals. The backing vocals continue to the second verse, which comes right after. She performs it with a convincing and accurate mid-low tone of voice. This part includes a percussion beat, alongside the keyboards. The pre-chorus builds a level of excitement before the chorus.
This time the chorus is even stronger and luckily longer.
The bridge starts with keyboard playing and falsetto singing. The melody is simplified.
Thereafter, we get the chorus once again.
It is one of the best ballads I’ve recently heard. I wish the song was longer.
Luīze showcase a wide range of vocals, alongside meaningful text and a strong melody: all of them created by her. It sounds like a high-quality ballad which wins a semi-final at the “Melodi Grand Prix“.
The song has a cinematic quality that can’t be ignored. Well done!

#10. Markus Riva – “Forever”

It is a dance pop song.
The song starts with a short instrumental part.
As the singing commences, we can hear fast drum beat and Markus familiar voice.
Pre-chorus is calmer and he uses a higher tone of voice. This part includes the use of synthesized voice, while the melody is based on keyboards playing.
The chorus starts with the same fast beat from before. He uses fading backing vocals and the dance beat takes over the melody.
In the second verse, the 1980’s musical influences can be heard well.
It continues with falsetto singing and once again the chorus.
The song is repititive, and doesn’t sound original.
It feels like the dance beat was created in order to hide the lack of melody.

#11. Patrisha – “Hush”

It is a rock pop song.
The song starts with a quite complex beat (in a good way) that’s composed of keyboards and effects. Thereafter, an electric guitar is added as well.
Her singing is confident and delivers attitude.
In the second verse, drum beat and electric guitar are added to the melody.
The pre-chorus is slower, and the drum beat is replaces by a cyclic beat of string element. She sings it with a higher pitch.
The chorus is catchy, and based on drum beat and guitar playing. It repeats almost the same phrase.
Pre-recorded backing vocals lead us to the third verse, where the melody is based on the main beat, with some additional effects. She sings it easily and convincingly.
The second chorus is more orchestral with some violin playing, but it still keeps on the same level of BPM.
This is a song that makes the listener enjoy and dance.
Patrisha is a promising and energetic singer. I just wish the chorus would have included some more different words.



#12. Raum – “Fake Love”

It is punk teenager power pop rock.
The song starts with classic guitar playing, Raum starts singing not long after. The structure is very specific and safe.
The pre-chorus is faster and include some studio effects, but the singing remains natura.
The chorus is a rock hymn, and this is where the guitar take integral part. The chorus is less acoustic and gives us another dimension of his voice.
With some humming and drum playing, we move forward to the second verse.
The second chorus is similar to the first one, but this time he uses some effect over his voice.
The second chorus is more rocky, with a more raspy voice. The production kicks into the melody.
It ends a more acoustic way.
The song reminds me the style of bands like Green day, and in indeed it sounds like rock boy bands from 15-20 years ago.
The song is decent, but predictable as well.

#13. Sudden Lights – “Aijā”


“Sudden Light”, the band who finished 2nd in “Supernova 2018” return for another attempt.
This is an indie rock song.
The song starts with a combination of percussion instruments, drums and keyboards.
The lead singer starts singing with a high and soft voice. The first verse include also an electric guitar instrumental part that has some electronic production.
The chorus is catchy, and sounds great vocally. The fast beat is replaced by electric and bass guitar. This part is performed in a less higher tone of voice.
Immediately afterwards, we get the second chorus. The production isn’t electronic at this part, but relies on drum beat. This verse is slightly longer.
The chorus is emotional and includes some backing vocals.
The bridge is less melodical, but suggests a vocal peak that’s blown by an instrumental part of electric and bass guitar.
The last part of the song starts acoustically, with no production at the background, in the simplest way.
They deliver vocally and success in delivery emotions.

#14. Toms Kalderauskis – “When It All Falls”

It is a R&B pop song.
Toms opens the song at the very beginning, he has a warm and deep voice, very soulful.
The melody is based on keyboards playing and a soft percussion beat.
The chorus is based on female backing vocals, it is more intimacy and warn. He uses some vibrato in his singing. Drum beat opens the second verse. The singing is faster. The backing vocals are richer.
The second chorus is longer and more melodical. The rhythm changes a bit, and it is taken into more gospel direction. The bridge is based on excellent backing vocals, the contrast between the voices create a special atmosphere. The chorus that comes after is more acoustic, with almost no production at the background.
The song ends with choir singing.
Toms is a talented vocalist. I just feel this song should be revamped: The basis is very good, but I just need more elements besides the backing vocals.

Personal Ranking

  1. Luīze – You To Hold Me
  2. Inspo – Sway
  3. Patrisha – Hush
  4. Sudden Lights – Aijā
  5. Adriana Miglāne – Like I Wanna
  6. Toms Kalderauskis – When It All Falls
  7. 24. Avēnija – You Said
  8. Avéi – Let Me Go
  9. Justs – Stranger
  10. Raum – Fake Love
  11. Katrine Miller – Beaten Down
  12. Markus Riva – Forever
  13. Alise Haijima – Tricky
  14. Artūrs Hatti – Love Vibes

Prediction

In general, I think the competition is open this year.
It seems like the results will be determined by the liver performances.
I can mention the following names as potential winners:

  • Inspo – “Sway”
  • Sudden Lights – “Aijā”
  • Luīze – “You To Hold Me”
  • Patrisha – “Hush”
  • Justs – “Stranger”

Who is your personal winner of “Supernova 2023“?
Who will represent Latvia at Eurovision 2023?

Doron Lahav is 28 years old guy who lives in Israel. Doron watches Eurovision Song Contest since early 2000s. Doron works as a Data Scientist and also shows interest in singing and writing.

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