Friday 31 January 2020

Denmark 2020 - Maja Og De Sarte Sjæle - Den Eneste Goth I Vejle

When the traditionally beige list of Danish songs were announced last night there was one title that perked the attention of more than a few of us. Did that really say "The Only Goth In Vejle"? Turns out that not only were our suppositions true, but that Maja And The Delicate Souls (although a good dozen other translations are available) were a smashing jangly indie folk act that really sounded like they ought to be Scottish.

We really couldn't be that lucky, could we?

So when we finally got passed the track last night at about 2:30am we were truly gladdened by what an absolute little smasher it was. A rattly two-stringed gothy pop riff underlaid a graceful, lilting vocal and a smashing innocently happy melody, while the odd snatch of the words that we could easily translate hinted at an incredibly smart lyric. And then it happened...

OK, so referencing the band who should no longer be mentioned is perhaps a risky move, especially as there'll be some dullard who bleats 'plagiat!' and tries to get it DQ'd, (no, not THAT DQ!), but it's phrased slightly differently and using a significantly different melody so we should be alright. And anyway, who ever dobbed on the Fire/Higher/Desire mob for their constant rehashing of the same bloody phrase.

It would be a beautiful thing if the Danes see sense and send this to Rotterdam. I have an aching suspicion that they won't, but fair play for sending it DTF in an arch and over-complicated selection system that could have seen it lost before we got a chance to see it performed live. It's no world-beater, for sure, but it'd be a lovely point of difference among the attack of the clones that we've had to endure so far.

Thursday 30 January 2020

Ukraine 2020 - Jerry Heil - Vegan

It's all looking a bit dour so far this year, with its plethora of sadbois and Fuego clones - so thank heavens for the Ukrainians, whose semi-final selections are looking more exciting with each new reveal. And this is one that we've got particularly high hopes for here at Apocalypse Heights.

Heil is a pretty well known face back home. Starting out as a YouTube star, she successfully carried her career onto the world of pop proper, and specialises in fabulous youth-facing pop froth with a slightly subversive edge, kind of in the vein of a Katy Perry or a Taylor Swift, only with a massive knowing wink to the viewers back home.

So all being well she could be ideal for this funny old contest, especially as her song hits the pop culture zeitgeist bang on - but it's another one that's all down to the live performance, and the reception of those grumpy old judges - but we reckon she's got the attitude to carry it through.

Wednesday 29 January 2020

Belarus 2020 - Sasha Zakharik - Rocky Road

We thought we were done with Monday's lot from White Russia, but there's been one song that been burrowed so deeply into our psyche ever since that we just had to share the strange, wonky joy with you. I'll warn you though, because just like those Lithuanian Basketball Players, this tune is a bit like a disease - but a highly enjoyable one that you really won't mind catching for a bit.

It might be corny and dinky donky, with a vastly repetitive chorus and sung in a curious deep warbling voice, but there's something so innocently enjoyable about this little romp. It's the musical equivalent of a slightly overweight local policeman walking through the streets of a small rural village on a sunny Spring afternoon while waving at children. And it's almost impossible to hear without swaying from side to side involuntarily.

And Sasha here's a true pro. She may look like she's just wandered in on a break from her office job, but she delivers the fun with much aplomb and poise, even managing to incorporate instructions to the sound desk into her minimal happy-go-lucky dance routine. It's almost as if we've been thrown back in time to the early days of Sheena Easton, and the legendary DJ John Peel's corralling his formative Sheena Barmy Army in an utterly un-ironic manner to encourage us to throw aside our artistic pretensions and just enjoy the fun, dumb, happy music for what it is.

And do you know what the best thing is? This was actually one of the 12 Eurofest final qualifiers, so we'll be seeing it again - although this time probably in a posher frock and with a few bouncy dancers kicking their heels about. Altogether now... "I'm OK on this rocky road..."

Tuesday 28 January 2020

Ukraine 2020 - [Ó] - Tam, Kudy Ya Ydu

Ukraine appear to be embracing their inner cool upon their return to the fold this year. Not only are Fo Sho and Tvorchi bringing an unexpected urban flavour, but Jerry Heil promises some cracking ironic power pop, Moonzoo are always reliable for some artsy dance, while Go-A are bringing the 4am-on-a-dusty-beach minimal trance - and there's plenty more goodies besides.

But we're rather enjoying this somewhat leftfield dancy pop number from an act whose name we won't even begin to try to pronounce until we've heard at least three people say it with confidence. It's bouncy, bright, and offers rhythms less trodden for this contest - and in a rare move these days, a pretty well considered use of trumpet.

It's one of those songs where we can't wait to see what they do with live - it could either be an utter fun explosion, or a cool laid back groove, but either way it should be an absolutely cracking opening to the whole Vidbir process, and we suspect they've been given the opening slot of semi one for a very good reason!

Monday 27 January 2020

Belarus 2020 - Chakras - La-Ley-La

You can never fully predict who the jury are going to put through from the audition stages in Belarus. A few songs that we thought were dead certs are nowhere to be seen in the final dozen, while some performances that we assumed were dead in the water have somehow made it in under the wire. But there is one of the twelve that both surprised and gladdened us.

Chakras here were smart. They took advantage of going on bang after the interval to use the down time to familiarise themselves with the stage and go through their act. Not that there's much to it - it's simply three singy ladies in flimsy dressing gowns warbling the syllables 'La-Ley-La' over and over again in ever more drifty ways, while a serious bloke in black at the side filled in the deep bits.

Oh, there was a quaint little birdwhistle bit at the start, and some incongruous jaw harp every now and again, but in the main it was floaty nice piece of new age nonsense that'll have the judges reaching for the rule books as to exactly what constitutes a lyric. Actually, we want them to get through just so that we can see the words all written out in the official programme!


Oh my days did this lot ever bring it live! Only the traditional, erm, eccentric Belarussian points accounting kept them from representing their nation in Rotterdam. Absolute damn!

Belarus 2020 - Pavloni - Stones Of My Soul

Often times people ask us here at Apocalypse why we go to the trouble of sitting through three-and-a-half hours of mediocre Belrussian auditions in a Monday morning. Is it some kind of self-flagelation, they enquire? No, it's much better than that. It's like diving for pearls. You'll get oyster after oyster that's perfectly formed yet has no shiny sea jewel at its heart. And then you'll get one like this. A true pearl of Eurovisionia.

There's a lot to unpack here. Why does she have her coat on, for starters? It's not Christmas Top Of The Pops, after all, and she certainly won't feel the benefit when she goes out into the harsh January Minsk afternoon. Then she begins to sing. Well we say sing, but it's something roughly approximating the description. But then the really sweet stuff begins to happen.

We won't spoil all the surprises, but this really is one of those once a year moments that'll have you peaking through your fingers from behind the sofa, but heartily applauding the performer for her splendid efforts at the end. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you... Pavloni! Treasure this moment!

Belarus 2020 - Absolem Cloud - It's OK

The live audition stream in Belarus is a thing of complete and utter beauty, and has become something of a right of passage for the most committed ESCophile. And it's happening right now as we type - although we're on something of a teabreak at the moment. Rumour has it that they've sifted out the most hapless and hopeless this year, but that certainly doesn't mean that we've been cheated of a whole gaggle of wonky treats.

You've still got lots of people who look like they've just wandered in off the streets, strangling the English language with unsophisticated school play presentations, and a lot of ladies in evening frocks and swollen faces warbling aimlessly through rambling ballads. But you've also got a few small treats in amongst them. And an early example was these two lads.

Looking like they'd nipped out between lessons at the sixth form college, the singing lad mumbles, and the hairy lad toots aimlessly into one of those tooty keyboard thing, and it all sets us up lovely for the strangeness ahead. Don't worry, there's much more where this came from!

Sunday 26 January 2020

Lithuania 2020 - Bernardas – Dad, Don’t Be Mad At Me

While the last qualifying heat in Lithuania appeared to be backed full with either dreary, earnest singers, or people trying just that little bit too hard to be wacky, there was one song that really got under our collective skin and we're absolutely gutted that it didn't proceed any further. But it didn't get its hooks into us immediately.

When it first started up, the shadowy lighting, old fashioned plinky plonk piano and over-ennunciated vocal delivery made us scoff a little bit. But gradually it lured us in, and before we knew it the entire Apocalypse sofa was stooped forward, staring deeply into the soul of Bernadas as he delivered one of the most personal and emotional performances of the year so far - and probably a couple of years before that, too.

Certainly it had its rough edges, and some of the cheesy lines at first made you stifle a giggle. But as it progressed and those lines repeated you started to understand what it was that he was on about and really warm to his story. In many ways he was like the anti-Salvador - considered, strained, and a little bit like a song from a musical that hasn't yet been made. But despite his complete points blank from a stuffy jury that appears to abhor any kind of character in a song, if Bernardas here managed to connect to even one kid at home who could identify with the song and realise that they were not alone, then I think that's job done.

It's just a shame that it's the last we'll be seeing of it.

Friday 24 January 2020

Moldova 2020 - Tudor Bumbac - Te Am Văzut În Vis Pe Tine

Anyone who's been following this blog for a while will know that we're absolute suckers for an old boy singing a sentimental song about the old days in a crumbly voice. And the absolute prince at this is Moldova's Tudor Bumbac.

But despite the recent slight rule change (that we like to call The Law of Bognibov) that means we don't get to see all of the declared songs audition any more, he still ploughs on regardless - this year telling us about somebody he saw in a dream at some point in the past.

It's an absolute splendid little of old time plinky plonky loveliness. I'd love to think the old fella warbles these songs in the corner of a restaurant in the Bessarabian grasslands three times a week, and if anyone has any intel that he actually does this we'll be there in a shot!

Thursday 23 January 2020

Finland 2020 - Erika Vikman - Cicciolina

YLE have been doing a weird thing tonight where all of a sudden a UMK song will pop up on YouTube, before disappearing as quickly as it appeared. Fortunately some bright spark thought to bung this one up on Vimeo quick smart, so we'll be able to enjoy it for at least a few more moments until the Finnish telly people get it dragged down.

So what can we expect here then? Well a song about a notorious Hungaro-Italian porn star politician was always going to be ripe fruit for some lyrical liveliness. But with lines that include poetry like "When you have currency under your blouse" and "When I want you will go on your knees in front of me" this one's going to get a few folks at the EBU more than a little hot under the collar if it makes it through.

But ignoring all of that, it's a cracking old time schlager pop romp, with familiar vocal lines, and enough joy in it to make it so happily worthwhile. With all the arch seriousness we're getting to far this year we need a good old fashioned brains off, arms up pop banger with a slightly subversive edge to keep us all in the party mood. Woo. And indeed hoo.

Moldova 2020 - VoviAN - 10 Minuni Are Moldova

It's become a rule of thumb in recent years that the songs you most want to see played out live in the auditions are the ones most likely to be assigned to the bin before they even get pushed in front of a camera. And we really fear that's going to be the case with this splendid little outsider number.

The VoviAN boys here talk us through the ten wonders of Moldova in willowy voices and in front of what sounds like a pre-programmed Bontempi beat, and you would just love to see what visual concept they had planned for it if it got to the properly televised stages. Our guess would be stand awkwardly in silver suits and maybe step from side to side occasionally. But we fear we'll never know.

We also fear that we'll never know what these ten wonders are. So if anyone out there is well versed in Moldovan or Romanian who'd like to give us something of a translation we'll be very happy puppies.

It's acts like this that we do this blog for. They fully deserve to be remembered forever, long after the glitzy singers have been sent to the big show. For they embody the very spirit of this time of year. The innocent hope that maybe there's just a chance that they might get on the telly. And we wholeheartedly applaud them for it!

Wednesday 22 January 2020

Ukraine 2020 - Fo Sho - BLCK SQR

Oh my days Ukraine, you've woken the slumbering giant of ESC 2020 right up! We're not quite sure how all this came to be, but we're so glad it did, because Fo Sho have just delivered the most glorious low slung portion of street knowledge that we've heard at this contest in a darned long time.

The three Endale sisters are tapping that turn of the century West Coast vibe, but belting their own smart and sassy contemporary voices all over it. Man, if you don't find yourself slowly nodding your head in time with this you truly have no soul.

We have no idea how well it'll do in a semi-final, but we do have fears. So Ukraine, do the right thing - cancel Vidbir and just send this. The continent deserves it so! At least Jamala won't be there to ask them any awkward questions about Ukrainiansim, we suppose...


Despite a face-meltingly stunning performance, this one middled out with both jury and punter and failed to make the final three. Still, we've got a new face Ukrainian rap act now, so all is not lost!

Czechia 2020 - Benny Cristo – Kemama

The Czech selection is a bit like a mini macrocosm of contemporary Eurovision. You've got your character-led tropical pop of Elis Mraz and Čis T giving out all the wannabe Fuego chemicals, a sadboi at a piano from Karelll (three Ls, remember), the try hard tricksters who've delivered a sadly usual boy group plod in We All Poop, the glacial spine-tingler from Barbora Mochowa and the standard sounds-a-bit-Swedish faux mystical mid tempo job from Olga Lounová. Heck, they've even got yet another vaguely Eilish flavoured romp from Pam Rabbit.

But there's one song that's slipped almost completely under the radar from nearly every front that I reckon would do a lovely job on stage in Rotterdam. And that's the quietly fabulous Benny Cristo here with his Iron Maiden t-shirt and massive party atmosphere. When everyone else is giving it the Eurogenre cookie cutter treatment, young Benny here is ploughing his own groove and doing a spectacularly effective fist of it.

He's clearly got a hard job on his hands, as each faction of Eurovisionia seems to be backing their own archetypes heavily, and, well, who knows what the folks at home in České Budéjovice and Hradec Králove will make of his less traditional stylings. But there's always the chance that all the others will cancel each other out and something fresh and original will creep its way through the middle to take the prize. Well, we can hope at least. But however well the lad does in the influencing app vote, one thing's for sure - we're rather glad he's there!

Tuesday 21 January 2020

Moldova 2020 - Dianna Rotaru - Dale Dale

One of the absolute pleasures of this time of year it not just when the Moldovan hopefuls get announced - which is a splendid joy all its own - but when clips of them performing their tunes on cosy daytime TV shows begin to emerge. Our Sasha is a past master at these skincrawlingly odd television moments, but our Dianna here seems to have taken awkward to a whole new level.

Appearing on a pre-Christmas episode of Vorbe Bune, the singer puts in something of a post-watershed performance, thrusting and twerking as she mimes her admittedly somewhat contendery Fuego-lite concoction, while our everywomen host Lilu dances awkwardly on the sofa, sometimes looking visibly perplexed at some of the sexual gyrating happening before her.

And it gets even better when Ms Rotaru misses her cue on a couple of occasions, pre-empting the vocals on the track - although to her credit she handles it like a true pro, ignoring the fact it even happened. Pure car crash TV, I could watch this over and over again!

Ooh, and another thing - what the heck is that massive Santa Gonk on stilts thing that separates the two ladies on that garish festive set? It's flipping terrifying!

Monday 20 January 2020

Lithuania 2020 - Abrokenleg – Electric Boy

Now obviously when we saw that there was an act called Abrokenleg in the Lithuanian process we had to check out their back catalogue for potential funs. And we weren't entirely let down. But rather than the pop noise we were expecting, we found a load of unexpectedly quaint and smart dream pop. None of which, of course, prepared us for this...

Kicking off with a weird, brooding and over-ununciated intro from an elfin living doll, the song swiftly switched gears into a right old stomp, her breathy diction deliberately making the flesh crawl on each repeated recitation of the song's title.

The whole package resulted in an awkward, beautifully unsettling little mix up that seemed to mildly alienate both juries and punters alike, who all seemed to prefer the blandness that night. So we thought we'd better save it for posterity in the Apocalypse annals of glory, as it was a much better attempt than its lowly points table position merited.

Oh, and if you were wondering, we tried a QR reader on her frock and it didn't work. Missed opportunity!

Sunday 19 January 2020

Lithuania 2020 - Twosome - Playa

Remember these larky lads from last year? They got onto these pages with a boisterous tune called 1000. If you recall, they tried extra hard to be wacky, but still came across as a bit loveable despite all that.

Well this year they're back, and what's more they've brought with them a right earworm of a chorus.

It's still terribly try hard - from the dumb name to the hapless dancing to the comedy pratfalls - but they're still somehow immensely likeable in among all the silliness, and I for one will have the line "I'm a Lithuanian basketball player" stuck in my brain for at least the next eight years - minimum!

The jury, of course, hated them, despite the punter love, so they've been doomed to another year in the first round dustbin. So once again this will be their only home from this day forward. But only watch it if you've got a strong disposition for avoiding hooky choruses. Altogether now... "I'm a... gaaaaaah!!!"

Thursday 16 January 2020

Portugal 2020 - Bárbara Tinoco - Passe-Partout

It's been an absolute delight to see how beautifully buoyed the Portuguese have been since their Salvador moment, and how they've stopped trying to be Eurovision and have just started being their own beautiful selves. And this was clearly evident in yesterday's FdC reveal. A mostly chilled playlist of breezy tunes and idiosyncratic pop, the whole slate of songs was a delight from start to finish. But the one that truly stood out to us was this little gem.

Barely out of her teens, young Bárbara here offers us a blistering jangly jazz pop romp that seems to namecheck half the greats of European art, music and philosophy along the way - from Méliès to Molierè, via Piaf, Duchamp and Django Reinhardt - all in a voice that at once displays her youthful innocence and optimism, yet suggests a knowingness and intelligence in the phrasing and delivery that belies her age.

The song itself is penned by the equally charismatic Tiago Nacarato, himself a fellow Voice of Portugal alumnus, and the whole package begs a cool, breezy, street performer vibe - and we've no doubt that the girl's got the moxy to pull this off live. We really wouldn't be unhappy to see this one get to Rotterdam - although to be honest we could say the same of a good 85% of its competitors too!

Wednesday 15 January 2020

Portugal 2020 - Blasted - Rebellion

When we heard that those Portuguese stadium rave monsters Blasted Mechanism were going to be involved in this year's FdC in some way we became just a little bit excited. Because if you check out their history on YouTube they're been involved in some incredibly catchy and ridiculously visual happenings over the last dozen or so years. So this morning we've been waiting by our screens all excited and anticipatious about what might about to be revealed.

And then it finally was. And we let out a little sad sigh.

While there's no doubting that our Outside Of Eurovision world we'd be going batshit bonkers down the front at 4am in some dodgy continental warehouse to this, it just doesn't offer the same hugely dancey trance pop swagger that most of their back catalogue can offer. And while in their natural environment they can more than afford to having a long, atmospheric build up before dropping  the big blinding beats, in this forum it's all a little disjointed and takes way too long to reach an unsatisfying resolution. Maybe that's why they dropped the Mechanism from their name for this project, but it's all just a little bit disappointing, sadly.

Nevertheless, they're almost certain to offer us a pretty amazing three minutes for the eyes on show night - we hope - it's just a shame that we didn't get the massive laid back grooves that this mob are so famous for. File under: Great act, missed opportunity. That folder's getting a bit too full for our liking!

Tuesday 14 January 2020

Moldova 2020 - Sasha Bognibov - Big Brother

It's been a slow start to the 2020 season, and that what we've already had has all seemed a bit usual. So it was about time that our guardian angel The Everlasting Boy came down to Earth to save us. And boy has it done us proud this year.

Teaming up with songwriter Jacob Jonia (not the bloke behind Fenders’ 1986 MGPDK stomper Vild Med Eventyr, surely?), his sound is definitely maturing, as this time he offers us a treatise on how our every thought and action is being watched and controlled by the people at the other end of our devices. It's a proper goth-tinged minor key pop rock stomper with hefty slices of autotune to add a more contemporary flavour - but still never losing our Sasha's signature fragile warbling that endears us to him so.

Every year we say it, but surely he's getting nearer and nearer to a spot on his televised national finals process - heck, they practically changed the rules mid-stream last year to keep him out - but you can't keep a phenomenon down. One day. One day.

Always Love you.


It transpires  that not only is Jacob the writer of the aforementioned Danish finalist, but he also wrote the 1987 Danish entry proper, En Lille Melodi. This story gets better and better!

Monday 13 January 2020

Lithuania 2020 - Donata Virbilaitė - Made Of Wax

Here's one that didn't make it in Lithuania on Saturday, and while on the one hand you can quite see why, on the other it's a real shame. Just taking the bare ingredients it was always going to struggle. A hackneyed and over-sanitised Motown pastiche with a ludicrous maguffin and a breathless delivery it might have had, but look a little deeper into the lyric and this was actually rather a smart song.

So it's a shame that the quirkiness factor was turned up to twelve, as it's the kind of presentation that usually acts as Kryptonite to the sober-minded juries. And that dress didn't help much either. To you and me it was another smart little touch, and so unflattering that it came out the other side as pure genius. But the normals out there just didn't get it.

Damn shame that we're not getting to see where else they could have taken this, but one suspects that this isn't the last we'll be seeing of La Donata, and we can't wait to discover what she's got for us next!

Sunday 12 January 2020

Lithuania 2020 - Meandi - Drip

We were out on punk rock business last night, so missed all the Lithuanian first night fun. So having a trawl through Twitter this morning we were expecting that this yellowy little number was going to be a real treat. Imagine our dismay when we actually saw the thing though.

A fella just about old enough to know better affecting a poor generic rap voice in front of a faux funky backing and a whole big dollop of 'watch this, I'm mad me'. And you know how much we dislike those kind of try-hard japes here.

But wait!

As the song progressed it kind of burrowed its way under our leathery carapace and we started digging it in ways we hadn't imagined. Admittedly all the best bits were at the end when our highly slappable frontman wasn't doing anything and it was just the unfeasibly tall bloke at the back dual-mic'ing and waking into a banging laid back daisy age groove, but hey!

It's the kind of song that'll build a head of bandwagon steam as the series goes on, but then crash and burn at the last or last-but-one hurdle when everyone realises they've been doing the same bloody thing week after week. However, up to that point we'll happily endure the dire first 90 seconds for the smashing diggable bit at the end. I think we're definitely back on a roll now!

Friday 10 January 2020

Latvia 2020 - Madara - Māras Zeme

"It all seemed so innocent when they invited us into the woods. I mean, we'd seen that Midsommar film, but you know, that kind of thing only happens in Sweden, right?

This ageless woman with a cello said it would be OK. She could have been sixteen or she could have been sixty. She had such a calming voice that we just couldn't say no to her. But it was when the middle aged man that we hadn't noticed before started rubbing his drum furtively that we began to worry. And then when the lady next to him appeared to begin some kind of crochet activity on a skateboard we knew that we had to leave. And quickly.

The elfin woman with the dreads struck the first blow. The boy with the gong just stared blankly at us and everything began to turn a strange shade of red. To this day I'm not sure how I got out. Maybe it was a as warning to others. Maybe a lure. But I know that if I ever hear that sweet sonorous song again I'll... wait, what? Oh no... look away, children. Look away..."

Thursday 9 January 2020

Latvia 2020 - Alise Haijama - Me Me Song

So the Supernova songs escaped last night, and at first listen there's not a whole lot that's grabbing us. There's a whole slew of people who are wilfully mistaking 'minimal' for 'dreary', a couple of recidivist desperadoes who must have decided that their only way to the big ESC stage was to get Aminata on board, despite their collective lack of subtle delivery, and the usual gaggle of geezers in hats and waistcoats who always seem to insist that this makes them some how more authentic than the poppier acts.

It wasn't until the very last song on the list that our ears perked and our eyes sharpened - although it was probably for all the wrong reasons. For while Me Me Song certainly stands out from the crowd, it does it in the same way as a bad wig or an ill-fitting glass eye.

Indeed, so knuckle-gnawlingly awkward is this song that our initial thoughts were that it surely must be from some kind of Silvia Night flavoured parody act. But a little digging found that our suspicions were in fact unfounded and this was an actual real person, with a short X Factor career and a dodgy Twitter history behind her.  But we're generous folks here, so we're giving her the benefit of the doubt here and suspecting that there must be some kind of knowing wink involved here, because surely, SURELY nobody could appear to rhyme 'heinous' with 'anus' in a song this cringeworthy and be totally straight up serious about it? Surely?

Friday 3 January 2020

Lithuania 2020 - Andy Vaic - Why Why Why

The list of runners and riders for Lithuania has been declared this morning, and it's the usual list of familiar old faces, highly promising new ones, and absolutely batshit song titles. Of the familiar, Aistė Pilvelytė is giving it what must be her 300th go, last year's glorious breakout freakazoid Alen Chicco is back for another bout of costume changes, plod rockers Glossarium are back with some more riffs, and even dear old Indraya has popped up from the past, alongside a whole load of other didn't-quite-get-out-of-a-recent-semi hopefuls.

Of the promising newcomers, White Crows will hopefully bring some loud-soft-loud poppy jangle, Abrokenleg could either be cooky alt pop fun or accursed wacky funk, and Evgenya Redko looks like she could provide this season's Fuego lite fankind excitement. There's a close harmony gospel mob called The Backs, and a dreary dad pop act called The Roop, who worryingly appear to be pretty big in the home country. Heck, they've even got an opera singer, one Viktorija Miškūnaitė, in an attempt to play just like the big boys.

Many of the song titles are a treat too, and one suspects we'll be seeing a few of them on these very pages in the coming weeks. We've got cheery tunes like 'Don't Kill Yourself', 'Dad, Don't Be Mad', 'Made Of Wax' and 'Electric Boy', as well as another 'Alligator' - which we're beginning to think must be a play on words around those parts, and even a 'Solarium'. Cripes!

But out of all of these, just the one song has made itself known so far, and that's this one. It's a cheery kind of hipster shuffle with a halfway nonsensical lyric by a young Oxford student - so he should know better with the words! It might even tap into that recent need to have at least one geeky looking lad shuffling about on the big Eurovision stage. Although having said that, it's been out since early November, and the decently-made video has only had just under 8000 views in all that time. But he was a member of the vaguely popular folksy indie band Kūjeliai, so he must have some associated cache.

But that's by the by - the songs and the artists are finally beginning to trickle in, and this long-stuttering on season appears to finally be under way - and for that we applaud you, Mr Vaic!