Welcome back to our ‘Possible Artists’ series, where we look at who should try their luck at representing their country in the upcoming Eurovision! After looking at France and Ukraine, we’ve turned back to Western Europe and my own personal homeland of Ireland. Here, we currently hold the record for the most wins in the overall Contest, but in recent years Ireland has failed to qualify for the final three times in a row, with Nicky Byrne garnering the country’s worst result in Eurovision altogether. Many have put it down to the dull stagings, monotonous songs and the general lack of care from the Irish delegation. However, what can RTÉ do to rectify this drought of non-qualification?
The first thing we’d do here at ESC Views would internally select a strong singer with a haunting song, as previous years have shown that this genre has paid off and led to good results (i.e. Loïc, Jamala, Common Linnets, Anouk etc). The first Irish artist to come to mind would be Áine Cahill. The singer from the northern county of Cavan may only be a young and budding artist, but has as an astounding command on her voice and has proven to be one of the most prominent up-and-coming Irish artists; even being named one of the best performances at Glastonbury this year. This song – the atmospheric, soul-stirring ‘Black Dahlia’ – is a perfect fit for next year’s Eurovision. Based on the tragic story of Elizabeth Short, the self-penned ‘Black Dahlia’ is an emotive song that keeps your attention and stays with you long after the song is finished. There are hints of Lorde and Adele throughout the number which really add to the airy drama. This may seem strangely misfitting for a song Contest like Eurovision in general; however, with many countries aiming to follow a trend focused on telling a story, I could definitely see a song like ‘Black Dahlia’ worming its way to Kyiv in 2017….and who better to perform it than the gorgeous Áine Cahill?
Should Áine pass up the opportunity, Artist #2 on out list would be Orla Gartland. The singer-songwriter gained popularity in recent years thanks to posting covers on Youtube and being scouted by record labels. This little tune -‘Souvenirs’ – is comparably more upbeat than ‘Black Dahlia’, but still tells a story about people recalling their past memories and the struggle to remain remembered.It’s a very indie-pop sort of song that tells a story but isn’t so heart-rending. Not to mention, it would be a hit with both the juries and the televote, as the song is catchy and relatable enough for the public to vote for it; while the song’s musical composition and general sound would make it appealing to the juries. The only question is – what’s the downside? At the risk of sounding horribly unpatriotic, RTÉ never delivers itself well in staging and I feel that it would end up screwing the song over in the long run. Just listening to the song gives one the starting blocks to imagining the staging for a song like this; nowhere near the atrocity that RTÉ pulled off with Sinéad Mulvey and Black Daisy, but rather more colourful and bright. However, is it possible for RTÉ to rectify its mistakes with some kick-ass staging for a brilliant song like this? Time will have to tell…..if a song like this gets selected, of course!
Here are a few other artists that we think should represent Ireland at Eurovision next year:
Maria Kelly – “Stitches” (I mentioned this artist back in 2015, and now Maria is starting to break out into the wider world of music, so I would really give this beautiful song a listen!)
Walking on Cars – “Speeding Cars”
Lisa Hannigan – “Fall”
Ilias Kozantinos from Cyprus: I would love to see Molly Sterling return to Eurovision. I fell in love with her when she represented Ireland in Vienna, and I miss her!
Svana Lístí Agnarsdóttir from Iceland: Aine Cahill would be fantastic for going to Kiev! She does other songs like “White Piano”, and I love that just as much as I do ‘Black Dahlia’. She’s a great artist, I love her!
Florenza Micallef from Malta: Kodaline! They have amazing songs and everyone knows them! They get my vote every day!!
So that’s what we think, and what some fans think – but what are your thoughts? Would you like to see Áine, Orla or any other artists we recommended represent Ireland in Kyiv next year? If not, who would you prefer to see take to the stage for the Emerald Isle? Be sure to let us know what you think by commenting below!