The Hungarians have sent a good song to Eurovision. Not a song that’s viable at Eurovision, mind, but nevertheless a good song.
Here’s ByeAlex and “Kedvesem.”
Indie singer-songwriter ByeAlex reminds us of Sufjan Stevens. Now there’s a comparison I never thought I’d make on a Eurovision blog. “Kedvesem” (Google translate: Dear) is a gentle, introverted number, and it creates a mood. It feels like the soundtrack to a stroll by the river on a Sunday in Spring. And how cute is that animated backdrop?
Much as we like it, we are pessimistic “Kedvesem” will fare well on the international stage. It’s a subtle piece, and there is a risk that subtlety will fall flat when 20 other numbers are scrambling to shake viewers by the shoulders, yelling “pay attention to meeeee.” Also, Alex is pitchy in this performance. Whether this is Alex or a weakness of A Dal’s sound mix remains be seen. (Last year, Compact Disco sounded awful at A Dal, but they were fine in Baku.)
Something interesting is happening in Hungary. This is the second year in a row that Hungary has selected a Eurovision song from an alternative music artist. Hungarians aren’t going for “Eurovision songs” and they’re not going for “radio-friendly” songs; they’re just picking cool songs from cool artists. How refreshing.
Other lingering thoughts:
- Hungary’s A Dal, as a song contest, doesn’t yet have the depth that we see in Estonia’s Eesti Laul, but it follows through with what it has. Eesti Laul, post-Malcolm Lincoln, has had its share of alt entries that it rejected in favor of something safe. A Dal, in contrast, has had its share of safe entries that it rejected in favor of something alt.
- Shout out to Kállay Saunders András, who with his doo-wop number “My Baby” served up one of our favorites from this year’s national selection season. Totally retro, but charming from start to finish.