Norway has decided on Carl Espen and “Silent Storm” for Copenhagen.
Before a single vote had been cast at the Norway Melodi Grand Prix, “Silent Storm” had been flagged by close observers as a possible winner for the whole darn thing. This based on the audio track released by the MGP producers before the national competition. The betting markets responded, and Norway was established as a front runner in the Eurovision outrights betting.
That’s a lot of pressure for a guy with virtually no professional music experience. Prior to the MGP Espen had entered a few local music contests, but he had been making his living as a carpenter and doorman for a rock club in Bergen. But Carl Espen built up his confidence over the course of the MGP, and by the final delivered a performance that did the song proud.
“Silent Storm” was written specifically for Carl Espen by his cousin, Josefin Winther, herself a recording artist who now lives in London. The strength of the song is in its lyric, which seems very much like the feelings of a strong, silent type put to paper. As sung by Espen’s heady tenor/falsetto it feels very personal and very honest. The melody in the refrain repeats itself three times, and then resolves. If done well, that type of repetition makes a song memorable; if done poorly, the repetition betrays a lack of ideas. Here it’s done well.
“Silent Storm” is a contender. At MGP, the team was smart to keep him looking working class. You get what they’re going for, and then that beautiful lyric does the rest. Success for Norway will largely depend on how well Espen handles the pressure of being a front runner during the Eurovision fortnight. Stray from the path but a little, there are many other ballads eager to take his place.