Latvia’s Eurovision 2021 Entry

Let’s say you are part of the Latvian Eurovision delegation, and you are discussing your plans for the 2021 Song Contest. Last year’s Supernova winner and Eurovision scholar Samanta Tīna had finally earned her ticket on her ninth try. Do you even consider the possibility of having a national final instead of giving her a direct pass to Rotterdam? Especially when she busts into the room like this?

THE QUEEN

No, you sure as hell don’t.

Working again with Aminata, as well as with Oskars “SKVR” Uhaņs, Samanta has found a way to top the musical audacity of “Still Breathing” by a country mile. Given a second bite of the apple, she is willing to take huge risks and proudly display her confidence in her abilities as a performer and an artist.

“The Moon Is Rising” is entirely rhythmic. The beat is carried by a hiccuping vocal sample, some claps, sparse 808 drum beats, and a few percussive piano notes. There are a few musical flourishes adorning the arrangement: a guitar here, a blast of synthesized brass there. But they exist only to accentuate the vocal melody. I described “Still Breathing” last year as a song that requires a diva to sing it. “The Moon Is Rising” specifically requires Samanta Tīna to sing it.

It’s very bold, and she runs the real danger of going off the rails. I’m not worried about her ability to deliver vocally as much as I fret that she could come off as hammy instead of powerful. Then again, she has wanted this moment for so long, so maybe I shouldn’t doubt that she will make every second of that moment count.