Iceland’s Eurovision 2021 Entry

There was no Eurovision entry I was anticipating more this year than Daði og Gagnamagnið’s song. They captured the Song Contest zeitgeist last year with “Think About Things,” to the point that Strictly Come Dancing was still referencing it in promos for its fall 2020 season.

There was a bit of a bizarre backlash to the song, based on the idea that Netflix engineered it to go viral to help promote Will Farrell’s Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. Ahem, that’s the Oscar nominated Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. I thought the whole conspiracy story was without teeth, but as with any conspiracy stories, it had quite a few adherents who would have had fits if Iceland actually won last year.

Have I mentioned, speaking as an American, how tired I am of conspiracy stories?

Anyway, unlike the other Nordic countries, Iceland decided to eschew a national final and just send Daði og Gagnamagnið directly to Eurovision. They knew they had captured lightning in a bottle last year, and they had to hope Daði and his band of merry music makers would be able to recreate that magic with “10 Years.”

Before I get to the song, I have to address the official video for “10 Years.” I think it’s trying a bit too hard to replicate “Thing About Things” while making it just different enough to feel fresh. It doesn’t fully work for me, although that doesn’t mean I didn’t laugh out loud at its playful sense of humor.

Of course, I may just have been disappointed they weren’t wearing the  space Elvis jumpsuits.

However, that all doesn’t mean I’m not delighted by “10 Years.” It’s a charmingly wide-eyed love song for Daði’s wife Árnýja Fjóla Ásmundsdóttir (one of the electrokvinnaböske players in Gagnamagnið). It’s simple, it’s ebullient, and it shows that not everyone got COVID-divorced last year.

I am amused that Daði decided to take the subtle disco flourishes in “Think About Things” and make them more overt in “10 Years.” It actually makes a lot of sense. If the song lyrics are about unbridled joy, then what sounds more joyous than a really good disco song?

An aside: if you ever get a chance to drive around San Francisco at midnight while listening to Van McCoy’s “The Hustle,” do it. You will not be disappointed.

Like The Roop, Daði og Gagnamagnið faced the impossible task of recreating the buzz they had created last year, and they’ve made a valiant go of it. Even if I don’t believe they’ve re-engineered it as successfully as their Lithuanian colleagues, I still think they are delightful enough to make an impression in Rotterdam.