Iceland’s preview video for their 2016 song ‘Hear Them Calling’ apes Sweden’s winning stage production last year. ‘Hear Them Calling’ is up-tempo drama with smatterings of ethic pipes and drums. And that’s all.
It’s perfectly fine and all that, but it doesn’t flick any switches. In that respect this year’s song has similar impact as last year’s Icelandic song did, and that failed to qualify. Will the same thing happen this year for Iceland?
But, as with other countries, it’s worth reminding yourself that Eurovision can be a cruel beast, failing to recognise the good in songs and occasionally abandoning them at the bottom of the table. Take Iceland’s 2010 entry ‘Je Ne Sais Quoi‘ (19th), a fantastically crafted up-tempo dance number that has lasted longer than the contest it competed in. The ballad version is even more delectable.
‘Open Your Heart‘ (8th, 2003) is another good one from Iceland, so too ‘If I Had Your Love‘ (failed to qualify). Their second place in 1999 with the song ‘All Out Of Luck‘ is an oddity I had forgotten about until I started writing this review, and one I’d recommend is forgotten about from hereonin. ‘Is It True‘, their only other highest place in the contest, is undoubtedly the best entry in their 30 Eurovision canon. But, my favourite still remains their 1987 entry, the achingly sweet, ‘Hægt og hljótt‘ (16th).