With one day to go before Ireland makes its fateful decision for Eurovision 2023, we gathered some of the crew at ESCUnited to discuss the country’s options. What are our impressions of each song ahead of their live performances — and ultimately, who do we as a team want to see waving the Irish flag in May?

For these reviews, our contributors are:

  • David Popescu (Denmark)
  • Tyler Griffith (Alaska, United States)
  • Laoi (Ireland)
  • James Maude (California, United States)

ADGY – Too Good For Your Love

David:This is actually quite awesome, a VERY captivating beat and style, very modern and slick. Even the vocal performance goes very well with the overall instrumentation. Lyrically, it’s also catchy, but hard to focus on, a lot of interesting things going on so it becomes just slightly hard to remember something from the song.”


 Tyler: “Given Ireland’s track record, this honestly doesn’t sound like something Ireland would send to Eurovision. And maybe this is what they need to see the final again! I like the song, but I don’t LOVE it. I can see how this can do well though as a less douchier “yas man slay” anthem typical of “Lie to Me” or whatever Switzerland sent in 2019. This song is good! It has potential!”


Laoi: “This is a refreshingly modern pop bop, with the potential to really come alive on a stage. The punchy and uplifting instrumental succeeds in communicating the song’s moral — we, as listeners, are encouraged to be loud about our own self-confidence. There are no surprises here in terms of what you would expect from a fun club banger; however, Too Good For Your Love knows its goals and succeeds at meeting them. I am very curious to hear the addition of an Irish language section to this song — it could be the extra dash of creativity that brings ADGY’s track up a notch further.”


James: “A bang average moody post-break up club track. I am not sure what qualifies Adgy to be “too good” for the other person’s love, but at least he realizes it and is willing to move us along to the club for a drink. Granted, Adgy seems like the kind of guy who orders a gin ‘n tonic at the club, so don’t get too excited. However, this song is harmless, meaning it will be destroyed in the Semi-Finals and not qualify. Ultimately, this needs a bit of edge to generate interest.”


TOTAL: 29 Points (Average Rating: 7.33)

CONNOLLY – Midnight Summer Night

David:  “I feel like the song is going for them moody vibes, and it tries, but just never really gets me there. You can tell that vocally, it’s quite of high quality, but it just doesn’t pull in my personal interest, at least. Eventually, it becomes one of those serenades where your mind just fades along with the song.”


Tyler: “There’s an indiepop vibe a la Lana Del Rey that I can hear in this, and it’s honestly quite refreshing! The chorus is repetitive though, but the vibes this song gives is definitely my aesthetic. That all being said, the live performance is where this song will either sink or float, and I’m not sure if this is a qualifying song. I guess we’ll see!”


Laoi: “This track is absolutely brimming with potential, but needs a little further work to get there. Connolly’s vocals and the subdued, melancholy instrumental work together to create a palpable sense of foggy limbo — perfectly reflecting the song’s theme. Connolly has described Midnight Summer Night as a song intended to communicate the sense of losing track of time entirely, something she (and likely all of us) experienced over the last couple of years. The song’s lyrical repetition adds to this effect, however, a little less repetition would improve the overall experience. All in all, it’s a really great listen, which with a bit of revamping could bloom into something truly dreamy.”


James: “Like somebody made a Jammy Dodger out of Enya and Lana Del Rey, but somebody skimped on the jam to glue the two together in a powerful way. This is both ethereal and world-weary, and I can’t tell if this about a young girl with a world of possibility ahead of her who’s been told to hold on or a young girl wanting to leave a miserable world behind who’s been told to slip away into the darkness. Maybe it’s both? Which are existential questions that a fan should not really be asking themselves while wearing leather chaps at a song contest arena.”


TOTAL: 25.5 Points (Average Rating: 6.375)

Wild Youth – We Are One

David: “A great problem with both the vocals AND the music, it got FAR too loud! You have this powerful sound going on, and now long after you got these very loud and powerful vocals in, which tries to overdo the song, which then in return tries to stand over the vocals, and it stays like that. These two things need to be in harmony, NOT try to overshadow each other.”


Tyler: “For a song that fits into the ‘We’re All Different, But Plot Twist — We’re The Same Actually’ genre that Eurovision pioneers, the lyrics for this song are pretty decent! I’m 86% sure this would NQ for Ireland, but it’s at least a unique entry in Ireland’s catalog and they might get some televotes because of the band. The instrumentation is nice, the lyrics are okay, but I just feel like this song isn’t actually that unique to warrant going to Eurovision.”


Laoi: “Lyrically, this one veers dangerously close to cheesy. The Eurovision togetherness anthem is a well-trodden path, and one which will come across as too corny and earnest for many. As a result, We Are One does unfortunately come across as ‘made for Eurovision,’ despite the heart that the band has clearly put into the mixture. Nonetheless, it is still highly likable, featuring a satisfying build-up to its chorus and a great vocal performance from Conor O’Donoghue, who brings a welcome amount of grit. It’s a song built for its live performance in an arena, and it will likely shine brighter there than in studio.”


James: “A uniquely Irish pop rock anthem though its lyrics verge on the generic. I was surprised to learn they are in their early twenties as this band sound like contemporaries of U2 – not meant as an insult, but they are clearly influenced by them and have the confidence of a band that has been around the block a while. Whether a 2023 audience is receptive to his type of song remains to be seen, but if you like your pop tinged with arena rock, this is right up your alley.”


TOTAL: 21.5 Points (Average: 5.375)

Leila Jane – Wild

David: “Tempo-wise, it just goes up, down, up, down and up… and to make it worse, it’s more like Leila is trying to stand in tact with the music, rather than she is vocally in control. The song just swings maybe a bit too much, I like the build-up, but eventually I just fall off. Musically, it’s not that interesting either, slightly depressing actually.”


Tyler: “I liked the presentation for “Wild” in the music video, but I’m not sure if it’s something that could get televotes. I really enjoyed this song! It’s uplifting in an understated way, and I loved the beat too. The live will have to blow people away though, and I’m not aware enough of her as an artist to see if she can bring a bigger presence to the stage. Excited to see this performed! Do I think this would qualify? It’s a wild guess at this point!”


Laoi: “This is an effective, pleasant pop anthem with a great message about perseverance and self-advocacy in spite of challenges. The lyrics here are worth noting for affording some great depth to the package — a reference to Sylvia Plath’s Bell Jar excellently conveys the idea of a woman struggling to make her way in the world, but refusing to be trapped in that jar. Musically it doesn’t do anything unexpected, but it does deliver a very enjoyable, warm and energetic experience. It may not be a very competitive Eurovision entry, but it is a satisfying pop track with wide appeal.”


James: “A slick self-empowerment pop anthem. Nothing more. Nothing less. Not going to make the Grand Final if it wins Eurosong.”


TOTAL: 23 Points (Average Rating: 5.75)

K Muni & ND – Down In The Rain

David: “The boys here spitting em’ rhymes out here and there, for real, this is actually kinda cool. Some proper rap representation is damn awesome, unlike that trashy mumble crap we get nowadays. The sound is however, just like nowadays, the same sound re-used throughout the song, like this could’ve been fire with a proper hip-hop track!”


Tyler: “This song is a weird mix between whining about not being famous anymore, pumping themselves up for becoming famous again, getting attacked by “the left and the right” (lol), and then also talking about how some women can’t offer anything (!!!)? I’m not sure if I’m supposed to feel inspired by this song or not, but I’m not inspired by this rapping at all. Didn’t enjoy listening to this at all, hope they’re able to work on their issues and feelings outside of a Eurovision national final, good luck!”


Laoi: “It’s great to feature a genre never usually seen in Eurosong — and it helps that Down in the Rain is a solid, current-sounding song. As it goes on, the track does get a bit flat and needs more variation, particularly in regards to the guitar that is unchanging throughout. The purposefully monotonous, downbeat rhyme that finishes each chorus may also not appeal to some. Additionally, the inclusion of the lyric “some women offer nothing” is certainly a bit questionable. For all these faults, it is still incredibly welcome to have a song like this in the mix, which feels fresh, modern, and reflective of the breadth of genres that make up the Irish music scene.”


James: “It’d be a refreshing change to have some Afroswing at Eurovision. Those who want more personal stories behind their entries will be delighted by this tale of persevering through societal, business and personal troubles and coming through the other side victorious. Your mileage may vary based on your personal familiarity with the genre or whether you feel that this would work in the context of an international song contest. For the sake of sending something contemporary and new, Ireland can do far worse than send this, and hopefully fans not familiar with this genre (i.e. the older demographic who watch Ryan Tubridy) can at least give it a chance. It’ll be a great advertisement for the genre, and a greater advertisement for modern Ireland.”


TOTAL: 23 Points (Average Rating: 5.75)

Public Image Limited – Hawaii

David: “What an absolute poor attempt at a song, dreadful lyrics, an uncreative sound, lack of a wish to even attempt anything! Let’s just think of Hawaii and call that a day…”


Tyler: “The story behind this song is heart-breaking, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that overshadows parts of the song that I don’t like. I think the lyrics, while moving, are repetitive and the song feels a minute too long here. I liked the instrumentation, but felt repetitive after a while. I don’t think this would qualify either, so while I understand wanting to show this song to a wider audience, in terms of being an Eurovision song, this doesn’t work well. All the best, but I think choosing this song would be a mistake for Ireland.”


Laoi: “The idea behind Hawaii is beautiful — a loving tribute to John Lydon’s wife, who has sadly long-suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, and his memories of a holiday they shared years ago. While the story behind the song is poignant, and it is a song crafted with a lot of love, unfortunately its message isn’t communicated well by the song alone. Without foreknowledge of the thoughts behind Hawaii, it comes across as strange, empty and repetitive. The continuous “aloha’s” in this instance swiftly become hokey and awkward, rather than serving their intended bittersweet purpose. While its repetition may be viewed as a reflection of its sad story, that story will not be clear to all who listen; instead, Hawaii leaves the impression of a song that quickly runs out of ideas.”


James: “I am not going to comment on John Lydon as a person and the decades of dodgy views and personal misrepresentations. The focus should be on his wife Nora, who has been suffering with Alzheimer’s for years, and to whom this love letter is dedicated. It deserves a critique absent the antics of its author, as this song contains no essence of the divisive man. Nostalgia can often be cheap (recall those vapid “Remember when” social media posts your aunts share on Facebook), but here nostalgia is not cynical and is personal. Nostalgia for a place and a time where John and Nora had their best times, with John frantically repeating the memories in vain as Nora’s condition sets in and her memory of those moments degrades. It feels repetitive to the listener, which kind of hampers it for the purposes of a song contest, but it’s a powerful message on a horrible disease. A surprisingly mature and heartfelt effort from one of pop music’s most infamously immature men.”


TOTAL: 16 Points (Average Rating: 4)

The Verdict

With all of our scores totalled, here is our ranking:

  1. ADGY – Too Good For Your Love
  2. CONNOLLY – Midnight Summer Night
  3. Leila Jane – Wild 
  4. K Muni & ND – Down in the Rain (Joint 3rd place)
  5. Wild Youth – We Are One
  6. Public Image Ltd. – Hawaii

According to Team ESCUnited, Ireland should send ADGY to Liverpool! Do you agree with our pick? You can vote now in our poll to have your say on who you’d like to see Ireland select!

The Late Late Eurosong Special airs tomorrow, Friday the 3rd, on RTÉ One and the RTÉ Player at 21:35 GMT (22:35 CET).

Who are #YOU hoping Ireland will send to Liverpool 2023? Will you be tuning in to The Late Late Eurosong Special? Let us know on our forum HERE, comment below or on social media @ESCUnited!

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