Latvia’s Supernova decides its final four qualifiers this evening, with eight more acts competing to reach the final on February 16th. Which acts should make it? Our editors deliberated over the runners and riders of semi-final 2…

Dziļi Violets ft. Kozmens – Tautasdziesma

James – 2 – “This one tries too hard to be avant garde. There’s a way to blend humor and music, and boy do entrants for Eurovision have a hard time pulling it off. This is no exception. “Love! It’s all about the love!” and “Dance! I don’t know how to dance!” repeated over and over again by deadpan hipsters and a guy in a kilt rap/mumbling is just irritating.”

Jordan – 1 – “No. No. No. No. No on every level, this is not for me what so ever. I just find the whole thing to be messy and uncoherent. It just doesn’t work. I’m sorry to the fans of this one because I’m sure there are people who like this, but I do not like this one what so ever.”

Sean – 10 – “This is utterly fantastic. It has Riga Beaver turned into an actual human wearing a kilt and spouting nonsensical French. The way this song builds up through the verses is fantastic, the slowly emanating guitars in the second chorus are top notch, and it’s a unique structure. It’s a hell of a catchy song to boot. I know some people won’t get this but this is high art.”

Total – 13

Peress – Smaragdi un pelni

James – 1 – “Takes 1:25 to get going when the bass drops on top of someone endlessly dinging the same note over and over again on the keyboard. The song is terrible, and there is nothing Kristine can do to redeem it. Apart from Peress herself, I can’t find anything to like about this. In the demo I thought Peress had issues with timing, but in the redo it seems those awkward pauses in her delivery are deliberate.”

Jordan – 1 – “I haven’t really got anything else to say about this song other than I really don’t like it. It just feels like she is shouting at me for three minutes. This just doesn’t work for me in the slightest. I’m sure she will have fans but for me this is an absolute no.”

Sean – 5 – “Wob, wob, wob, wob, wob, wob, wob. A pretty bland effort with an interesting electronic twist to salvage at least a few points. It doesn’t really go anywhere over the three minutes or tell a story, but if I’m just judging this as a song whether I’d listen to it again or not I’d say it’s certainly not dreadful, and worth another.”

Total – 7

Laika Upe – Listen To The Way That I Breathe

James – 1 – “Dreadful, overly simple indie-rock nonsense. The bass player is rocking out way too hard for a song this emo (and he does this in both the demo and the official video). Nasally vocals, bad lyrics, bad pronunciation, an almost memeable bass player, everything is wrong with this. I highly doubt anyone wants to “taste the troubles of [his] soul.””

Jordan – 3 – “Other than the ridiculously cumbersome title… this isn’t that great. Laika has a good voice but other than that this song is just messy, and the backing track just annoys me in parts. This is another poor offering and should not be Latvia’s entry in Eurovision this year.”

Sean – 10 – “My first major obsession of the national selection season, and Laika Upe have knocked it out of the park on this one. I can look past some of the questionable lyrics because this is a fantastic indie pop tune. The choppy, reverb-y guitars, little electronic ad-libs and the rhythmic singing of the chorus concoct into a catchy, head-bobbing, toe-tapping smash. This is the type of music that just sits so right with me, and I’m praying for a decent performance from the guys.”

Total – 14

Carousel – That Night

James – 8 – “The obvious joke is to say “that night” won’t be the final in Tel Aviv, but this is a sweet, pleasant adult contemporary acoustic guitar ballad. I wouldn’t discount this, as simple yet lyrically positive songs have come out of nowhere to crush Eurovision in the past (see: Brothers, Olsen). “That Night” has a catchy, easy to sing along to, chorus, and I could see a large percentage of the 40 to 55 demographic voting for this in Tel Aviv.”

Jordan – 6 – “Another beautiful voice with acoustic guitar but I feel this one is done slightly better. This has a great 1920’s feel but doesn’t feel dated at the same time. After a while it does start to drag a little bit, but I feel this wouldn’t be the worst choice of the songs we have in Supernova.”

Sean – 5 – “This is sweet and classy, but too pedestrian for the hustle and bustle of the Eurovision stage I think. While it will certainly have fans for it’s retro lounge feel, would it be enough to stand out in the semi-final in Tel Aviv. I doubt it. Certainly a relaxing listen though.”

Total – 19

Kristiāna – Remedy

James – 4 – “Boring, despite all the producers’ tricks of the modern trade thrown at it. Takes forever to get going, the singer sounds bored, and superfluous reedy male vocals as back up after the third chorus later on.”

Jordan – 6 – “This has potential. Kristiana has a great voice and this does have the potential to be a euroclub banger. However, it’s not quite there yet. I feel it needs a revamp. Make it more powerful speed it up a little bit and it could go places. This is not my pick for the win, but I wouldn’t be against this winning.”

Sean – 5 – “This is decent but uninspiring as a pop ballad. Kristiāna surely has a great voice, but it deserves a stronger song than this one. It has the air of a song that they tried to make modern, but in a way sounds slightly dated. This may have worked five years ago, but not these days.

Total – 15

Double Faced Eels – Fire

James – 6 – “What’s with all the fire in Latvia this year? Here’s another bloke going on about the “fire inside.” I’d recommend Tums for that. Now the name is confusing – does the eel have a face on each end, or does the eel just have a double-face on one end? Once it gets going, this is fine, but the vocals are a little reedy when he’s not belting, which I hope he fixes for the Semi-Final. The synth leading into the chorus is grating, though.”

Jordan – 7 – “This is the first entry in the Latvian selection where I feel this could go to Eurovision. The band have great charisma and the song has a great rocky quality. However, the lead singer will need to improve his live vocals but that can easily be done with rehearsals. I like it.”

Sean – 7 – “This is quite interesting. I love the cavernous sound of the verses, almost industrial in a way. There’s an attitude to this song and an anger that is missing from similar songs in many other selections. It’s certainly a catchy track and is different enough to stand out, while still retaining enough common ground to be accessible for the general public. No wonder this band seem highly rated in this selection.”

Total – 19

Adriana Miglāne – Scared of Love

James – 5 – “A perfectly serviceable modern, though generic, pop song. Perhaps it is a bit too safe and radio-friendly, and it will likely be forgotten as listeners will have heard this type of song hundreds of times before.”

Jordan – 7 – “This has a lot of potential. Adriana is beautiful and has a nice voice. The song is also nice but could go further. I need more power in it. I feel like she can go further than that. It’s supposed to be a love song after all. I think with a revamp this could be excellent but for now it’s only good.”

Sean – 7 – “A decent uptempo commercial track from Adriana, but this needs a little je ne sais quoi to make it stand out. Maybe a few more sounds or a deeper sound in the choruses would give this the added punch it needs. Adriana has a lovely voice and is very well suited for this type of music though, and the overall package is decent if not overly impressive.”

Total – 19

Markus Riva – You Make Me So Crazy

James – 8 – “Look who’s back! And it’s the exact sort of West Hollywood by way of St. Petersburg dance club banger you’d expect from Markus. Markus’s song is also the one that benefitted the most from a redo after a drab demo. I think this just might work slightly better than Edgars’s “Cherry Absinthe” in Tel Aviv, and I think this might just have an edge with Eastern bloc voters, even though Markus and Edgars are essentially tied in my mind for Latvia.”

Jordan – 6 – “He’s capable of better. That much is certain. This song isn’t awful but nowhere near as other songs that he has entered before. I like it to a degree and I feel he can sell it well live this could be contender to win Supernova, but I feel if it went to Eurovision it would be lucky to avoid the bottom 3 in the semi-final. But who knows, with a revamp this could be good.”

Sean – 8 – “Once again Markus is back. I’m still not sure what to think of him as a person as he comes off as one of these Eurovision selection careerists, however I have to admit some of his songs have been bops. He channels his inner Barskih and his Russian roots here to full effect for a change, and it helps – this type of Eastern European pop is distinct to the region and would offer something different from Latvia. It could be a little more polished and the lyrics could be a little less terrible but for a decent clubby tune Latvia could do worse.”

Total – 22

What does this mean for the standings of the semi-final? Let’s take a look…

  1. Markus Riva – You Make Me So Crazy – 22
  2. Carousel – That Night – 19
  3. Adriana Miglāne – Scared of Love – 19
  4. Double Faced Eels – Fire – 19
  5. Kristiāna – Remedy – 15
  6. Laika Upe – Listen To The Way That I Breathe – 14
  7. Dziļi Violets ft. Kozmens – Tautasdziesma – 13
  8. Peress – Smaragdi un pelni – 7

By our reckoning, it’ll be another final for Markus Riva, as he earns 22/30 points for “You Make Me So Crazy”. Carousel, Adriana Miglāne and Double Faced Eels tie for second and in our vision would all make up the remaining qualifier spots. Would #YOU agree with these qualifiers? Let us know!

Who do #YOU want to represent Latvia in 2019? Share your thoughts with us on our forum HERE or join the discussion below and on social media!

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