January 28, 2020

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Friday, 28 March 2014 17:34

ESC 2014: An In-Depth Review of Latvia

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It has become customary for the escflashmalta.com editorial board to engage professional individuals from the music industry to assess the songs competing in the Eurovision Song Contest as presented to the European Broadcasting Union during the Heads of Delegation Meeting. Martin Isherwood, Deo Grech, Stano Simor and Matt Mercieca from the United Kingdom, Malta and the Czech Republic have been entrusted with the first semi-final, comprising of sixteen songs and set to take place on the 6th May 2014 at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark. Making use of the running order and thus moving onto number #2, we catch up with Latvia (LTV) who will be represented by Aarzemnieki and the song Cake to Bake written by Guntis Veilands.

The Aarzemnieki (or Foreigners) phenomenon began as an unexpected shock for one German’s special interest and creative approach to the Euro introduction in Latvia. In the summer of 2013, Joran Steinhauer, whilst in his home in Bohume, Germany wrote a farewell song to the Lat currency, aptly naming the song Paldies Latiņam! (Thank You, Lat) Later, the video became a Youtube sensation with more than 100,000 views in one week. The popularity and enthusiasm surrounding the song was so large that Joran decided to pack his bags and make his way to Latvia with one thing in mind; “let’s see what happens next!” Joran’s connection with Latvia, however, began well before the birth of this smash song, when he took part in an exchange programme in the city of Talsi in 2005. Later he volunteered at a children’s centre and in the German church of Riga.

Remembering his first impressions, Joran recalls that it’s because of the group Brainstorm, who were third in the 2000 Eurovision final, that he was drawn to Latvia. After hearing their song he bought their CDs and it was at that moment that he became a true Eurovision and Brainstorm fan. This isn’t the first time Joran has stepped on the Eurovision stage, having performed in the national Latvian selection in 2008 with his former group Axlina performing the song More Than 27. The story behind the Aarzemnieki group’s name is quite precise due to Joran’s status in Latvia. The word’s complicated pronunciation reflects each foreigner’s struggle to integrate into the local society. In the fall of 2013, the group grew from a solo act with three new members- violinist and vocalist Katrina Dimanta, drummer Raitis Vilumovs and Guntis Veilands, pianist, and the author of the song Cake To Bake.


Latvia first entered the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2000 when the group Brainstorm surprised critics and fans alike when finishing in third place with the song My Star, a catchy pop number with the right slot in the running order. It seems that flirting with the top positions was set to bring the competition home considering that in 2002, Marie N and her entry I Wanna did the impossible of being close to last with the bookies before triumphing in a hard close-knit battle with Malta whose 7th Wonder by Ira Losco remains the closest the Mediterranean Nation have ever been to victory. In recent years, the country has failed to get out of the semi-final, finished dead-last on more than one occasion, including in 2003 with the group PeR and their song Here We Go.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 44%

Martin Isherwood: Sort of catchy chorus, but not in a good way.  This guy is apparently responsible for melting the polar ice caps and a whole host of other global events, however today he's going to bake a cake.  Barking mad! Finger picking, folky, starts off a bit Ralph McTell 'streets of London' but shifts to a more frantic acoustic The Kinks 'follower of fashion' feel, both of which are a surprise in Eurovision. Quite a lot of fuss over a cake!

Deo Grech: Okay, here is an entry which is ruined by the title. It will be so funny to hear what will the commentators have to say about this entry.  And if that is not enough this entry will be kissed by the curse of being performed second in the show....and to make things worse right after the potential winner of 2014. Sorry Latvia....I am afraid you'll have to miss the finals, this year round.

Stano Simor: Latvia "Beatles" is back? Pesnicka has a good groove. Chorus was used a hundred times in various forms. Maybe it Aarzemnieki bet, in which case it is right on target.

Matt Mercieca: I would love it as a song! if the lyrics were saying something that was not baking a cake! ( i kind of like it) , its funny , its catchy, ok I’m losing it, I think its a little sweet, it should be in a kids movie! it does put a smile on my face, but being a little bit more serious it is kind of ridiculous ( I spoke to a unicorn the other night), but I can’t hate it and have to admit I’m quite excited to watch this live. I’ve got a cake to bake dududududu.

Source: eurovision.tv


Last modified on Friday, 28 March 2014 17:42