January 23, 2020

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According to overnight data provided by iTunes, the digital store, it seems that the first real hit of the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest has been unravelled. Calm After the Storm written by Ilse de Lange, JB Meijers, Rob Crosby, Matthew Crosby and Jake Etheridge and performed by The Common Linnets had been described prior to the contest as one of the most professional entries and with flawless camera work, vocals and diction, many believe that The Netherlands could surprise and run away with the victory come Saturday evening.

As of this morning Calm After the Storm has entered the iTunes Chart in no less than twenty-one countries including in the United Kingdom, which despite broadcasting the semi-final on BBC 3 did not have the opportunity to vote last night. In Lithuania, The Netherlands, Latvia, Sweden, Denmark and Estonia, the song has managed to climb into the top five, much better than any of the other entries which were performed last night. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: esctracker


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 #14, we catch up with The Netherlands (AVROTROS) who will be represented by The Common Linnets and the song Calm After the Storm co-written by Ilse DeLange, JB Meijers, Rob Crosby, Matthew Crosby and Jake Etheridge.

The Common Linnets is a Dutch dream team consisting of Ilse DeLange and Waylon. These two singer-songwriter stars have together found a new and exciting challenge in expressing their love for country music. Ilse and Waylon have known each other since they were teenagers, when they both played the country music circuit in Holland. Right from the beginning they shared a love for country and related genres like bluegrass, folk and Americana. But most of all they shared a passion for true, stripped-down songs that convey pure emotion. That passion led to the formation of The Common Linnets.

The “common linnet” is a songbird that breeds on the heaths in the eastern part of The Netherlands. For Ilse and Waylon, who both hail from that part of the country, this unassuming little bird with its wonderful song is the perfect symbol of what they’re aiming for with their songs. When Ilse DeLange came up with the idea for ‘The Common Linnets’ as a side project, involving different artists each time, Waylon topped the list of musicians she wanted to work with. Both of them immediately agreed upon a rootsy approach. Their mission-statement was clear: writing real country music, stripped of all unnecessary trappings, and inspired by such greats as Emmylou Harris and Johnny Cash, but also West coast stars like Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and James Taylor.

Writing brought Ilse and Waylon to the Belgian Ardennes and to Nashville, the epicenter of country music, where both Ilse and Waylon feel very much at home. American songwriters Rob Crosby, Matthew Crosby and Jake Etheridge soon came on board, after which Dutch singer-songwriter Daniel Lohues and Dutch producer JB Meijers rounded out the team. Ilse produced the album with JB Meijers. Towards the end of last year the big story broke. During a press conference The Common Linnets announced they would represent The Netherlands for the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen. 


The Netherlands, a nation which has not won the Eurovision Song Contest since 1975, when Teach-In took the victory with the popular Ding-A-Dong. Since the introduction of the semi-final system, the country has not proven to be too successful either, considering that they have only managed to qualify on two occasions, the first time being back in 2004 with the group Re-Union and their entry Without You and the second time being just last year when Dutch superstar Anouk took to the stage with the atmospheric ballad Birds. The results have been quite surprising considering that the Dutch have submit some really strong songs along the year, including from Glennis Grace, Edsilia Rombley and 3Js.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 77%

Martin Isherwood: Strong hooks and melodies Lovely production. Reminds me of Robert Plant & Alison Krauss Great song.  Not sure country is really the Eurovision thing. 

Deo Grech: So the Dutch national broadcaster knew that last year's entry singer, Anouk, had a fierce rival....and her name is Ilse deLange.  They also aim to achieve a better result than the one achieved last year. So, they asked Ilse to take part this year on their behalf.   ''Fra i due litiganti il terzo gode''(italian saying).  Clever plan indeed!  Well, here she is joined by her long-time friend to form The Common Linnets.   Country and folk seem to be this year's theme...and I can easily guess why.   These songs were written in the same period when the European music charts were invaded by Avicii's 'Hey brother', Pitbull's 'Timber' and Gary Barlow's ''Let me go'' amongst others.

Stano Simor: This kind of song has a great tradition in the Dutch province of Friesland where it has managed to gain several hits. Acoustic feeling is excellent. Singing and music are perfectly in tune. The song is rather pleasant to listen in the club, such as attacking ESC stage.

Matt Mercieca: I really seem to be loving music from the Netherlands lately ( still love “Birds” from last year) , I really like this song, its super cool , and the harmonies are beautiful it’s a little country and a little Lady Antebellum! With most of the rubbish songs in this years semi final this truly stands out as a beautiful well produced song.

Source: eurovision.tv


Published in Editorials

Ilse DeLange and Waylon, also known as The Common Linnets were announced as the Dutch representatives for the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest a couple of months back, but nevertheless details of the song remained scarce and relatively secret a couple of days ago. On a radio show, where the duo was invited, the duo performed an acoustic version of their entry Calm Before the Storm, before the track being released in it's original version on radio earlier this morning. The music video is expected soon enough.

The Common Linnets will be representing The Netherlands in the first semi-final of the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. In 2013, the Netherlands reached ninth (9th) place in the final of the continental competition, the first time that they had reached that stage since 2004, and the first time since 1999 that they managed to garner a top ten (10) result. In recent years, the Netherlands have changed broadcasters by moving from NOS to TROS, but now it seems that the broadcasters previously responsible for the participation of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest; AVRO and the Eurovision Song Contest; TROS have joined forces. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more news about the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest as soon as it becomes available.



Ilse DeLange and Waylon, also known as The Common Linnets were announced as the Dutch representatives for the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest a couple of months back, but nevertheless details of the song remained scarce and relatively secret prior to an hour ago. On a radio show, where the duo was invited, it was revealed that the song will bear the name Calm After the Storm and will be officially unveiled to the public on the 12th and the 13th March, first with an acoustic version on De Wereldd Draait Door and then with the official version on the radio show De Gouden Uren.

In 2013, the Netherlands reached ninth (9th) place in the final of the continental competition, the first time that they had reached that stage since 2004, and the first time since 1999 that they managed to garner a top ten (10) result. In recent years, the Netherlands have changed broadcasters by moving from NOS to TROS, but now it seems that the broadcasters previously responsible for the participation of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest; AVRO and the Eurovision Song Contest; TROS have joined forces. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more news about the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest as soon as it becomes available.

Source: AVROTROS, Eurovision.tv


In 2013, The Netherlands took to the stage of the Eurovision Song Contest with one of the most popular female singer/songwriters in the nation; Anouk, following years of declined invitations. It was truly a step in the right direction, noting that they reached the finals for the very first time since 2004, achieving a top ten (10) position by virtue of a ninth (9th) place finish. Birds, a wonderful atmospheric ballad laid solid foundations for the release of her most recent studio album, Sad Singalong Songs, which peaked at number #1 in The Netherlands.

It has been quite an astonishing couple of months for Anouk, with her most recent solo effort, Wigger also climbing steadily into the digital charts, despite no apparent promotion, and her most recent collaboration with DJ Afrojack; You and I is currently peaking at number #2 on iTunes, having been made available just a couple of hours ago. At this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, The Netherlands will be represented by The Common Linnets; a duo made up of Waylon and Ilse DeLange, the latter being one of the most famous singer/songwriters in the country. The song is yet to be announced although a formal presentation in expected in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news.

Source: esctoday.com


In music, a year is very much a reflection of historical evidence and when it comes to 2013, Malta will very much remember the remarkable success that it achieved on both a local and an international field. As the public prepares to drink champagne and sing the tune of Auld Lang Syne along with Happy New Year, originally released by Abba, we aim to have a look at the most memorable moments of the year in this editorial. As a matter of fact, we have been through the major news items for both the general Eurovision Song Contest as well as the local music scene and one could easily denote the progress that has been made on both a national and a foreign level of vocal talent and songs in general.

January; a relatively quiet month in the local music scene with the Public Broadcasting Services busy prepping for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, which was set to take place during the first weekend of February. Nevertheless, escflashmalta.com for the third year running managed to exclusively reveal the names of the hosts of the selection; Gordon Bonello, Rodney Gauci and Elaine Saliba. In the local music market, Corazon and Lynday both unveiled new singles; Save Your Smile and Daphne but the focus was definitely on the foreign music market with no less than three countries revealing the names of the artists who would represent them at the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest including; France (Amandine Bourgeois), Armenia (Gor Suyjan) and Denmark (Emmelie de Forest).


February; The month of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest was upon us, and following a somewhat technically disappointing semi-final, the Public Broadcasting Services upped the ante for the final night, which saw to the success of Gianluca Bezzina and his entry Tomorrow co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat. It managed to beat the favourite, Needing You sung by Kevin Borg and co-written with Danne Attlerud, Michael Clauss, Simon Gribbe and Thomas Thornholm. Following the evening, escflashmalta.com held their annual awards, seeing to the success of Klinsmann, Chris Grech and the aforementioned Kevin Borg, with NET Television being the place where they were given. In the meantime, both Cyprus and Slovenia made use of internal selections in revealing Despina Olympiou and Hannah Mancini as their representatives.


March; In a relatively surprise announcement, L-Għanja tal-Poplu announced that they had received almost forty (40) submissions for the local competition, amongst them from the likes of Romina Mamo and Rita Pace. Keeping in line with the local music scene, Ira Losco followed up the release of her single What I’d Give with a brand new album entitled The Fire which has been denoted by critics as the most notable release in the local music industry. During the same period, on an internal level, stars Marco Mengoni and Cascada were chosen to represent Italy and Germany respectively, or rather confirmed their entries in entirety at this point. Gianluca’s promotional campaign as he represents Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest had officially commenced with the first ever lyric video.


April; At this month dawned, most of the country had made their respective selection for the international competition and thus focus quickly turned on on the outlook of the local music scene as Karen DeBattista managed to beat Marie Claire Attard Bason to become the first finalist of the 2013 Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, through the Passport 2 Indifest challenge on Sas-Sitta. It was later on revealed that she would be performing the song Riflessi composed by Mark Scicluna to the lyrics of Emil Calleja Bayliss. In the meantime, L-Għanja tal-Poplu took place with Cherise Attard finishing in first place with the track Hawn Siġġu Nieqes composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas to the lyrics of Paul Ellul. At this point, Ira Losco continued her radio and digital success, aided by her first concert in quite some time. 


The month of May, and thus the Eurovision Song Contest had quickly arrived and several readers of escflashmalta.com had their eyes on Gianluca Bezzina whose Tomorrow was a proven hit and indeed succeeded in not only reaching the final, but finishing in eighth place, the nations’ best result in seven (7)  years. The big winner was Emmelie de Forest from Denmark whose song Only Teardrops enchanted both the jury and the public at home. escflashmalta.com kept their annual coverage with guest commentators including Simon Casey, Davinia, Claudia Faniello, Brooke, Lauren White, Magnus Kaxe and Christabelle. Thousands of people viewed the respective reports and with the aid of the team of Radio International and Eurovision Ireland, the competition was analysed and covered in the most profound and detailed way possible. 


Summer could not kick off on a more positive note with the release of On The Dancefloor by Jan Cortez, setting the tone of the season and earning airplay on 89.7 Bay. As always, the preparations for the Joseph Calleja concert were being held at this point in time, as the line-up was revealed to include Rebecca Ferguson, Zucchero and Gianluca Bezzina, fresh off his success. In the meantime, on a positive note, it was announced by the Culture Department that local artists will get the chance to perform at the Isle of MTV with Kristina Casolani and Gianluca Bezzina both booking their spots at the event. No clarification was given over the choice especially with the top tier of artists; Jon Lukas, Davinia, The Crowns releasing brand new material.


As the temperatures were getting warmer, NET Television decided to publish the list of the names who had got through the final of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, and also shot music videos, in an attempt to continue the fine tradition, which started with the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. Maltese, as a national language had definitely it’s most intriguing month due to the fact that apart from the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, it was revealed that the International Festival of Maltese Song was set for a comeback, and no sooner than in November. Some of the most prominent names in the industry put their first foot forward and the line-up was miles better than that presented at the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza with the likes of Miriam Christine, Janvil, Fiona Cauchi, Roger Tirazona and Olivia Lewis who was making her comeback as well.


August, known to be the last official month of summer saw to the release of Fed Up by Maxine Pace, who would later on be given a prominent role in the Maltese delegation during the surprise return of the country at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Joseph Calleja gives his annual concert with only a handful of performances garnering a standing ovation, one of them being of the song Xemx which he performed in a duet with Gianluca Bezzina. Glen Vella, representative of Malta in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest released a statement where he acknowledged that Finally by Richard Edwards should have represented the country, and most likely achieved a much better result. By the end of the month, the International Festival of Maltese Song had a logo and Red Electrick had a brand new single, The Runaway which would top the local music charts for several weeks.


Double the amount of entries received for L-Għanja tal-Poplu were received by the International Festival of Maltese Song, and whilst this number was encouraging, there was still a sheer amount of disappointment with many sceptic over the quality of the competition. Joseph Calleja was recognised as the world renowned tenor he has become by receiving a nomination at the Class Brit Awards. The Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza took place with Fabrizio Faniello sweeping the top prize with the track Aħfirli Jekk Trid composed by Minik to the lyrics of Rita Pace. The surprise of many came when during the evening news bulletin, on the 25th September 2013, Malta had internally selected Gaia Cauchi to do the honours and represent the country at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.


The 2014 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest might be months away, but the preparations from artists, songwriters and producers had commenced and a flurry made use of escflashmalta.com to reveal their intentions including; Tiziana Calleja, Gloriana Arpa Belli, Eleanor Cassar, Richard Edwards, Klinsmann, Melanie Zammit, Kaya, Janvil, Claudia Faniello, Danica Muscat, Fabrizio Faniello, Neville Refalo and Josef Tabone amongst others. Olivia Lewis gave an interview to a Radju Kottoner, stating she was planning to release a debut album in Maltese in the very near future, one which include all her hits along with brand new and original songs. The Public Broadcasting Services accepted entries for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with several submissions, eventually totalling to a record breaking  210, the largest amount since the national broadcaster took over the selection process in totality.


November, the month in which there were three major events; kicking off with the International Festival of Maltese Song which was not only the return of Olivia Lewis, but also her success with the song Hawn Mill-Ġdid composed by Paul Abela to the lyrics of Joe Julian Farrugia. In second place was Mark Tonna and his track Poeta Bla Kliem composed by Mark Scicluna with lyrics by Emil Calleja Bayliss and in third place, Dario and Grecia Bezzina with the song Solitaire composed by Dario Bezzina to the lyrics of Rita Pace. Malta’s return to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest proved successful, as The Start co-written by Matt Mercieca, Elton Zarb, Gillian Attard and Gaia Cauchi emerged as the clear favourite in the week leading up to the competition, and then finishing as the remarkable winner.


Just a day before the final though, the public broadcaster revealed the names of the acts through to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2014, a list which comprised of several newcomers such as Raquel Galdes, De Bee and Daniel Testa whilst also noting former Eurovision representatives in the form of Fabrizio Faniello and Miriam Christine. It was always going to be a year to remember, but nevertheless, several broadcasters were at this stage revealing their intentions for the upcoming edition of the international competition, seeing to the return of Portugal and Poland, whilst Valentina Monetta, The Common Linnets, Tijana Dapcevic and Conchita Wurst were internally selected to represent San Marino, The Netherlands, FYR Macedonia and Austria respectively. As the year came to an end, Ukraine and Albania made their respective choices and the Public Broadcasting Services unveiled the music videos accompanying the entries in next years’ selection process.

Source: escflashmalta.com


Published in Editorials