Whilst the current situation is far from ideal for anyone, it is still the perfect time to connect with music – whether that be taking time deep diving into new releases or educating yourself on some classics. We’ve compiled a list of essential Eurovision related listens – albums with links to the Eurovision scene that are truly worth investigating and embracing.
Loreen – Heal
Essential Tracks: We Got the Power, Euphoria, Crying Out Your Name, My Heart is Refusing Me, See You Again (2012 edition)
Eurovision winner Loreen released her debut album Heal in 2012 prior to her contest win – it was subsequently re-released in 2013 with new track We Got the Power which was performed at the 2013 contest. With tracks such as My Heart is Refusing Me, In My Head and obviously Eurovision winner Euphoria shining as powerful atmospheric dancefloor hits, the latter half of the album takes preference for moody ballads with orchestral strings and cinematic flavours. Whilst we undeniably prefer Loreen’s dance side, the ballads have a powerful impact, ensuring that there is no track worth skipping on this.
Måns Zelmerlöw – Stand By For… & MZW
Essential Tracks: Cara Mia, Brother Oh Brother, Hope and Glory, Saved Again
Whilst Måns is somewhat critical of his earlier work, it is undeniably far superior to the middle of the road pop route he has embarked on in recent albums. Embracing a more upbeat sense of fun somewhere post his stint on Idol and before his Eurovision win, Måns released Stand By For… and MZW. The former released in 2007 was unabashed pop fun with hits like Cara Mia, Brother Oh Brother, Work of Art (Da Vinci), Miss America and a synthy update of Hall & Oates’ Maniac – the ballads are slightly weaker. His sophomore album MZW saw him take on euphoric pop with the likes of Hope and Glory, Find Love, Saved Again and Forever.
Markus Riva – I Can & MR
Essential Tracks: I Can, Please Don’t Give Up, Next to Me, Last Dance, That Girl, Take Me Away
Markus is an undeniable part of the Eurovision family and has continued to shine and grow as an artist through each of his entries in Latvia’s Supernova ESC selection programme. His strongest album releases include 2018’s I Can and 2015’s MR. Shining with tracks such as dance anthem Party (After Party), the soulful funk-infused That Girl, the tropical house sounds of Take Me Away, and high octane Ready or Not, MR is a tremendous success. Its 2018 follow-up I Can continued to see Markus experiment with synth and dance music sounds, highlights including: atmospheric iciness of Please Don’t Give Up, the moody synths of Last Dance, the rousing Next to Me, and anthemic title track I Can.
Charlotte Perrelli – The Girl & Hero
Essential Tracks: The Girl, Dark to the Light, Hero, Bullet
Hero followed Charlotte Perrelli’s 2008 Eurovision performance with the song of the same name. Shining through its uplifting blend of euphoric pop and Perrelli’s powerful vocals, stand outs include: Hero, Bullet, and Holy Man, mid-tempos and guitar driven ballads also take centre stage through Perrelli’s charisma as a performer seen in the likes of Addicted. Its English language follow-up The Girl released in 2012 contain eight punchy electronic pop anthems – the sublime The Girl (another Melfest anthem), Dark to the Light, and In the Sun being standouts.
Dana International – Free (European Edition)
Essential Tracks: Diva, Free, Woman in Love, Glamorous, Love Is All There Is
Free has many a highlights including: the silky strings and anthemic chorus of Glamorous paired with Middle Eastern tinged club beats, the mellow nineties grooves of Love Is All There Is, whilst This Is the Night is an addictive club anthem. Of course the Streisand cover Woman in Love gives the track a synthy nineties edge, whilst Free is a worthy successor to iconic Eurovision winner Diva.
Alcazar – Disco Defenders
Essential Tracks: Stay the Night, Burning, Baby, From Brazil With Love, Inhibitions.
Melfest icons Alcazar’s defining album Disco Defenders provide their most slick and cohesive piece of work with their 2009 and most recent studio album to date. Glitzy eurodisco belters Stay the Night, the Pet Shop Boys penned Baby, the Danny Saucedo written From Brazil With Love, and lead single We Keep On Rockin’ all shine – although there is not a single dud on the album from Swedish icons Tess Merkel, Lina Hedlund, and Andreas Lundstedt.
Malena Ernman – La Voix Du Nord
Essential Tracks: La Voix, One Step from Paradise and Tragedy.
One half eurodance, the other classic opera, Malena Ernman’s La Voix du Nord is an absolutely wonderful curiosity. Containing vastly underrated Eurovision anthem La Voix and iconic forgotten gems such as One Step from Paradise and Tragedy, Malena’s vocals shine blending opera and dance in a playful faux-theatrical manner. The latter half takes a more serious tone as Malena adopts a more operatic approach.
Sergey Lazarev – The One
Essential Tracks: Lucky Stranger, Deep Blue, Going Under, You Are the Only One, Freaky Tonight, You Put Out the Fire
Sergey’s most recent English language album, The One, saw him translate his Russian album В эпицентре for Western audiences. Blending Eurodance with icy eighties inspired synths, The One delights with the riotously fun Lucky Stranger, the stellar Eurovision anthem You Are the Only One, the subtle dance grooves of Deep Blue, and the bubbling synths of Going Under. For a quick introduction to Sergey, The One is a good place to start.
Conchita Wurst – Conchita
Essential Tracks: Rise Like a Phoenix, Somebody to Love, Heroes, Firestorm, You Are Unstoppable
Proving that Conchita was more than a Eurovision gimmick, the sublime full length musical debut of the 2014 winner released was May 2015, Containing the incredible Rise Like a Phoenix, Conchita debuted uplifting and empowering anthems You Are Unstoppable, Somebody to Love and Heroes. Playing with dancefloor club anthems with Firestorm, classic easy listening jazz in Where Have All the Good Men Gone and middle eastern pop on Out Of Body Experience, Conchita was an incredible musical debut.
Saara Aalto – Wild Wild Wonderland
Essential Tracks: Monsters, Queens, Sirens
The Finnish Eurovision star debuted her full length English LP Wild Wild Wonderland in 2018. Starting with her massively underrated Eurovision entry Monsters, Saara also delved deeper into electronic pop sounds with ready made LGBT pop anthems Queens, Dance Like Nobody’s Watching, Sirens, and Dance!!! showcasing Saara’s outstanding vocal chops alongside empowering lyrics, slick production, and honest songwriting.
Victor Crone – Troubled Waters
Essential Tracks: Troubled Waters, Venice, This Can’t Be Love, and Conversations with My Ex
Estonian 2018 Eurovision representative and 2020 Melfest competitor Victor Crone’s full length debut Troubled Waters. The seven track mini-album shines through its anthemic title song – which will give you a kick with its empowering tone. The reflective mid-tempos and ballads which make up the rest of the collection: Venice, This Can’t Be Love, and Conversations with My Ex showcasing Crone as an exciting new talent.
Hadise – Fast Life
Essential Tracks: First Steps, Married Men, Supernatural Love & Dum Tek Tek.
Turkish Eurovision star Hadise was an unforgettable entrant in 2009 with her middle eastern anthem Dum Tek Tek which features on her album Fast Life. The English language album contains gems such as Supernatural Love – a groovy late noughties dance anthem that feels like a Rachel Stevens deep cut, the funky pre-cursor to Dua Lipa’s New Rules – cautionary tale Married Men, seedy dance anthem Obsession, and the chill bop that is First Steps are among the album’s many highlights.
Serhat – That’s How I Feel
Essential Tracks: Say Na Na Na, I Didn’t Know, Chocolate Flavour, Total Disguise
Eurovision icon Serhat – who we like to dub the Leonard Cohen of dance music – shines with his rough poetic vocals against many a Eurodance beat on his debut album That’s How I Feel. Luring top talent such as Helena Paparizou, Viktor Lazlo and Martha Wash, Serhat’s debut is a sheer delight. His Eurovision entries Say Na Na Na and I Didn’t Know are stone cold classics, whilst nostalgic disco hit Chocolate Flavour, Total Disguise, and There Must Be a Way are all undeniably Euro friendly tracks. The reflective Home Is Where We Belong also blends with emotive lyrics and slick pop grooves.
Alex Swings Oscar Sings! – Heart 4 Sale
Essential Tracks: Miss Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, I’m Crazy, Do the Cha Cha Cha, I Love Senoritas.
Without their pal Dita Von Teese involved, Alex Swings Oscar Sings! sole album Heart 4 Sale combines the world of jazz and dancepop as seen in their 2009 German Eurovision entrant Miss Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. I Love Senoritas blends lyrics about Mexican senoritas with fajitas (lyrical genius), Do the Cha Cha Cha transports you to a sultry Spanish summer, sing-a-long friendly Ding Dong the Witch is Dead is strangely not about The Wizard of Oz, a dance update of Puttin’ on the Ritz is a lot of fun, whilst I’m Crazy is feel good pop perfection.
Agnes – Dance Love Pop: The Love Love Love Edition
Essential Tracks: Open Up Your Eyes, Love Love Love, Release Me, On and On
Insanely Melfest regular Agnes has never qualified for a Eurovision final despite the sheer undebatable quality of her entries. One of the stars on the list who found international success with her anthemic worldwide pop hit Release Me, Dance Love Pop: The Love Love Love Edition contains some of Agnes’s finest moments. Love Love Love shines through the singer’s inviting warm vocals and slick pop hooks, On and On is a top notch noughties feel-good jam, whilst How Do You Know is a track just as high quality as Release Me. Open Up Your Eyes should have is an uplifting anthem with Agnes paired with soaring choral backing, up-tempo production, and reflective lyricism.
Benjamin Ingrosso – Identification
Essential Tracks: Dance You Off, Behave, I Wouldn’t Know, All I See Is You, Good Intentions, When You’re Messing With My Mind
Containing his Eurovision favourite Dance You Off, Benjamin Ingrosso’s full length debut Identification was slick scandipop at its best. Ingrosso manages to pack a vulnerability and sexiness into his vocal delivery, seen in singles I Wouldn’t Know and Behave. Ingrosso has an ear for a pop hook with subtle electronic production as heard in When You’re Messing With My Mind, Good Intentions, and All I See Is You. These chilled dance anthems are bound to please fans of his entry Dance You Off.