The Netherlands: Anouk reveals “Birds”
Despite being one of the first artists to announce their participation in Malmö this May, Dutch rock singer Anouk‘s song, “Birds” was one of the final entries revealed for this year’s roster of entries. Fans and onlookers weren’t sure what kind of song to anticipate from the veteran songstress. Would she be going back to her rock roots, á la “Nobody’s Wife“? Maybe a heartfelt, emotional ballad, like “Lost“? Or would she take a bluesier turn, as in “Down and Dirty“?
Fans and friends, we finally have our answer.
This ethereal melody, taken from her soon-to-be-released album “Sad Singalong Songs”, is significantly darker than what a typical “Eurovision song” is expected to sound like, and is also much more solemn than what the Dutch have brought to the contest in recent years. But there’s something haunting in “Birds” that resonates and echoes…somehow, it reminds me of some of Joni Mitchell’s work, blended with a touch of Lana Del Ray. It’s a brave choice by broadcaster TROS, but one of quality. (And yes, she can sing it live.) This would lend itself beautifully to a simple, Patricia Kaas-like staging.
The Netherlands haven’t hit the Finals since 2004, despite some strong songs in the past. Belgium, where Anouk is a bona-fide star, and Denmark, where “Lost” charted in 2005, are both voting in Anouk’s Semi, where ten songs will qualify out of the sixteen being performed. It’s as good of a shot as the Dutch have had in years to break a long winless streak…but, then again, I said that last year. And probably the year before that. Sigh…