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 yearAnd probably the year before thatSigh

Posted on March 13, '13, in 2013, Netherlands and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. really wanted to like this but the truth is the song is a bore, sadly.

  2. LOVE IT! Love it love it love it all kinds of love it and I want it to WIN, so help me I do. I am SO relieved that there’s FINALLY a song in the contest that I can get ENTHUSIASTIC!!!! about. I guess I’ll be buying the official CD after all. (I’m rather digging on Samo Shampioni too, so it’s been a good couple of days.)

    My only grouse is with the mix of the studio recording. This song seems to cry out for big, spacious dynamic range, but the studio mix is squooshed flat as a dang pancake. I suspect I’ll like the live performance better because of that.

    And I sure do hope she realizes that she can’t use a children’s choir at the contest, due to both the age and the number of performers.

    In conclusion, this article gives me the opportunity for the annual infernal earworm resurrection:

    SHA LA LA!
    SHA LA LA!
    Het gaat niet uit m’n kop!!
    SHA LA LA!
    SHA LA LA!
    Ik sta d’r ‘s morgens mee op!!

    Never gets old, that one. Well yeah, actually it does ….

  3. I was hooked immediately.

    I didn’t have to put on my ‘ESC ears’ or make allowances, or mentally edit out problems. I can play this in mixed company with no explanation (except perhaps, “shh!”)

    And when I did think about Eurovision constraints and imagine it out of studio, it just got better. We know her voice really is that good, and suitably moody staging will only magnify its impact.

    But is it accessible enough for ESC? Was Tore Johanson right? I’m not sure. Some people will never go for something like this, but I know it will convert the willing, and it’s a sad day for weak ballads competing against it.

    Victory or a strong result for the Netherlands, and with a song like this, might also instigate a change of attitude for the UK.

  4. I was thinking Patricia Kaas, too! Instead of a 1930s-inspired avant-garde, though, it sounds more like an old Eurovision classic, updated to meet the needs of today’s Eurovision.

  5. No matter how this unfolds for her, I would say she is in a better position than Anggun. If she gets a Nina Badric-like result (juries will quite predictably get moist in their seats over this, but how certain is it that the televote will react the same way?), at least it will be a more quiet failure in the semi-final. If she makes the Final, it will be hard NOT placing higher than 22nd.

  6. People how said this is boring, really don’t know what they are talking about!
    If there is one song that is not boring then it’s this one… There happens a lot in this song, the music is like heaven and anouks voice suits this song so well. This song is a beautiful piece of art and full of musical quality! it’s the most classy song this year and the most original one to! Anouk is showing that she is much more then only a Rock Star, she is a world Artist!

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