We have come to the last entry from semi-final 1. It hails from the land where amber washes up on the beach, where the world’s first portable mini camera was made and where wolves are found at sea. It’s Latvia!!!
Latvia debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2000 and will make their eighteenth appearance in the contest this year. They began their time in the contest successfully, with “My Star” by Brainstorm finishing third on their debut. Only two years later, Marie N gave Latvia its first, and so far only win with “I Wanna”. After six years of semi-final failure, Aminata brought Latvia back to the final, finishing seventh with “Love Injected”. Last year, Justs continued the final qualification streak and finished 15th in the final with “Heartbeat”.
The Latvian broadcaster, Latvijas Televīzija (LTV) organised the third edition of Supernova. 22 songs competed over two heats. In each heat, a jury selected two semi-finalists and internet voting and for the first time ever in any national selection, Spotify streams were used to select another two. The process was repeated in the semi-final, leaving four finalists. In the final, the act with the highest overall votes was chosen as the winner. After winning both their heat and the semi-final by a country mile, Triana Park were eventually awarded the Latvian ticket to Kyiv.
Triana Park was formed in Riga in 2008. The group consists of vocalist Agnese Rakovska, guitarist Artūrs Strautiņš, drummer Edgars Viļums, and bassist Kristaps Ērglis. That same year, they participated in the Latvian national selection with “Bye Bye”. They tried to represent Latvia every year after that until 2012. After 2012, they moved away from their childish style and developed a more mature and unique sound. They released their first album “EnterTainment” in 2010 and their first EP “Triana Park” in 2014. Their entry for Kyiv, “Line”, was written and composed by band members Agnese Rakovska and Kristaps Ērglis, alongside Kristians Rakovskis.
Latvia is riding high on the Supernova wave and brings another artsy and atmospheric offering to the contest. “Line” is edgy, urban and totally original. Their performance is full of energy and no doubt it will have the crowd jumping in the arena. It also takes you on a journey, gradually building up to the drop and taking you down from its own climax. It might be just me, but the instrumental break after the chorus makes me feel like I’m speeding along an open road with no cares in the world. I have no doubt that this urban fantasy wonderland song will make it all the way to the final.
What Could Have Been
Since it was first used to select Latvia’s entry in 2015, Supernova has also been used as a platform to showcase new Latvian music from both established and new artists. One of the new artists in this year’s selection was The Ludvig with his self-penned song “I’m In Love With You”. The 16-year old managed to beat competition from some well-established artists and finished in second place in the final. While this may not have been his year, this young artist certainly now has time to grow into an even better artist. In a few years down the line, we might see him singing for his country.
Are Triana Park on the straight path to victory or have they overstepped the line? Leave your comments below. Stay tuned tomorrow for another Eurovision preview, as we start looking at the second semi-final entries!
(Sources: eurovision.tv, LTV, YouTube)