After a change in ERR’s production team - Eesti Laul 2019 came about with some bold new changes. Twenty-four songs competed in the two Eesti Laul semi-finals, presented live from the University Sports Hall in Estonia’s second largest city, Tartu. For the first time since the Eurolaul days, non-Estonian-resident artists were allowed to compete in the competition.
With Storm, penned by Estonia’s favourite son, Stig Rästa, Swedish singer Victor Crone was always going to be a contender in this race, especially after he charmed the media and fans with his quest to ‘learn a new Estonian word every day’. His victory in the final seemed almost certain - that is until the juries had their say.
Finishing a dismal 9th out of 12 entries – victory looked well outside his grasp. The juries had seen a rehearsal performance of Storm where he had not sung so well, so he was not surprised that they had ranked him so low. The rest of the songwriting team was preparing to pack it in, congratulating Victor on a job well done. When the rest of the results came in – Victor had made it to the Super Final, just sneaking in past Eurovision Winner Dave Benton’s daughter, Sissi (they tied, but preference was given to the televote favourite). After a comeback so strong, it was no surprise that Victor was indeed the victor.
Once again, Stig Rästa shows off how versatile he is as a songwriter, while still keeping true to his preferred elements. Stig can jump between genres and styles, but you can always count on introspective lyrics that speak of specific situations familiar to most of us, common enough that the audience can apply their own experiences to them.
Storm borrows from pop-rock styles of the middle of this decade, combined with a "AVICII-esque" soaring chorus, but isn’t really delivering us anything new or unique. But, it does deliver a solid pop song, which is what Stig has come to be known for. I'm also very fond of the CGI moment that happens during the live performance – which is possibly the only real moment of note that happens during an otherwise confident, yet expected stage performance.
The only gripe I have about Storm is that they have rhymed the word ‘this’ with ‘this’. That has always bothered me, but I guess if I forgave Ira Losco for 7th Wonder – I can forgive Victor for this.