Latvia: Sudden Lights and Aija

The great thing about Eurovision 2023 is that there is literally something for everyone. Metal? YUP! Sadbois? YUP! Big-voiced divas? YUP! Rock, rock and more rock? YUP!

And because there’s something for everyone, there are going to be things in the competition which are simply not for me.

Latvia’s entry, Sudden Lights, is one of those songs. It has a passionate fan base. I can see a lot of its appeal. But it is simply not for me.

One problem I have with Aija is that I find the instrumentation so much more compelling than the reedy vocals of the lead singers. The opening drum machine freakout? The first appearance of guitars? Delectable! The vocals? Just not my thing!

As The Person I Live WIth would note, this is music for people who love Radiohead. That’s a very large portion of the population! But like Radiohead, Aija just leaves me cold. I can appreciate the technical details of their performance. I just don’t have an emotional connection with it.

Part of that is because Aija just doesn’t go far enough in any one direction. The lyrics are interesting in playing with the notion of dreamlike states, but Luke Black explores that in a much more interesting way in Serbia’s entry. The visuals in the video are beautiful, like an art school experimental film. When performed live, however, Sudden Lights are upstaged by the sheer art school spectacle brought by Let3 from Croatia.

Nothing about this is actively bad. It’s a pleasant song! I don’t skip past it on my Eurovision playlists! But nothing about this stands out more than other entries this year for me.

Oh well. At least I have another year of Markus Riva trying to represent Latvia to look forward to.

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