Pabandom iš Naujo (Lithuania) 2022 Heat 2: Viktorija Kajokaitė and Gabrea

With a few of the entries for heat 2 still withholding their songs, I’m going to start reviewing what’s already release, in running order. Hopefully the others release before the show, otherwise I’ll have to add them to my Sunday post like I did last week.

Viktorija Kajokaitė — “Piece of Universe”
Electro-rock isn’t something you see often at the contest, especially not when it’s slowed down this much. But given that rock is a genre likely to be in favour this year, Kajokaitė has put together something that not only appeals to this trend, but goes well beyond it. The lyrics are a bit awkward at times in the way of someone not performing in their native tongue, but the chorus is catchy enough to compensate. The more I listen to this, the more impressed I am — the vibe reminds me of the early 2000s phase of Dutch band The Gathering, which is a high compliment coming from me. This is probably its only downside, though: I’m not sure that is has enough mainstream appeal to make it to the contest.

Gabrea — “Make It Real”
I’m reminded of twisting a lot when I listen to this: from the opening sound to the abrupt string chord which accompanies Gabrea throughout the track as it winds through hip-hop and pop beats, it changes direction without much warning at times. There’s a lots of space in the production, particularly around the instruments, which means you can always work out where particular sounds are coming from. All this compensates for the fact that Gabrea’s vocals feel like the least utilised element of the song. But it’s a problem when I find the strings the most memorable part of this song, while the vocals fade away into the background.