Linda Rušeniece – “Pay My Own Bills”
A sassy mixture of soul and R&B which sounds like it may have been almost entirely recorded without using synthetic sounds. Don’t get me wrong, I love synths, but it’s nice to have some variety. The lyrics, in which Rušeniece declares that she’s done with her lover and perfectly capable of taking care of herself, are some of the most coherent and memorable of this selection so far. In keeping with the song’s theme, she also isn’t afraid to show off her impressive vocal skills.The only thing that might let this song down is that this kind of music doesn’t necessarily have the broad appeal of other genres.
Markus Riva — “If You’re Gonna Love Me”
There’s something to be said for a ballad where the instruments are particularly chilled as an offset to an emoting singer. That’s not exactly what we have here though: Riva’s lyrics have a dose of odd phrasing and strange concepts that I’ve seen a bit too often from non-English speaking countries, but whatever emotional impact they’re supposed to have is blunted by the fact that his vocals rarely align with the message. I’m a bit bemused with this one — I know what it’s supposed to be about, but it’s like some pieces of the puzzle are missing.