Initial Review: “Með hækkandi sól” by Systur (Iceland)

You could argue that I’ve been interested in Iceland at Eurovision since 1999, when its entry was my favourite of the night — the dance-pop “All Out of Luck” by Selma. It was the third contest I’d watched, and the first time that I experienced the disappointment of my favourite not winning. When I started watching national finals in 2017, Iceland was the first I checked out, partially because it was less effort than Melodifestivalen or Sanremo, but also of that lingering interest from my youth.

By the time the final of Söngvakeppnin 2022 was held, I was fully onboard with the Daughters of Reykjavik (previously Reykjavíkurdætur), so I was crestfallen to see them just fall short of becoming Eurovision artists. However, the winning song, “Með Hækkandi Sól” by Sigga, Beta and Elín (now rebranded as Systur) was my second choice, albeit it a very distant second. This is genuinely lovely, calming song: the Sisters harmonise beautifully, and Icelandic is always a joy to hear on the Eurovision stage. Apparently the lyrics have some historical resonance I won’t go into here but the general gist is about the sun promising brighter days after a dark period.

While I understand that this song just isn’t suited to much choreography, there is such little movement on stage that you could almost replace Systur with cardboard versions of themselves and it might take a few moments to notice. I’m a bit worried about this one, much as I’d like to see it qualify: the staging needs to do more, and if it’s not going to be Systur moving about then the LED screens need to communicate some of the story, even if it’s just the sun rising over a barren landscape.