Belgium’s 2017 Eurovision Entry. I always get it wrong but this could win. Really.
Now this intrigues. This was never originally intended as a Eurovision entry. It it (or was), merely the most intriguing song in Belgium around the same time that certain decisions were to be made.
Written by Pierre Dumoulin, Emmanuel Delcourt, Blanche herself helped pen the lyrics. Normally I’d say the lyrics sound better in French, largely because I think the time has come for all nations to sing in French, just to disorientate the UK audience. However, the strangely awkward disengaged vocal stylings of Blanche aka Ellie Delvaux rather suit the idea of singing in something other than one’s first (or second) language. There’s a pathos to this song which is suggests a sense of loss in translation.
Here’s the video for City Lights. It has nothing to do with Charlie Chaplin and nothing to do with any city. It’s set in the middle of nowhere. There are some lights in it.
I would like to know more about the building in the video as well. Its secluded brutalism has a sort of Nazi megastructures vibe to it. It looks like a hotel for senior SS officials that was finally completed in April of 1945 and never actually used. Why was anything this big completely abandoned? Is it haunted? Was it built on the only Native American burial ground in Belgium? Blanche herself, wearing the most unEurovision ensemble imaginable, walks through the complex in a cheerless sort of way as orbs of light start to make bits of the building look slightly less brutal and streams of light start to make revivify the original contours of the structure. Illumination, says this video, is only ever partial and selective.
I can actually still hum the melody of this song having heard it just once. And that’s an immense achievement. The actual mnemonics of the formal song construction prevents this from being a sort of anti-Eurovision contrarian gimmick.
If less is more – then this is more, more, more. According to the lyrics, Blanche thinks we need a bit more light in our lives. But not too much light at a time. Subtle, controlled minimal lighting is what we need.
If something like this can win, then maybe music is indeed some sort of global language. Perhaps there really is something about rhythm and counterpart that actually does transcend language and culture and religion and history and all the rest of it. A formalist fantasy. Because music really is the only thing that Blanche has going for her – it’s the basket where all her eggs are kept. And perhaps it’s enough.
But if it isn’t, maybe it will go to Azerbaijan with this…
Armenia’s Entry is nowhere near as scary:
In the meantime here are my thoughts on the Australian entry:
And here’s Albania…