Iceland’s Söngvakeppnin 2019: Your Guide to Heat 1!

On Saturday night, Icelandic broadcaster RUV will host the first heat of their annual Söngvakeppnin – the competition to find the nation’s Eurovision song!

The process of selecting the winner is as follows: ten songs will be split into two heats (taking place on Feb 9th and Feb 16th), with the two highest scoring songs from each heat heading straight to the final on March 2nd. RUV will then choose a wildcard from the eliminated songs, to make it a five-song final, and Iceland’s Eurovision entry will be chosen.

Simple, right?

Here’s what’s in the running in Heat 1, who’s behind them, and the order in which they’ll be performing;


Hatari – Hatrið Mun Sigra

Well this is different. Known for outrageous live shows and screaming loudly about social discontent, Hatari have been a massive hit on the indie and alternative scene over the last few years. Their appearance in this line-up is surprising, and it’s also fucking huge. And as for the song? Well the fact that even we, Scandipop, are big fans, means that they’re probably onto something. A growling, industrial synthpop clash that is here to shake things up a bit. Iceland would be immensely proud to send this to represent them at Eurovision. So don’t be surprised if they do.

Þórdís Imsland – Nú Og Hér/What Are You Waiting For?
(Svala Björgvinsdóttir, Bjarki Ómarsson / Stefán Hilmarsson)

A sweet little number that will be very well received by many on Saturday night, considering what will have just been performed before it! Co-written by THE Svala. Unfortunately though, we can’t see THE Svala ever releasing this song herself – which is perhaps why it’s ended up in the hands of Þórdís. ‘What Are You Waiting For’ leaves us waiting for anything remotely remarkable to jump out. Readers, we’re still waiting.

Daníel Óliver – Samt Ekki/Licky Licky
(Daníel Óliver Sveinsson, Linus Josefsson)

Last year, Iceland recorded their worst result at Eurovision to date. So it makes a lot of sense to switch things up this year. Namely, by notching the tempo up quite considerably and abandoning all notions of a mic stand. Forget the icky icky sentiments and add the licky licky sauce. Daniel’s having a lot of fun with this song, and it shows. If he can translate that into a cheeky and engaging performance, then that’ll be quite the package for Tel Aviv. A super-catchy pop song with a talking-point title, delivered with devilish wink to the camera.

Kristina Skoubo Bærendsen – Ég á Mig Sjálf/Mama Said
(Sveinn Rúnar Sigurðsson & Valgeir Magnússon)

A classic pop number with a retro gloss painted over the top of it. Perfectly pleasant and enjoyable. But while the vocal stands out as something pretty special, the chorus that it’s singing feels like it’s lacking what would be needed to attract the votes in Tel Aviv. Though that’s not to say that it’ll be without the votes in Reykjavík!

Hera Björk – Eitt Andartak/Moving On
(Örlygur Smári, Hera Björk Þórhallsdóttir & Valgeir Magnússon)

The self-proclaimed ‘Queen of Fucking Everything’. And normally we’d agree. In fact, had she entered ‘Moving On’ into last year’s Icelandic selection, it may well have been the best song in the line-up. In this line-up though, it doesn’t quite cut it. And we can well see both her hoards of fans and the Icelandic public, well, Moving On. We have full faith that she’ll be back with a banger another time though.


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