Söngvakeppnin 2020: The 10 Artists and Songs!

What’s this? Last night, Icelandic broadcaster RUV unveiled the songs and artists that will compete in Söngvakeppnin 2020, in the hope of winning and getting to represent Iceland at the Eurovision Song Contest.
When does it all happen? Next month there will be two heats on February 8th and 15th, each with five songs. Two songs from each will qualify to the final on Feb 29th. With RUV having the option to add a fifth ‘wildcard’ finalist.
So who have we got? These lot, right here;

Kid Isak – Ævintýri
Brynja Mary – Augun þín
DIMMA – Almyrkvi
Elísabet – Elta þig
Ísold og Helga – Klukkan Tifar

Daði Freyr – Gagnamagnið
Hildur Vala – Fellibylur
Iva – Oculis Videre
Matti Matt – Dreyma
Nína – Ekkó

What’s the line-up like? It’s fair to say that it’s quite a disappointing selection, all in all. Especially when you compare it to last year’s line-up of names and tunes, and the fact that Iceland were one of THE big talking points going into the Eurovision Song Contest in 2019. Unless something amazing transpires on stage with any of the songs, it’s looking like the Nordic nation will be giving us a fairly anti-climactic follow-up to their Hatari beast.
ANY highlights amongst them? If pushed, we’d pick out a few. Iva’s ‘Oculis Videre’ for at least offering up something a little different. Think ‘Nocturne’, even though it’s a shame you have to cast your minds back a whole 25 years in 2020, but alas this is where we are. Ísold og Helga’s ‘Klukkan Tifar’ serves as a charmingly uplifting number that we’ll probably be coming back to a bit in the coming weeks. Kid Isak’s ‘Ævintýri’ is another that has its charms, and could be elevated a lot further if he gets the performance right. Matti Matt’s ‘Dreyma’ is sweet enough, but no more so than Ari Olafsson’s ‘Our Choice’, and we’re alarmed to see RUV risking THAT happening again a mere two years after the act.
Ooof. And the others? There’s nothing wrong with the three efforts from Nína, Elísabet and Brynja Mary. But even after two listens, they’re blending in with each other and massively interchangeable from one to the other, making it difficult to care about any of them. Despite what you might suspect, we do love a bit of Nordic metal in a Eurovision pre-selection – but DIMMA’s ‘Almyrkvi’ offers up nothing more than a cursory tick of that genre box. Daði Freyr’s name was an exciting addition to the line-up, and the contest could have been his for the taking, but unfortunately his name is where any excitement begins and ends. And finally, Hildur Vala’s ‘Fellibylur’ sounds like it’s ended up there by mistake. An embarrasing mistake, at that.
So it’s fair to say Europe won’t be crumbling in 2020, then? After sitting through this lot twice, hatred is most definitely beginning to prevail. But don’t take out word for it – give it a go for yourself;

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