Let’s take our first of several trips to the Balkans now (just about) with Croatia’s entry. I have the impression that the Balkans are generally quite strong in Eurovision, but that’s not entirely true. Sure, it’s one of the more infamous voting blocs if you’re into that sort of thing, but really they haven’t had the best decade.
They tend to do alright if they make it to a final, but Croatia have missed the last three finals. Bosnia & Herzegovina and Serbia have tended to suck up most of the Balkan votes, but with B&H out of the way, could Croatia make it their first top 10 finish for 12 years?
This year the Croatian broadcaster HRT wanted to play it straight with a traditional Klapa song, and selected a suitable act to perform it. Klapa is an type of Croatian acapella music with strong harmonies, often about strong traditions and homelands etc., or in this case misery. Mmm.
I’d forgive you if you found this a bit of a turn-off (or a toilet-break), it’s true that it’s probably not for everyone, but I’ve really come around to this. The group, Klapa s Mora are a serious-looking bunch but they can really sing. They were formed a Klapa supergroup from several established Klapa bands.
A Croatian-language ballad about misery might be a hard sell, but my god have they nailed those harmonies. I’m a sucker for that sort of thing, it just sounds so gorgeous together, and the swelling instrumentation really builds it up to something quite striking.
I’m not totally on board with the choreo, there’s quite a lot of standing around motionless, and the 6-person rule doesn’t afford them any dancers, so it’ll be interesting to see how it’s presented, but I’m definitely up for welcoming Croatia back to a Eurovision final – though if it’s at the expensive of Netherlands, there will be violence.
Read the rest of my reviews of the Eurovision entries, national finals and other news on my Malmö 2013 hub.