As campy and absurd as Eurovision so often is, every now and then, the competition provides the platform necessary to launch an incredibly crucial act into the pop stratosphere. (Perhaps you’ve heard of ABBA.)
Loreen, better known ’round these parts as Lorqueen, is one of those acts.
The vocal powerhouse took home the win for Sweden with “Euphoria” way back in 2012 — a song that actually lives up to its title — and then released one of that year’s best albums in the form of Heal. (That album, among countless smashes, includes the other best song called “Everytime” that isn’t by Britney.)
Loreen has yet to release a follow-up album despite lots of promises and teases, although she has dropped a few stone-cold gems along the way, including “I’m In It With You” and “Paper Light;” the latter of which resulted in a jaw-dropping, vogue-heavy live rendition of the song alongside everyone’s favorite troupe of chiseled men in stilettos, Kazaky.
Let’s watch it once again before we talk about anything else.
God, still so incredible.
Anywho, Loreen is doing the Eurovision thing again — at least, she’s trying to.
She’s currently competing in this year’s Melodifestivalen, Sweden’s pre-Eurovision contest to determine their official representative, with a new song called “Statements.”
As one would expect from the never-boring, constantly shape-shifting songstress, it’s different than what we’ve heard from her before: sharper, more sinister and arguably much less friendly and accessible than the climax-inducing up-up-up! of “Euphoria.”
Given the current political climate — one that’s even got our Queen of Coney Island speaking up to assuage our fears — Loreen’s rebellious song comes charged with meaning: empty promises and those “thoughts and prayers” tweets don’t mean shit, basically.
“Words cut but I don’t care how much it hurts / Shades for the blind / Can’t hear your empty words / We don’t need no / We don’t need no / Statements!” she angrily declares.
As with her “Paper Light” paper-formance, it’s her Melodifestivalen show that really drives the song home: it’s like a combination of Sia‘s Maddie Ziegler-assisted interpretive dancing, FKA twigs voguing and fabric-in-the-air twirling, and blood red horror-inspired visual elements borrowed from The Ring and Drag Me to Hell. (Samara/Sadako, is that you?)
As with most things in the past year or so, nothing is right or fair, which is why Loreen somehow was not selected to move forward in the semi-finals. She does, however, get a shot in the Second Chance round in a few days on March 4 — although it’s offensive a previous winner would be relegated to “Second Chance” status. (To be fair, it’s also Sweden: all of the musical output is A-level by default. But still.)
Vote for Loreen in this upcoming round and redeem yourselves, Sweden: there are only so many elections we can somehow manage to fuck up before the world ends.
“Statements” was released on February 25. (iTunes)