Armenia

Fly With Me by Artsvik

They may have kept us hanging on to be the last country to show its hand this year, but the wait was worth it. This is proper different! An introduction segment, released ahead of the song to tease, immediately grabbed your attention, and the rest of this unusual entry keeps it once your interest is piqued.

Artsvik is styled like she’s in some kind of sci-fi series, the pinks, oranges and yellows of her dress straps echoed in the lighting, in sharp contrast to the more sinister black uniforms of her dancers. The could be subservient, or they could belong to some kind of autocratic ruling elite force performing some ritualistic act around her. It’s all very Margaret Attwood.

The music has a nebulous quality, almost minimalist in places, as do the lyrics, making both sound and interpretation difficult (deliberately?) to pin down. Still, I can’t read anything obviously anti-Azerbaijani about it so at least it’s not another last-minute political scandal: I’m not sure Jon Ola Sand could cope at this stage. I’m really drawn to it, even though I can’t quite work it out. There’s something that makes you want to listen to it, and then listen to it again. It’s all the better that it’s not easily defined. But will a quirky rhythm and an off-beat sound be enough? I would think so, for qualification, but I’m nothing if not intrigued to see how this is staged and how well it does.

My marks – douze points!