2016 Reviews – Latvia – Justs – Heartbeat

Last year, Latvia brought, arguably, their best song to Eurovision yet (they’ve had a winning song, but that was in the early 2000’s, so surely doesn’t count, right?). The song came in at 6th place, which was a very respectable and deserved spot for Aminata. This year, she is back in the form of a songwriter for Justs, with the song Heartbeat.

The song oozes Aminata. The vibe of the song is quite similar in the sense that the backing music is almost dimmed to allow the voice to shine first and foremost. This song is all about Justs and his vocal expression, which is full of emotion through the whole song. The song is so modern, and would fit into an indie radio station, such as Triple J in Australia.

His vocal performance live is almost identical to what we hear on the studio version, if not better. Paired with the vision of him on stage, it makes for a really captivating performance. The simple geometric patterns on the backing screen, and the flashing spotlights match the beat of this song, and I hope we see something in Stockholm. Keeping the focus on Justs makes the performance feel more intimate, and I think the televoters will go for that. Even his outfit choice for Supernova made the performance feel like it was comfortable and casual, which can also describe the song.

This was a great choice by the Latvian public, and I’m almost certain we will see this into the final, grabbing a spot in the top half of the leader board. This is a song that can be a hit with both televoter and jury, however I’m not sure it will level or beat Aminata’s rank from last year, purely because of the number of outstanding songs this year which may push it down. Hopefully this song gets a good result, because it deserves the recognition for being a great quality, modern, and catchy song.

I’m going to give this an 8/10.

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