This week, we aren’t travelling back far in time, as we’re revisiting the Israeli National Final of 2016. You’ll remember that Hovi Star was the eventual winner, however, obviously, today we’re looking at another finalist. Gil Hadash is a strong female singer, who was participating with the song Follow the Sun. Had this been chosen, would it have topped Hovi Star’s final position of 14th?
I think this is very much a strong entry from Israel. Gil has a tone in her voice reminiscent of the sound of Florence and the Machine, which is very much on trend at the moment. Her voice suits this rock-pop vibe, and I think Follow the Sun has that edginess which would separate this song from other general pop songs. The song has musical highs and lows, and I think it builds well.
The addition of strings in certain parts of the song really adds to the dramatic and edgy feel of the song. I think they also contrast Gil’s voice well which makes for an interesting 3 minutes to listen. For the sake of Eurovision, I think the simplicity of the chorus would have worked well, as it is something that audiences can a) remember, and b) sing along with easily.
It’s hard to compare this with Made of Stars, because I really do like both, but they give off such different vibes. Ultimately, I don’t think this would have achieve a vastly different result than Hovi did, and it’s hard to say. Only 2 years before, Mei Finegold flopped in the semi-final with a song on a similar path to Follow the Sun, but saying this, I think Follow the Sun and Gil Hadash make for a better combination than Mei and Same Heart was back in 2014. I think with this song, the ideal staging would have been simple – Gil and some backing singers, with the lights or backdrop to do most of the work in terms of visuals. I think it’s telling of a good Eurovision song when you can really picture the staging, and just how television friendly it would be, and for me, this song just fits.
The more I listen to this song, the more I really start to appreciate it. I have to say, before this song was suggested to me for this series, I hadn’t really heard it, but now that I have, I will probably keep listening to it, which is definitely a good sign. Overall I think it’s a good quality pop-rock song sung by a confident singer with a unique and on trend voice.
As such, I’m going to give this an 8/10.
Artist: Gil Hadash
Song: Follow the Sun