Austria have been hit and miss in Eurovision over the years, and have used a variety of methods to choose their Eurovision act. This year, they opted for an internal selection, and the artist, Nathan Trent was selected fairly early on in the national final season of 2017. Funnily enough, he was actually shortlisted to be a part of the German national final, however once he was announced as the Austrian participant, naturally he was withdrawn from the German selection. The song Nathan will be performing is called Running on Air, which was both written and composed by Nathan himself alongside Bernhard Penzias.
The song itself, I really enjoy. I didn’t know what to expect from Nathan, as his previous single I wasn’t a big fan of, however Running On Air is a song I got on board with after the first listen. Yeah, sure, the lyrics, especially in that opening verse are super cliché, but the catchiness of the actual melody makes up for it. It’s a melody which is easy to follow, especially in the choruses, and I just can’t help but sing along. I feel like that’s also going to be the case at Eurovision, and I can just imagine the audience singing along with ‘hey now!’ Nathan’s vocals are fresh, and what we hear on the studio version I imagine will be replicated on the Eurovision stage to produce a confident performance. There are some big notes in the final minute which will provide that real ‘wow’ moment, and give the song some growth over the three minutes.
As for the staging, this is a mystery to me. This is a feel good song that needs a really uplifting staging, something light rather than dark. They need to play on his happy demeanour, as his enthusiasm is all part of the charm of the song. The scenery is incredible in the official video, which you can watch below, and if only they could somehow transport that onto the Eurovision stage because it really is breathtaking.
Overall, I really enjoy this song. It has had a fairly mixed response from Eurovision fans, but I think the fact that is just simply a feel good song gives me some hope that it could be a surprise qualifier. The only reason I’m not confident is simply because of the competition Nathan has in his semi-final. It’s such a brutal playing field in semi-final 2, and some really great songs will be lost, and I do fear that this could be one of them. I would like to see this in the final, but even if it doesn’t make it, it will still be a song that I listen to on the regular when I need a bit of a pick me up!
With all that said, I’m going to give this song an 8/10. Update: I gotta give this more. I can’t stop listening to it, totally in love. Updated score: 9.5/10.