Ireland is the most successful nation at Eurovision with 7 wins under their belt. In recent years, Ireland hasn’t been able to replicate their success, especially from the 1990’s where they were consistently winning the contest. With such mixed results, it was time to bring something big to the 2017 contest, and to do so, they hired the help of Louis Walsh to choose an act internally, and Brendan Murray was the lucky one to be chosen. Later on, his song Dying to Try was released, but is it just what Ireland needs to be successful once again?
The thing you have to know before you hear Brendan sing for the first time is that his voice is quite high. Upon hearing him sing for the first time, I found it quite startling actually. I overall found the song to be tolerable, partially enjoyable at best, but as the case with a lot of the other 2017 songs, it just takes a few listens to really work out if you like or dislike a song. Since hearing him sing at the pre-parties, and listening to the song a bit more, I really love this. You get used to the fact that his voice is somewhat unnaturally high and embrace it as part of the beauty of the song. His voice gives it the delicate feeling, whilst he still manages to really belt out the big notes.
I find that the song builds well over the three minutes, and when he hits that big note and then that key change towards the end, it’s just that ‘wow’ moment which will really impress live. The song has simple instrumentation, but stunning backing vocals in the studio version, so I hope that’s replicated on stage. It almost gives a gospel feel to the song, and it makes it quite an emotional entry. Long story short, I’d like to be kept safe in Brendan’s arms with a bridge built between mine and his heart.
This song demands a simple staging, and it would be nice to see the backing singers on stage and actually visible because I think they add so much to the song. The reason I think they need something simple is because the real star of the show is Brendan’s delicate vocals which set him apart from the other acts. He has a big voice whilst also being so angelic, and I feel like that’s a unique mixture.
I think overall, Ireland did manage to pull something pretty great out of the bag. At this point, I do think Ireland is being underrated, but because of that, he could be the surprise qualifier of the night. I think it would be a shame not to see him in the final, but semi-final two is a rough playing field. I really think it could go either way, but for me, I’m pro-Ireland and I’m going to give this song an 8/10. It has definitely grown on me, and hope to see it do well in Kyiv.