Austria have found a new strength at Eurovision since their most recent win with Conchita Wurst, and although we won’t mention the last place finish the year after, overall the nation are faring a bit better than they once had. Last year the nation finished in a very respectable 3rd place, but will they reach those heights once again with Paenda and her song Limits?
Song + Vocals
Admittedly, with a song title like Limits I was truly expecting a pop banger from Paenda without even knowing her discography or musical style, but instead we got a touching and very personal tune which has since exceeded my own expectations.
I appreciated the song on first listen, but certainly not to the level that I appreciate it now. I found the song to be quite simple, and as I am sure many people feel, Paenda’s consistent high pitch might be off-putting for the entire three minutes. However since coming back to the song and giving it another go, I have truly fallen in love with Limits.
This song is incredibly delicate in its sound, especially through the verses but it does grow to a more powerful chorus. With a subdued backing beat through the verses, it leaves no room to hide but the melody is beautiful, and especially when we actually consider the lyrics on top of that. This feels like a very personal story and ultimately very relatable and I think that’s one of the main reasons why I could connect to this song, even if it did take a few listens to achieve that.
I could see how this song wouldn’t appeal to everyone, and I would credit most of that to the minimal style of the song and consistently high vocals. Watching her acoustic rendition of the song, I think Paenda will surprise many Eurovision fans who had already formed an opinion of this song, and will also then exceed their expectations. It’s almost like the studio version is the base product to which Paenda can add more of her flair to in the live version. If she can match that vocal and emotional expression through her live performance in Tel Aviv, this will be the surprise act of the night.
Act + Performance
Paenda may not be the biggest name to represent Austria, but she is incredibly relatable especially due to the nature of the song. Allowing the artist to present a song for Eurovision which is genuine to the artist I think makes a big difference in how the song is performed, and I think her true emotions will come through during the performance in Tel Aviv.
As for the stage performance, I feel like there are a few routes they could take however I would suspect that we will see something fairly minimal which I think will keep the focus on the song. I would also hope that Paenda herself is the only person on stage, as I think anyone else could distract from the song.
I am enjoying this song more as I continue to listen to it, and I would hope that Europe will also appreciate it on the night. I can’t say that it is a confident qualifier and it could be borderline, but I do think it’s one of the better of the ballad style songs of the semi-final. Fingers crossed Austria will have another successful result!