Armenia to decide on JESC representative Sunday evening

On September 3rd, Armenian broadcaster Public Television Company of Armenia (also called 1TV) released the 10 songs to be performed at Depi Mankakan Evratesil 2019, the show to select Armenia’s representative for Junior Eurovision this November in Gliwice-Silesia, Poland. These 10 songs were selected to be potential national representatives after the submission process concluded on 10 August. The show will air live on 15 September at 22:00 Armenia Time (19:00 GMT).

The songs can be found below:

A short preview of each song in playlist order:

  1. Robert Bagratyan, “Captain Friendship”
    Key: B minor transition to C minor 2/3-way through
    Language(s): Armenian and English
    Description: Begins with an electric guitar riff lasting for 9 beats, which is unconventional from an outsider’s point of view. Blends synths and more modern production ideas with bass, electric guitar, piano, and ethnic instruments, likely a zhurna (also written as zurna elsewhere) in a mid-tempo ballad. Melodic.
  2. Anahit Arakelyan, “Chem Handznvi”
    Key: D major
    Language(s): Armenian, English
    Description: The intro begins with what sounds like two synthesized flutes, piano, strings, and drum brushes. After the trilled flutes (quick alternations between two notes), the instruments go down an augmented chord, like the first thing that plays in The Beatles’ song “Oh Darling”. The intro is rather jazzy. The rest of the song sounds like it could fit in an 80’s version of Eurovision, with its active bass line and constant ii-V-I throughout the verses and chorus. The studio version was not performed with much dynamic contrast, but this is also rather melodic.
  3. Narek Markosyan, “Im Ergy”
    Key: E minor transition to F minor
    Language(s): Armenian
    Description: The intro has the darkest and most modern production so far. There are heavily produced samples on top, including what sounds like a loud grand piano sample that swells into existence. Markosyan’s voice has a lot of reverb put on it. There is a rhythmic hiccup at 1:03, and the drums are quite forward in the mix, but if all the elements are effectively executed live, this has the potential to sound better than it does.
  4. Anzhhela Albertyan, “Khaghanq Khaghagh”
    Key: F major
    Language(s): Armenian, English
    Description: This is funky! Four-to-the-floor drum rhythms, heavy syncopation in the guitar and bass parts and more, this dance-pop is reminiscent of Benjamin Ingrosso crossed with early 2000’s Alcazar and brass. There is a lot of modal mixture – chords from the parallel minor (the song is in F major, so F minor) are being used consistently. The melody adapts to these changes deftly.
  5. Ani Atayan, “Every Time”
    Key: B minor
    Language(s): Armenian, English
    Description: this is a moody piano ballad that introduces the first new instruments, what sounds like harp and a relatively high-pitched sound effect, in the first chorus. The song seems lyrically driven and very orchestral. This reminds me of a more orchestral and cadential version of the NoCopyrightSounds track “Willow Tree” by Rival x Cadmium (feat. Rosendale).
  6. Anishock, “Selfie Yerevan”
    Key: F♯ minor
    Language(s): Armenian
    Description: Synth-pop with a syncopated synth bass line. The voice is relatively breathy, and there are a lot of electronically altered voices that may be difficult to reproduce live. The cymbal and snare coming in at 1:06 is very effective for a buildup. This song is a 21st-century jam and as such focuses more on the rhythm and instrumental layering rather than the melodic. Clever usage of the “na-na-na-na boo-boo” melody in a whistle part before the ending chorus.
  7. Roza Eloyan, “Im Qaghaq”
    Key: B♭ minor, E♭ minor in choruses transition to F minor
    Language(s): Armenian, English
    Description: Grandiose orchestral beginning. The verse includes a line cliché, where one note changes between each chord. This is abandoned to facilitate the transition between the two keys. The instrumental is unconventional; additional dynamics to the vocal performance could let this shine.
  8. Vardan Margaryan, “La La La”
    Key: B♭ minor
    Language(s): Armenian, English
    Description: This reminds me the most of Robin Bengtsson’s “I Can’t Go On” musically. It’s funky, particularly when the bass and drums come in during the chorus. High production values, prominent syncopated guitar, singable and catchy chorus. The ending adds even further dynamic intensity in the instrumental section.
  9. Karina Ignatyan, “Colours Of Your Dream”
    Key: C♯ minor
    Language(s): Armenian, English
    Description: This song starts off with an culturally inspired vocalization with what sounds like duduk. It also prominently uses the tresillo rhythm, a 3 + 3 + 2 grouping commonly found in Latin-inspired music with examples from David Bennett here. The song continues an interplay between ethnic and modern instruments/production throughout and can be danceable.
  10. Emily Hovhannisyan, “Parum Enq Pary”
    Key: C♯ major
    Language(s): Armenian
    Description: Rhythm is the focus of this song from the beginning, and it sounds like a more melodic and upbeat version of Lorde’s “Royals” or Lea Sirk’s “Hvala, ne!”. The drums go to from half-time feel to regular speed halfway through each chorus before the final chorus, a device also used in other songs, including Vocal Line’s rendition of “True North” (for more about “True North”, this previous article covers discussion about most of the song). There is also a low-pitched synth starting in the instrumental break at 2:23 that sounds like a slower attempt at emulating dubstep, particularly when contrasted with the drum-and-bass of Kállay-Saunders’ “Running” (Hungary 2014).

Who will win?

Each of the 10 songs has their own merits and caters to different tastes. We shall see what the Armenian public has decided by Sunday night. What is your favorite entry to win?

Article edited 15 September to correct the time zone differences. 22:00 in Armenia is 19:00 GMT. Also edited languages.

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