It’s not uncommon in the weeks before the contest for entries to undergo revamps and even (Malta looking at you) change their entire song, but in the case of this next entry, we have a change of name for the artist – going from the first names of the three sisters that make up the band to the more snappy Systur. I’m trying not to get flashbacks to that dreadful entry from Germany… Happily, this (genuine) sister act has a far more appealing song…
Folk group Systur won the Icelandic national final as something of a surprise while they were known as “Sigga, Betta and Elin”. It was a very narrow victory over a very different type of song in the final round of voting. Their song, “Með hækkandi sól” (English: “With the rising sun”) is one of several country-influenced entries this year, though is probably the most chilled out. It’s in Icelandic and written not by the sisters but by Icelandic singer-songwriter Lay Low.
This is another very sweet and relaxing song, and the Icelandic language seems to fit this genre in a really complimentary way. It’s probably one of the most understated and underrated entries this year. It’s a song I like and find very pleasant, even if it’s not my top choice of genre. It’s been a hard entry to place as 28 might seem a little low, but it’s more that there are just a lot of songs I like this year and edge this one out. I would have liked a bit more of that very catchy chorus too.
Iceland have had a lot of success in recent years – a top 10 placing in 2019, then a global viral sensation in 2020 that many people think would have won, and the follow up at the contest in 2021 that placed 4th, Iceland’s best result since 2009. I don’t think this will hit those heights, but it could perhaps do better than my ranking would suggest – if it sticks enough in people’s memories. I think that’s the biggest risk for this entry, it could get lost among the many memorable entries surrounding it.
Iceland in the Eurovision Song Contest
First entered: 1986
Appearances (excluding this year): 33
Best result: 2nd in 1999 and 2009
2021’s result: 4th