It’s long been a well-established fact that some of the coolest people on the planet live in Iceland. Hipsters so hip they’ve probably moved on to normcore ages ago, who don’t belong to the very exclusive and rare species being born and bred on the saga island, move there. Like the amazingly brilliant American singer-songwriter John Grant, not so randomly chosen as an example in this review as he happens to be one of our favorite artists in the real world (a parallel universe outside the Eurovision bubble) AND one of the writers behind Pollapönk’s Eurovision entry No Prejudice. Suddenly we’re caught in a turmoil of mixed feelings by the very fact that these two worlds collide, as we’re quite comfortable with keeping them strictly separated. But then again, the prospect of running into John Grant at Euroclub is simply so wonderfully bizarre, our hearts skip a couple of beats just by thinking of it, so we guess we’re ready to make an exception.
The Icelanders seemed pretty determined to dispatch Pollapönk to Copenhagen and the unusual weak line-up in Söngvakeppni Sjónvarpsins only served as a platform for introducing the chosen song to the public. However, despite being wildly popular in Iceland, the band is running the risk of being perceived as a gimmick act especially made up for the sole purpose of entering Eurovision, trying to milk votes from people by sporting a politically correct message of tolerance, peace and love. And had it been the case it would indeed be fake, cynical and cringeworthy.
But there is something profoundly genuine about these tracksuit-clad goofballs. Their performance is not about desperately trying to score a few cheap points in Eurovision. They simply go about their business doing what they’ve done for years, playing great music, having fun and making people smile while also transmitting a message of real importance through the lyrics. We can’t think of anything more appropriate for Eurovision really.
The tongue in cheek humor, the happy go lucky funky tune, the blokes’ brash attitude and charismatic stage presence, we’re buying the package, and think they’ll hit it off with quite a few jolly televoters as well. When Moldova can make top 10 with a drumming nan, groovy pre-school teachers from Iceland can be equally successful, we reckon. And if you wholeheartedly supported InCulto’s Eastern European funk and jumped around with joy to Koza Mostra last year in Malmö, then look no further, this will be the one to get behind come May. Cause in an ocean of dreary ballads, Iceland is the party island welcoming everyone. And we’re definitely not turning down that invitation!