First Listen Review attempts to capture my first impressions of the year’s Eurovision entries as and when they’re released. My opinion is liable to change as certain songs grow on me or get revamped, but based on the principle that most listeners will only hear each entry once (or twice) before voting, hopefully it’ll provide some insight. 

Spain Flag

Edurne – Amanecer

Edurne - Amanecer | Eurovision 2015 Spain

Edurne is a well-known singer, actress and TV personality in Spain. Since rising to fame on Operación Triunfo in 2005, she’s released 5 successful solo albums and numerous hit singles.

With a couple of noble exceptions, the announcement of the Spanish Eurovision entry has not typically been seen as a high-point of the season in recent years. This year however, they’ve done an excellent job of creating a genuine sense of anticipation that seemed to install the internally-selected Edurne as a potential front runner before a note of her entry had been made public.

A little hype can go a long way, but too much of it can be detrimental, and when I first heard Amanecer this morning, my instant reaction was disappointment that it was not the Euphoria-esque anthem that the Spanish team seemed to be promising. We’re still waiting on a truly competitive uptempo in this year’s competition, and this isn’t it.

However, once you accept that Spain aren’t playing that particular game this year, Amanecer quickly reveals itself to be a very powerful entry indeed. The production is possibly the best heard on any entry so far this year – a lush and detailed soundscape packed with tribal drums and dramatic strings. It feels like the musical accompaniment to the climactic scene of a high-budget fantasy movie.

This cinematic feel may be a key element to Spain’s plans – throughout their promotional campaign so far they’ve made much of the visual aspect of Amanecer – from the Lord of the Rings-esque imagery to the sneak peak at what looks to be a high-budget video. It suggests – unless I’m giving them a little too much credit – that they have a strong idea of how they intend to present the song on stage. If they get it right, this could be a real moment in Vienna.

Spain cracked the top ten in 2012 and 2014, but they haven’t been seriously in contention for decades. If the Spanish team keep playing this as well as they have been so far, and Edurne can deliver what sounds like a demanding vocal, this might be the one to put them back in the top 5.