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. 

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Elina Born & Stig Rästa – Goodbye to Yesterday

Elina Born & Stig Rästa - Goodbye to Yesterday | Eurovision 2015 Estonia

Elina Born and Stig Rästa are both veterans of the Estonian music scene. ‘Goodbye to Yesterday’ won the televote with a 79% landslide.

If you’ve been following the National Finals this year, you’ll probably have noticed a distinct trend towards what I’ll call ‘The Common Linnets effect’. The Dutch duo didn’t invent the Eurovision duet of course, but they did create a relatively untested template for more thoughtful, chart-friendly collaborations than the more saccharine fare we’d been more used to seeing at the contest.

It would be a little harsh to accuse Elina & Stig’s Goodbye To Yesterday of slavishly copying the Calm After The Storm template, but the two songs are definitely cut from a similar cloth. Estonia fell foul of this last year when Tanja’s Amazing failed to distinguish itself from the inevitable Euphoria comparisons that now seem to plague every dance-pop entry.

On its own terms, Goodbye to Yesterday is very good indeed. It has a slightly retro sixties flare, and the vocal arrangement is in more of a classic duet style, with Elina & Stig trading lines rather than singing in close harmony. There’s a nice contrast between the girlish sweetness of her vocals and his darker, more lived-in tones that reminds me of the classic duets of Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood.

My feeling is that this will do well for Estonia. It was a landslide victor at home, and the bookies already have it installed behind Italy as the second favourite. There’s an air of authenticity about it that should prove catnip to the international juries, and if it’s well staged it should appeal to a large portion of the viewing audience too.

However, the post-contest success of the Common Linnets means viewers are likely to remember them. Elin & Stig’s main priority at this point should be to ensure that their performance doesn’t come across as a copycat on the big stage. If they can do that, I think they should be gunning for a top ten place. I’m less convinced that it’s a potential winner, but I certainly wouldn’t begrudge it of Estonia, especially with a song of this quality.