In every year since 2004, I have voted in the Eurovision Song Contest. I have voted for a great many different countries competing in the contest, and many of these have become some of my favourite songs. In 2005 however, I voted for Switzerland, and for the following two years, could not remember why? I can still remember their entry winning at the half-way stage of the votes, but sadly they didn’t win. After two years of completely forgetting the song/band, I decided to investigate and rediscover why I voted for it in the first place. I watched and listened on YouTube, and then immediately understood why I voted for them.
Switzerland’s entry to that year’s contest came in the form of a Girl Rock Band from Estonia called Vanilla Ninja. They entered a song called Cool Vibes, a song featuring an opening harmonious sound, followed by a very heavy rock piece. Since rediscovering that song, I have listened to it countless times; plus also discovered some of the band’s other pieces of music.
Originally forming as a four piece group, the band’s lineup has changed a couple of times with the withdrawal of the first two bass players in Marya Roxx and then Triinu Kivilaan, whose departure led to the group becoming a three piece act. The remaining band members were guitarist Lenna Kuurmaa, keyboard player Katrin Siska, and guitarist Piret Järvis. Whilst mostly known in the neighbouring countries of their origin, Vanilla Ninja are not as such widely known everywhere else, but that hasn’t stopped me becoming a fan, and naming them as my favourite Girl Band. The group themselves have been on Hiatus since 2008, but I am still hopeful that perhaps one day they may reunite, and maybe even perform in the UK.
Anyway, I thought I would share with you my favourite Vanilla Ninja songs. I have kept the list down to three, as these are the pieces which have stood out to me the most, out of all their material. This does though keep out Don’t Go Too Fast which itself does have a pretty cool and catchy chorus while still retaining a heavy rock pace (plus I thought a top 4 would look a bit clunky). Altogether, I hope you enjoy this list of my Top 3 Favourite Vanilla Ninja songs.
3. Blue Tattoo – Blue Tattoo stands out for many reasons. For what is a heavy song, is more deep and profound in it’s timing and pacing, and I think is similar to The Zoo by Scorpions, it’s a pretty heavy and slow song, from a band that usually delivers speed. The video is nicely laced with ideas of fantasy and magic, and this works in great tandem with the backing vocals that sound like they come from deep throated monks. It’s slow, and deep, but also pretty simple, and in this produces a great musical experience as it shouts to be noticed. The song also features some nice surprises as when you think it’s all about to end, it leaps back into life with that nice deep riff.
2. Tough Enough – This one again is quite hard to pin down for a rock group, as throughout you have this constant keyboard sound. The piece sounds like a more gently piece of Techno, rather than rock, but you just need to sit in and let the song simmer and brew, as gradually you get these heavy rock bits to it, and all the while, the keyboard produces the lead riff and at times gentle sound. It’s a very different kind of piece in sound, but quite noteworthy, creating a sound that just stays with you, even after the song finishes. Add to this the passion of the lyrics and the fast but rough and tough vocals from the entire group, and you have a real stand out piece (plus, much like Blue Tattoo, the song allows a breather).
1. Cool Vibes – The opening to this song is a bit weird, it’s orchestral and harmonious sound doesn’t exactly make much promise for a heavy track, but just wait. It’s a nice little build-up with a couple of spoilers in the lyrics suggesting what’s about to come. And then ‘BANG!’ it gets going. It’s a pretty dark track with the lyrics featuring the line ”Cool vibes, Why don’t you kill me?” featuring at every chorus. Once the song reaches the halfway point, you have all but forgotten the opening, which makes a small return, whilst still denoting a riff in the background. Then it all returns for the big finale, with a nice climbing riff and then straight back into the dark lyrics and heavy riff, all backed up with the band playing and singing in tandem.
It’s a fun, yet dark and very heavy track that is both one of my Top 3 favourite Eurovision songs, and my favourite Vanilla Ninja song!