15 February 2019

2019: Czech Republic | Lake Malawi | Friend of A Friend

Lake Malawi | Czech Republic | Czechia | Eurovision 2019
Getting friendly: Lake Malawi to represent the Czech Republic

Following a combined online public and international jury vote, the group Lake Malawi has won the right to represent  the Czech Republic at Eurovision 2019 with their song, Friend of a Friend. The four-piece band faced stern competition from pre-vote favourites Jakub Ondra with Space Sushi and Barbora Mochowa with True Colors, but managed to top the final poll after a close fought battle.

Flag Czech Republic | Czechia
Comprised of Albert Cerný, Jeroným Šubrt, Antonín Hrabal and Pavel Palát, Lake Malawi is a recognised act in their homeland, having released their debut single, Always June, in 2014. This was a minor hit on the local music charts, but it was the follow-up, Chinese Trees, which brought the lads to greater public attention. Since then, they’ve released several other singles, an EP titled We Are Making Love Again, as well as their first album called Surrounded By Light.

Now comes Friend of a Friend which has a certain early-Eighties electronic vibe to it, although it comes across as a rather lightweight Howard Jones-style B-side. Moreover, it just does not have the dynamism and contemporary spirit of 2018’s Czech song from Mikolas Josef.

Against Lie to Me it sounds rather second rate which is a disappointment considering the group's other indie output. Conversely, there is something charming about the song: It does possess a memorable chorus which at least gives it some capacity to pinch a few points from both the juries and the public and possibly scrape through its semi-final.

It's not exactly my pick, but I think there’s sufficient here for it to become a potential qualifier. However, the Final will be more of a concern. It could easily be the kind of song that is overlooked in a bigger, tougher field.

So, can the Czech Republic make the Final twice in a row? The track is catchy, but is that enough?

Czech Republic 
Artist: Lake Malawi
Song:  Friend of a Friend
Semi-Final: 1 | First Half

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