In 2013, Netherlands was represented by one of our all-time favorite Eurovision entries, “Birds” by Anouk. It was the first song from Netherlands to qualify for the Eurovision Final since 2004 and finished in the top 10. A hard act to follow, no doubt.
This year’s Dutch entry is no slouch. The Common Linnets are a country duo comprised of Ilse DeLange and Waylon. Isle DeLange has one of those age-old showbiz stories. She had the talent to make it in Nashville–she was signed to a major country label, recorded albums in Nashville, and Alison Krauss even sang backing vocals on “When You Put It Like That,” from DeLange’s second album. But for whatever reason the stars never quite aligned for her on Music Row. So, she went back to the Netherlands and subsequently found fame and fortune. These days, DeLange is a multi-platinum-selling artist and one of the judges on The Voice of Holland. Waylon is a bit earlier in his career but already has a platinum album and three Dutch Top 40 hits to his credit.
Together they have a pop country style akin to Lady Antebellum. Here is “Calm After the Storm”:
Right before the song was released, the Common Linnets performed an acoustic version of “Calm After the Storm” on the Dutch talk show De Wereld Draait Door, which did not necessarily give me high hopes. What plays well at The Bluebird isn’t going to play well on a big Eurovision stage. In other words, it was a bit dull.
The recorded version is more lush and probably closer to how “Calm After the Storm” will sound in Copenhagen. But I’m still a little concerned that the Common Linnets will be a bit too low key when going up against the more bombastic ballads that are in the second half of the first Semi. On the other hand, I have to admit that after “Mother” and “Maybe” and “Wild Soul,” a nice straightforward country tune might be just what I need.