Brunette is the stage name of the singer representing Armenia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 in Liverpool. Her unique, self-penned song Future Lover can be seen as a drama in three acts. Or, in her own words: three minutes of impossible dreams, seven minutes of panic.
ACT ONE: Bookshops & cafes
It’s as if we’ve just run into singer Brunette on the street, right before this song started, and asked her about her life’s plans. ‘I want to create art,’ she answers us in the first seconds of her song. ‘I want to read books and find someone who likes me enough to want to kiss my face.’ With that future lover, she wants to visit old bookshops, drink smoothies in a local cafe, and do other ‘sweet little things’.
Calm / turbulent
The first half of Future Lover flows smoothly, without getting too heavy. Brunette’s dream image is pleasant, full of warm colours. It’s good. And these words determine what follows, in which the just-turned-22 Armenian singer now directly addresses that future lover, the one of the bookshops and cafes and kissing her face. ‘I hope it all comes naturally,
I hope our love is quiet outside, but loud inside.’ That’s why she wrote this song, she concludes the chorus with, to find that loved one. ‘I decide to be good, do good, look good.’
Future Lover is only the sixth song that Brunette (real name: Elen Yeremyan, born in 2001 in Yerevan) has released. Besides being a solo artist, Elen is also a member of the successful girl group En Aghjiknery in Armenia, and the popular cover band Project12. As Brunette, she writes her own lyrics, doing so in an exciting, honest, and genuine way. Future Lover has thus earned her a nomination for the Eurostory Best Lyrics Award, the annual prize for the best song lyrics of the Eurovision Song Contest that year.
ACT TWO: I am a volcano
She owes this, in part, to what comes after that first flowing chorus. The sky darkens. The light and airy singing Brunette switches to rapid-fire rap. It’s just a daydream, she says now.
‘I wanna scream and shout.
My heart caught in chains.
Cold heart, cold hands, fire in my veins,
fire in my veins, heart in chains,
I’m a volcano that is going to explode in a sec.‘
Where does this sudden anger and frustration come from? Perhaps this realization: ‘I’m so hypnotized by someone I haven’t ever met.‘ She doesn’t want to forget that beautiful, sweet, poetic daydream, but it seems to have already slipped away. Then she describes ten perhaps very illustrative minutes from her young life: ‘Three minutes of making impossible plans, seven minutes of unnecessary panic attacks.’
‘What should I do now?’
Here I go, she concludes this intense rap section, still that volcano with a burning heart and ice-cold hands. ‘Here I go with still no plans oh.‘ But then, as if pulling herself together, this middle section ends, and we fall back to something familiar: the chorus.
ACT THREE: Be good
But that chorus (‘Be good, do good, look good‘) gains a new layer, a new language: her mother tongue. In Armenian, Brunette now adds lines to that be-good mantra. ‘You’re so far away from me, left alone. You and I, we’re lost in my dream.’ In the Future Lover music video, this moment, when the first Armenian words are heard, is also when Brunette lets go of the ground.
Literally. She begins to float. As if she’s finally managed it: the daydream of a future love has lifted the weight from her shoulders. ‘This song is about steps,’ Brunette explains in an interview. ‘Steps you take to find love. Ultimately, you hope to find someone who can handle your peace, but also your chaos.’
That’s how it can go
But you also need to be able to give that love to yourself, concludes the Armenian singer. ‘I’ve had them too, those panic attacks. I still have them. And I know that many struggle with them. Often, for me, it goes like in this song, not only in the lyrics but also in speed, rhythm, and intensity: from total calm to total madness. That’s how it can go. And I wanted to show that.’
By picking the relatively inexperienced but also unique singer Brunette, Armenia is following roughly the same strategy as last year. Her predecessor Rosa Linn finished in a modest twentieth place at the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, but her song Snap went viral worldwide not long after the final and became one of the most streamed Eurovision songs ever. The Armenian delegation explained when announcing Brunette: ‘We are very happy that, like last year, we can provide a platform for a young and talented singer-songwriter. Brunette is a true, original artist, and she shows it with every performance. We have a great deal of confidence in her.’
Whether Future Lover has the same potential as Snap remains to be seen, but it’s clear that the three minutes of Armenia during the Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool will stand out. Both the song and the artist are unique enough. ‘Three minutes of making impossible plans,’ Brunette raps, but a good end result shouldn’t be impossible.
Photo: AMPTV / Robert Koloyan / Eurovision.tv