Whilst casually watching Eurovision 2022, I couldn’t help notice that the overall quality of performances has increased significantly in recent years. However, one performance in particular caught me completely off guard.
I can’t stop thinking about Lithuania’s Monika Liu.
When introducing her, Graham Norton almost took it upon himself to warn us that this act was going to be “very retro” as if that might be considered a bad thing. My first expectation was for something reminiscent of the 1970s – bright colour, big hair and all-round cheesiness.
Indeed I was delightfully surprised by what graced our screens next: an instant martini emblem, a playful femme fatale, charm, timeless sophistication and even a potential bond theme, all from one woman, performing alone, without a band or any extravagance with only her skills, serenading and slinky presence to captivate us all – and captivate us she did.
Her song, ‘Sentementai’ was reportedly written in London but is sung entirely in Lithuanian, making it a statistical outlier in Eurovision canon. The lyrics talk about reminiscent feelings for an ex-lover, with additional reference to a Lithuanian folklore tale, which only enhances this song’s cultural authenticity.
You can see her performance at the Turin 2022 Grand Finale here:
Monika describes the music as ‘spooky disco’, but to me that sounds like charming, light-hearted, self-deprecation from this effortlessly sophisticated musician who performs a very complex, layered song to tempt us. In the end, she finished the night in 14th place, which she can be proud of.
This song is very clearly something worthy of a martini and slips effortlessly into the Classic Martini Playlist I’ve put together on Spotify. You can see the original post here and listen to the playlist here. Be sure that Monika has a firmly secure place in it from now on!
Here are some things that her performance seemed to evoke:
Well established in her native Lithuania, she won the musical contest Dainų dainelė at the age of 15 before studying music in both her hometown, the coastal city of Klaipėda, as well as Boston, Massachusetts. She now appears on TV music contests, collaborates with other artists and has her own back catalogue that you can listen to on Spotify.
I look forward to hearing more from this martini chanteuse, hopefully in the very near future. She is firmly established as a martini icon as far as I can see.
Ačiū, Monika ir į sveikatą Lietuva!