A writhing beat, cheap rhymes, and cheerful refusal to conform — it must be a song by reigning Eurovision champion Netta Barzilai.
The Israeli winner of last year’s international song competition dropped “Nana Banana,” her third single, just in time for the first anniversary of her triumph. Israel is just days away from hosting Eurovision, which starts this Tuesday, May 14. It’s a song about eating sandwiches and hanging out with your mom, and listening to your guiding instincts instead of outside noise. Bruno Mars wishes he wrote this song.
“Nana Banana” follows the singer’s ecstatic weirdo melody “Basa Sababa” — released in February, the jagged self-love anthem was accompanied by the most expensive Israeli music video ever made.
Like that song, “Nana Banana,” more than “Toy” sound like straightforward female power pop anthems, but the lyrics paint a more complicated picture. “Don’t save me,” the 26-year-old spits, “If you see me sleeping, don’t wake me” — these lyrics depict an artist going through a needed hibernation, but the chorus questions this flattering portrait. “Baby, it’s so comfortable!” she belts. “In my bubble I stay, always running away!”
Who is Netta? The fearless, subversive ball of joy bawks like a chicken and refuses to be treated like a toy? Or just a girl in a bubble, a ball of anxiety?
We’ll find out more in just a few days, when the singer performs her new single live, at Eurovision in Tel Aviv. This, we know for sure — she’ll do what she wanna, she’ll do what she wanna.
Jenny Singer is the deputy life/features editor for the Forward. You can reach her at Singer@forward.com or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny
Netta Barzilai Drops Contender For Song Of The Summer