Songs for Euro 2016

Songs for Euro 2016

You can’t have failed to notice that the European football championships for 2016 started this past weekend in France. To celebrate, we thought we’d survey the continent for potential musical gems that could represent each of the nations teams involved.




Las Aves are the most exciting thing to come from France since Thierry Henry. This quartet has the ability to mix hip-hop, electronica, R&B and pop to create an album that should be on every end of year list! Let’s hope the French team match Las Aves for flair and inventiveness otherwise their tournament could end in disappointment.


Kadebostany mix the old and the new. This duo seamlessly meld Switzerland’s traditional folk musicality, but juxtapose it with contemporary production and social commentary. Much like their national team, it’s hard hitting, but with delicate touches and flourishes.


Like most European countries Romania has a burgeoning underground club scene. If you want cosmic disco, deep trance, ear bleeding techno and straight up house, you’ll be able to find it pretty easily. One of these new producers reaping the rewards of an easier connected world and countrymen, and tourists, who want something different is Vid. His brand of dark minimal techno, plus incendiary DJ set is making him a name to watch!


Albania made more headlines for their all-night qualification party, than some of the football they played on the pitch. As this is their first time at the European Championships the football is second to having a party during their sojourn in France. Mr Rez, Albanian reggae ambassador, is one of the most popular artists so expect to hear this music coming from the bars and clubs that the Albanian’s make their home.




The standard bearers for the Russians are Pinkshinyultrablast,  a five-piece band from Saint-Petersburg who trade in intricate gazey washes augmented by Lyubov Soloveva’s captivating vocals. She is the playmaker for this team!


We haven’t been to a tournament since John Charles and the lads did us proud in 1958, we are now sending our greatest Welsh export since in the shape of Gareth Bale. So it seems fitting we send our brand of inventive musical genius in the form of the Super Furry Animals and the frankly bonkers addictive 70s synth brilliance of BING BONG, watch that ball control lads!


I must admit I struggled to find a Slovak entry of worth, I sieved through the wealth of Slovak pop, hip hop and dance music.Before I settled upon NVMERI who are a synth pop band from Slovakia, like a shiny Factory Floor with mathy riffing and wooshy soulful harmonies, this is a slice of glistening future – pop music entitled ‘Entrophy’


I think the Stone Roses recent come-back single ‘All for One’., and its lumpen brand of baggy nursery rhyming with widdly widdly Squire solos, is just like the England football team really. Hyped to high heaven, haven’t delivered in decades, given the big build up and then singularly fails to deliver . Maybe this year will be different, who knows?




The words Psych-Pop and Poland haven’t really gone together, but thanks to Brodka they now do. Brodka merges perfectly the vibe of the 1960’s avant-garde rock with contemporary pop prowess. Like the Polish team she is an underdog, but with songs like this it won’t be long before everyone start to take notice of her Polish urok!


I a way I feel slightly sorry for Northern Ireland. They have never qualified for the European Championships before, but because of Wales’ dramatic rise through the world rankings they’ve been left in the shadows a bit. Jun Tzu’s visceral rhymes and brutal beats sums up their qualification. Through brute force and team spirit they’ve made it. Let’s see if these dark horses and progress even further than the group stages!


Forget Three Lions, Eat My Goal, The Big Man And The Scream Team Meet The Barmy Army Uptown and definitely Shaun Ryder’s Four Lions project. This is the GREATEST football song ever!!!! Bask in its glory and Germany’s tournament win.


Eastern Europe loves techno. I’ve seen it first-hand. Small basement clubs, packed to the rafters playing the kind of music that would make Paranoid London blush. The Alex Shultz off-cut says everything you need to know about Odessa’s underground scene.




There is a wealth of great Turkish music around right now, but Istanbul’s Adamlar is up there with the best of them. The smooth, funky grooves of ‘Kapısı Kapalı‘ is like a happy medium between Tom Waits and Jack Johnson, and screams SUMMER at you even more convincingly than wasps do.


More glorious sunrays next, with the laid back, beautifully layered, shimmery pop of Mi Capitán with ‘Es suave la voz‘. This is an irresistibly infectious, punchy guitar driven number that proves Spain is adept at delivering music as its national team is captivating to watch.


A gently lilting number from Czech singer Markéta Irglová, but it’s a game of two halves – a captivating piano ballad which begins in a stripped back fashion, rather like Soap & Skin, but eventually becomes dramatic, utterly heart-rending and compelling. Not for nothing did Irglová win an Academy Award for her songwriting prowess, back in 2008.


Finally in Group D, it’s the rather unusually named (for a Croatian band anyway!) Jonathan. Possessing a vocal strikingly reminiscent of The Blue Nile‘s frontman Paul Buchanan, ‘Maggie‘ is certainly up with the best songs in the ‘indie pop’ genre.




‘In The Forest, I Feel Bizarrely More At Home’ from Limerick’s Bleeding Heart Pigeons is a gorgeous, minimalist twist on indie, and indeed is far more interesting than Bog-standard Indie.  Each element gets a chance to shine and speak for itself, showing off its brilliance piece by piece.


It would be far too easy – not to mention incredibly lazy – to pick something by ABBA or Ace of Base.  Thinking a little outside of the box as it were, Tove Lo, whilst still making catchy pop tunes, also has a darker side to her music which is quite often explicit in nature.  ‘Say It’ by Flume and featuring Tove Lo is no different and it’s just brilliant.



Chosen initially for the clever and amusing band name, Absynthe Minded, as it turns out, are pretty cool if ‘Pretty Horny Flow’ is anything to go by.  Try, I dare you, to not sway, shimmy, or even tap your toes and nod along to this one.



‘Jupiter’ – by Ofeliadorme – is a gorgeous swell of mature, dark synth-pop that ebbs and flows from the outset.  The lyrics are serious as well as deeply poetic; set against the backdrop of those dark synth waves, together they create something wholly other and strikingly beautiful.




A few hundred yards from my house, someone decided to open a Portuguese bar. It lasted less than a year, probably on account of it residing in the same village as the parents of Madeline McCann who doubtless weren’t too happy at the reminder of their tragic holiday. You may think this is my idea of a sick joke; it isn’t. It’s a fact and merely goes to demonstrate how tasteless the Portuguese can be; a theme which continues into much of their musical output.

Miss Lava are a hard-working, hard-rocking pseudo-metal band straight outta Lisbon. There’s a hint of Hives in there too or perhaps I hit the Mateus too hard last night. They have recently released their third album ‘Sonic Debris’ with such resplendent rock titles as ‘Fangs Of Venom’, ‘Pilgrims Of Decay’ and of course, the mighty Warhammer that is ‘The Silent Of Ghost Of Doom’.

I’m guessing they don’t feature on Cristiano Ronaldo’s playlist


It would be way too simple to pick Bjork or Sigur Ros wouldn’t it and like the Icelandic path to Euro 2016, life is never that straightforward. Samaris look like three kids who have just handed their disappointed parents a third rate salad bowl made in the school pottery class. They are sheepish and awkward yet produce a sound that is quintessentially Icelandic, soft, melodic and cavernous.

This week Samaris have released ‘Black Lights’ which builds on their previous work to offer a more accessible view of their world. By their own admission, their sound is a form of ‘glacial electronica’ and lyrically sourced from 19th Century Icelandic poems.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautifully heady mix but I can’t see them chanting along to Samaris on the terraces.


HVOB or Her Voice Over Boys are Paul Wallner and Anna Muller, a couple of ne’er-do-well electronic producers from Vienna who specialise in Deep House and when I say deep I mean deeeeeeep. Their 2015 album ‘Trialog’ contained the track ‘Tender Skin’ which was so darkly mesmerising that it prompted you YouTube reviewer to comment “Holy Christ Monkeyballs” which sums up their sound rather neatly.

Evidently, the undercurrent of Krautrock has sauntered down the Danube and festered until being melded into something resembling an audio art project rather than popular music. This is intense, nerve-shredding stuff and I know have the difficult task of telling my wife we’re not going to Austria for our wedding anniversary if this is what the modern day population of Austria listens to. Mozart was never this unsettling.


I have spent a good hour of my life researching Hungarian music this morning. Let me tell you, it’s as appetising as ghoulash. Seriously, there appears to be very little coming out of the country other than tepid Euro-pap. It’s as if Budapest has only just taken delivery of its first synth and they are hurriedly trying to re-create 1981 and the early Depeche Mode playbook. Actually, most of it is nowhere that good.

We Are Rockstars take their name from the Does It Offend You, Yeah? Track which is one redeeming feature and they sound like Blossoms rehearsing for a Eurovision entry. It’s shiny, it’s polished and with a bit of a following wind it could easily find an audience at the V Festival. But seriously Hungary, you either need to step up your musical game or I need to stop researching with Ask Jeeves.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.