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  • Writer's pictureSamuel Lee

Eurovision 2023 Australia profile: 'Promise' by Voyager

Photo credit: Mike Dann

Australia in the Eurovision Song Contest

Australia made its Eurovision debut in 2015 with Guy Sebastian performing 'Tonight Again'. Since then Australia has reached the final in all but one of its seven participations. The nation's best result came in 2016 when Dami Im finished second with 'Sound of Silence', topping the jury vote in the Grand Final.

Last year, Sheldon Riley represented Australia with 'Not the Same', qualifying in second place from the second semi-final and ultimately finishing 15th in the Grand Final.

2023 Entry: Voyager - 'Promise'

  • Voyager will perform in 16th spot in semi-final 2 and close the show

  • My Eurovision Scoreboard ranking: 22nd

  • Odds to win ranking: 16th

(Rankings as of 20 April 2023)

About the act

Voyager is currently a quintet consisting of Danny Estrin (vocals, keytar), Simone Dow (guitars), Alex Canion (bass), Scott Kay (guitars) and Ashley Doodkorte (drums). The band was originally formed as a three-piece in 1999 in Perth, with Danny being a founding member. There have been several line-up changes over the years.

The group released its debut album 'Element V' in 2003 in Australia. The following year it was distributed throughout Europe by Dutch label DVS Records. Voyager's second album 'uniVers', released in 2007, received critical acclaim worldwide. In Finland it was voted album of the week in Imperiumi magazine, and in Belgium it was voted album of the month in Mindview magazine.

Back home in Australia, 'uniVers' was rated by the Triple J radio station as the seventh best Full Metal Racket album of 2007. Since then, Voyager has released five more albums, including the most recent album 'Colours in the Sun' in 2019.

Voyager has also toured extensively worldwide, first performing overseas at the ProgPower Europe Festival in the Netherlands in 2006. The band has supported many well-known acts including the Deftones, Opeth, Nightwish, Children of Bodom, and Coheed and Cambria.

The band describe themselves as a "progressive pop metal force" that defies genre norms and boundaries. Its most notable musical characteristics include the blending of new-romantic and 80s-infused vocals, keytar solos, groovy bass and bombastic drumming.

About the song

Voyager's Eurovision entry 'Promise' is described by the band as an "epic progressive pop metal offering that transports the listener on an emotive story of adventure and redemption". The song was written for Eurovision specifically, but also for people who have never heard Voyager before.

'Promise' seeks to take the listener on a musical journey, showcasing Voyager's ability to execute various genres. The first two verses of the song groove along quite softly by Voyager standards, whilst the key feature of the chorus is its rock vibe. An explosive synth metal instrumental follows the second chorus, and at the bridge there is a "calm-after-the-storm" feel before the music ramps up again to a guitar solo. The final portion of the song offers up a glorious denouement, both vocally and instrumentally

The lyrics also reflect the travelling nature of the piece: the opening repetition of the question "Have you ever done anything like this before?" and the follow-up response "If you've never done anything like this before then you haven't been alive" encourage the listener to embark on an adventure, with the repetition of the phrase "Promise me it's gonna be alright" throughout the chorus suggesting that throughout every journey support and comradery are essentials.

How Voyager was selected for Eurovision

The band's bid to represent Australia at Eurovision is a story of perseverance and dedication. Voyager first sought to be Australia's entrant at Eurovision back when it was announced we would be debuting at the contest in 2015. In every subsequent year, the band submitted entries in the hope of becoming Australia's representative one day.

Voyager's breakthrough came in 2022 with the group's participation in 'Eurovision - Australia Decides'. The band finished second overall, just three points behind winner Sheldon Riley, topping the televote portion of the voting.

Based on the latter result, SBS took on board the feedback of the Australian public and internally selected Voyager to represent Australia at Eurovision 2023, announcing in the early hours of February 21 the group's upcoming (and for them long-awaited) appearance at Eurovision.

Australia will compete in Semi-final 2 on May 11 (European time) in Liverpool.

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