During past week, in the run-up to tonight’s first heat of Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK) 2015, the Wiwi Jury — our in-house team of music unprofessionals — has rated the six competing songs. Tonight three of them will make it through to the final in Finland, but we already have our picks. Our panel thinks that Satin Circus should win the heat with their song “Crossroads”, followed by Hans on the Bass and Pihka ja myrsky.
Below you can see the average score that each act received out of 10. If you click on their name you can read an interview or watch a video message. If you click on their song you can read our reviews in full. Do you agree with the result?
You can watch the Finnish final live on YLE Areena from 22:00 CET on Saturday, February 7.
1. Satin Circus – “Crossroads” (8.1)
The Positive: ““Crossroads” is another strong contender to go to Vienna. A solid pop song that can stand on its own between the various ballads we are bound to see in May. I can see the crowd going nuts during the chorus of this song, and it’s easy to sing along to. Along with “Mustelmat”, this song regularly stuck in my head. I also have a bit of a soft spot for cute Finnish boys too. Don’t be hatin’.”
The Negative: “This is soooo 2013 – the combination of Avicii-style electro-folk and lyrics about being “young” (see the international hits “We Are Young” and “Live While We’re Young” from 2012). To me it sounds like it was written by a hit-song-analysing computer, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing for the ESC. A song with a safe, familiar sound is likely to do well, even if it does nothing for me.”
2. Hans On The Bass – “Loveshine” (5.9)
The Positive: “When I listen to this song, I imagine myself laying in the hammock wiggling my legs and slipping down a drink. It is so sweet and creates a calm, relaxed atmosphere.”
The Negative: “This takes weather metaphors to the extreme. Three whole minutes of hearing how the weather is like love. We get it, move on!”
3. Pihka ja myrsky – “Sydän ei nuku” (5.8)
The Positive: “No clue what they’re saying, but it seems like poetry set to an electro-pop beat. Loving it! I think the drums come in at just the right time and are just one reason this song has a pleasant trajectory. I prefer the female part to the male bit, but when they come together it’s fierce. This isn’t a winner, but it’s totally downloadable.”
The Negative: “On one hand, it’s a really contemporary sounding synth-pop song, but on the other hand, it’s a bit boring. The Common Linnets set a high standard for male-female duets last year, but this song doesn’t even come close.”
4. Vilikasper Kanth – “Äänen kantamattomiin” (4.7)
The Positive: “This is such a lovely song to listen to! It’s so pleasent, innocent and sweet. I have a feeling that this song could surprise us all and I wouldn’t even be sad because it’s lovely! YAY!”
The Negative: “Vilikasper Kanth’s falsetto is somewhat irritating. The guitar strums give it an acoustic feel, but also pitch “Äänen kantamattomiin” as an unfinished product. Sounding like a busker out to make a quick buck, I doubt if this entry is capable of transitioning to a big stage. When he started rapping, I felt verbally abused.”
5. Norlan “El Misionario” – “No voy a llorar por ti” (2.6)
The Positive: “Who would have thought there would be a Spanish song in the Finnish national selection. I really enjoy Latin music and I’m liking this song. I’m really loving the R&B grooves, and it’s so damn catchy. Nice to see diversity in UMK.”
The Negative: “This song seems like an unusual fit for UMK for two reasons. Firstly, it’s a reggae-rap song. Second, it’s in Spanish. It reminds me of those Caribbean hip-hip songs that were really popular in 2002. That was 13 years ago. There’s a reason why that style isn’t popular in 2015. This song isn’t a good. Not for the brief of UMK and Eurovision.”
6. Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät – “Aina mun pitää” (1.0)
The Positive: “ I love these guys – a group of special needs adults who are using the raw power of punk rock to rage against the everyday frustrations of life. And despite the rawness of the performance, there is a song hiding in there. At less than 90 seconds, it’s a really short entry (hey, it’s punk!), and while it’s not likely to make it to Vienna, it will certainly give UMK some attitude. Are you bovvered?”
The Negative: “I really hate this kind of music. It’s way too loud, it sounds like they are just banging on their instruments and there’s not even real melody there. It’s also quite forgottable — all you remember is the name line. I really hope we don’t end up sending this to Vienna, as I’m pretty sure this would just get us to the last place in our semifinal. These guys have my total respect, though, for doing what they love, no matter what people say.”
UMK 2015 interviews
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Photo: Sony Music