Laura Play UMK 2021

She was lost in Verona, but she’s been found in Helsinki: Laura Põldvere is trying her luck in Finland after twice flying the Estonian flag at Eurovision. She’s doing it with a song named like the one which blocked her from winning Eesti Laul 2016: “Play”.

Finnish broadcaster YLE is sticking to last year’s formula, although expanded: this year there will be seven acts competing rather than six. Their songs will be revealed one by one every weeknight at midnight Finland time (23:00 CET) until 21 January.

Laura “Play” (UMK 2021)

“Play” is described as an “irresistible combination of country and pop” about “an on-and-off relationship where one person has become fed up with constantly forgiving the other”.

Laura represented Estonia at Eurovision in 2005 (with Suntribe) and 2017 (with Koit Toome), but didn’t make it to the final on either occasion. Will Finland give her the chance to make it third time lucky?

But… why is she trying now for Finland? According to her bio on YLE, “ever since she was a little girl, Laura has spent a considerable amount of time in Finland”. “Today, she typically spends half of the year in Finland as part of her musical and professional career. Her tenth album, released in the winter of 2019, was produced in Finland, and she has also begun learning Finnish”.

UMK 2021

The grand final of UMK will take place on 20 February. The number of competing acts was whittled down from 278 entries, and only seven entrants will take the stage.

The songs were selected by a jury of industry professionals, led by radio YleX’s music manager Tapio Hakanen. He had praise for the applicants, saying, “The level of the songs and artists was incredibly strong and I am confident that we have coming in the spring of 2021 the toughest UMK of all time. I’m really happy and grateful to each and every musician who sent a song to Yle.”

The winner will be chosen by a mixture of jury and public vote. Rather than the usual 50/50 split, the public will hold 75% of the power.

Follow all of our Finland Eurovision 2021 news.

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Swiftie Mixer13
Swiftie Mixer13
5 months ago

I actually like the song. It’s not the best choice to represent Finland at ESC 2021 but it’s my personal favourite

Kalla
Kalla
5 months ago

I like it, think she has got a chance. Think it will grow to. Good luck Laura

Whisker
Whisker
5 months ago

Music professionals should know how strong their entries are.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
5 months ago
Reply to  Whisker

Anecdote: The songs I loved writing the most have never sold, but interestingly my most “rubbish” song from 2014 did sell.
That’s probably because simple music appeals to all and sells more. Sobral criticised that, as I recall.
Note: Eurovision has always been proud to be different though. So the point can be argued either way.

Whisker
Whisker
5 months ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

I understand what you mean, but IMO it shouldn’t be hard for those who know “Eurovision” to know what would work for Eurovision. (I dare say all your songs are lovely).

Linus
Linus
5 months ago

so should every person quit their job if they do a mistake once? haha. I believe artists can compete forever:) from 16-99 if they want:)

Last edited 5 months ago by Linus
Joe
Joe
5 months ago
Reply to  Linus

If they still wanna do it, give ’em a chance! I keep thinking about Simone de Oliveira, the grand dame of Portuguese music whose most recent attempt to represent Portugal came fifty freaking years after her first try.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
5 months ago
Reply to  Linus

I’d love to compete at Eurovision when I’m 99. Antique Purple Mask.

Héctor
Héctor
5 months ago

It’s been a downhill since “Supersonic”. This one is more “competitive” than “Brake Me” though, but it stands no chance and we’ve only listened to 4 entries. She was rejected in this year’s Eesti Laul? I don’t get why she is trying it for Finland.

Idksmth
Idksmth
5 months ago

We’ll one thing is clear. Laura has a small chance to represent Finland this year, although Aksel’s win came out of nowhere last year. With an amazing performance I could see it finishing in the top 3 but I don’t think this song is strong enough. It’s a typical ballad and I think her other attempts in Eesti Laul have been better. I hope she brings a significantly better live performacne than “Break me”. In my opinion, there are many more memorable acts than this. Yes, they might be niche but Finland respects the niche as we saw it when… Read more »

Bella
Bella
5 months ago

Laura loves Eurovision! And I appreciate it.
But I think ”Break Me” was better (Eesti Laul last year). However, this song isn’t bad. With a nice performance it has chances.
But the possible winner is Teflon Brothers x Pandora “I Love You”… I love 80’s song!

Tibor
Tibor
5 months ago

I agree with the majority once again, this is not very exciting, more a kind of inoffensive background music. To my ears it’s less grating than what she entered into Eesti Laul last year, the country vibe is really only hinted at with the very unobtrusive acoustic guitar picking. But there’s no real dynamic going on. Probably my least favourite of the Finnish selection up until now. But to be fair, Laura is always going for genres (schlager, country-pop) that I tend not to like. Her vocal tone is actually right up my alley.

Jamie
Jamie
5 months ago

It’s not bad, but not very catchy. I forgot it instantly.

Colin
Colin
5 months ago

I like the country vibe and Laura’s energy shining through. I see that people are commenting how there isn’t something outstanding in it. I agree that this is less likely to be in top 10 of ESC. It’s not lyrically layered like Lie or Danny’s song or instantly cute like I Love You, but it’s a good song. It has all the right ingredients to make a cool live show and I could see it qualifying. For both Finland and Laura, it could be a success.

Last edited 5 months ago by Colin
Edin
Edin
5 months ago

Hmm the song is not memorable enough, maybe after a few listenings but not after the first which is a problem

Nicky
Nicky
5 months ago

nice song, but not as impactful as Danny’s entry

reminds me of a song by First Aid Kit

Alo
Alo
5 months ago

It’s a nice song but not competitive enough.. I can’t see it win this selection.

Una
Una
5 months ago

I love Laura – she is one of my most favourite artists in Eurovision. ‘Play’ – not as much. It’s a decent song but it does not “grab me” so to speak. Three more songs to go.

John the Go
5 months ago

Is it just me or does she sound exactly like Miley Cyrus??

ESCFan2009
ESCFan2009
5 months ago

Oh, I love this! “Play” has such a good build-up! Sure, the chorus could be even stronger, but I think the whole song fits her attitude extremly well. And this is the type of songs I adore. Just give me an elegant staging and I’m satisfied. My new favorite in UMK so far <3

Moonstar
Moonstar
5 months ago

I really love this song. Better than “Supersonic” or “Verona” in my humble opinion. “Play” feels like a breath of fresh air compared to to the other UMK’21 entries so far (…though it could do with an extra chorus…) . 🙂 All Laura needs to do now is invest in some singing lessons… her vocals were a big NO last year- I’m saying this because I want her to do good. 😉

Last edited 5 months ago by Moonstar
Briekimchi
Briekimchi
5 months ago

I love Laura more than anyone really should love anyone but yeah, this was fine. I was excited when she talked about using J-Pop/K-Pop influences in her song but I’m not getting them in this one. Too much of a country sound that definitely doesn’t do any favours for her.

Like last year with Erika, “I Love You” is looking more like an obvious choice with every new song released.

astro
astro
5 months ago
Reply to  Briekimchi

Yeah. There are no k-pop influences at all here. The guitar strum is possibly one of the least k-pop things to ever possibly exist. It’s a shame because k-pop/j-pop usually turns out feeling so fresh and modern – this is far, far from it.

Yeah
Yeah
5 months ago

As a song it’s good and something to listen, but that’s about it all. The song doesn’t really seem to go anywhere leaving me a bit cold. Weird that the one person in this selection who has had most to do with Eurovision has the least fitting song. Out of the four songs released so far this is good in quality, but sadly doesn’t grow and it’s the least favourite for me.

...
...
5 months ago

Good song. I like it.

greenlegs
greenlegs
5 months ago

Compared to the other 3 songs released, this one lacks soul. Not compared to the other songs, it still lacks soul. I hate naming songs as fillers, but this one is exactly that.

Kris
Kris
5 months ago

People have been harsh on the song in comments. I don’t think it’s the best song that she’s put forward. Supersonic was better. But this is not bad either.

But I have to agree , it’s not as good as some of the earlier released entries this year. I won’t Lie

Sabrina
Sabrina
5 months ago

It’s a fine entry, much better than her previous attempt in Eesti Laul. It maintains the good level of the UMK’s lineup, but it lacks a strong feature to compete with “Lie” and “I Love You”, that are more memorable and impactful for different reasons.

Ashton Schier
Ashton Schier
5 months ago

It’s good. Not great, not bad. Just good and respectable.

Ashton Schier
Ashton Schier
5 months ago
Reply to  Ashton Schier

It’s actually growing on me a lot. I really like it. My 3rd as of now.

Andi
Andi
5 months ago

The Finnish entries are getting better day by day 😀
Aksel’s one must be amazing 😀

Last edited 5 months ago by Andi
Ricky
Ricky
5 months ago

This song gives me Anna Bergendahl vibes, it sounds nice and has good production! I dont see why people hate it, like yes Lie is better lyrically, and I Love You is more catchy, but this song isnt bad, its good!

Ricky
Ricky
5 months ago
Reply to  Ricky

I think you are all forgetting the bland song that was sent by Finland last year, all 4 of the songs so far are so much better

Ashton Schier
Ashton Schier
5 months ago
Reply to  Ricky

Looking Back was really good. There is no way that Danny is better than that.

Ricky
Ricky
5 months ago
Reply to  Ashton Schier

Sir Looking back was in everyones bottom 10 last year, so no ?

Ashton Schier
Ashton Schier
5 months ago
Reply to  Ricky

everyones? so you know everyone, huh? interesting

Roy Moreno
Roy Moreno
5 months ago
Reply to  Ricky

Actually, Looking Back was my 23rd overall in 2020 xD

The glorious Eurovision expert
The glorious Eurovision expert
5 months ago
Reply to  Ricky

Who cares? Eurovision was cancelled, so your opinion doesn’t matter.

Nicky
Nicky
5 months ago
Reply to  Ricky

it was my 15th place

eha
eha
5 months ago

Surprised to read how many people strongly dislike it.
I found it quite lovely myself.

Joe
Joe
5 months ago

I don’t think it’s a bad entry at all – got a nice sort of Kacey Musgraves-at-her-poppiest thing going on (it reminds me a little of “High Horse”) – but it either needs to be dancier or country-er. That chorus should be a banger, and she could either do that by swapping the instrumental for something more country-esque (or maybe folky, like Mumford & Sons – their two biggest songs are a masterclass at how to do a “drop” in a non-dance song) or leaning fully into the dance elements and turning it into a four-on-the-floor modern disco song (for… Read more »

ANNOYED!!
ANNOYED!!
5 months ago

× UMK related ×

I’ve been reading what finnish esc fans have been saying about their songs and the critic is just harsh from some people, discussing about songs like they’re wasting their time listening to the songs right away, unless there’s the Euphoria 2.0 coming

No wonder the country hasn’t done well, fans overthink and try to impress european audience while disregarding their own. And then they’re drooling on other countries having “perfect selections to die for”. The grass ain’t greener here, get cheery and be happy, it’s a good selection of songs!!

Lolek
Lolek
5 months ago

It’s not bad and makes for some easy listening but I don’t find it particularly grabbing. Still, I like this better than her entry last year, though Verona and Supersonic were her best ‘recent’ entries.

As for UMK 2021, I certainly prefer ‘I Love You’ and ‘Lie’ over ‘Play’.

Jake
Jake
5 months ago

Does anyone know if Eesti passed on this song and Laura entered it for the Finnish selection? It’s a serviceable song, but can’t see an Estonian winning the Finninsh public over with such a non-impactful song.

Aang
Aang
5 months ago
Reply to  Jake

UMK rules said that the songs can only be sent to the finnish selection and not in any other, they didn’t want rejected songs but authentic songs

Azaad
Azaad
5 months ago
Reply to  Jake

Laura was apparently part of the Estonian selection jury this year so she wouldn’t have been able to enter Eesti Laul herself this year.

Jake
Jake
5 months ago
Reply to  Azaad

thank you for the background!

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
5 months ago

I don’t want to be negative. So I will just smile and nod.

Erasmus
Erasmus
5 months ago

I really like this and I seem to be the only one. It’s a song that isn’t going for a Eurovision vibe (as Keiino is for example) and I respect that. It sounds expensive, yes it’s not the most impactful song ever, but it’s a quality song and that is what imo matters.

Albert
Albert
5 months ago

It’s a nice pop song and it reminds me “You should be sad” by halsey am the only one?

My top:
1. I Love You
2. Lie
3. Play
4. Danny’s one

Last edited 5 months ago by Albert
Lolek
Lolek
5 months ago
Reply to  Albert

Woot same top 4! 🙂

Ravencrow Neversmiles
Ravencrow Neversmiles
5 months ago

I have to say I expected more. It’s ok but not on the level of Verona or Supersonic for me. Would love to see her try again next year though.

Marc
Marc
5 months ago

It’s just forgettable! Next!

Jago
Jago
5 months ago

Nope

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
5 months ago

I like the country vibe, it has some great elements but it also leaves me hanging for more. In the middle of the chorus it gives me demo vibes.
I think it might come off stronger live.

Donkey
Donkey
5 months ago

Ok here is my opinion: I love the verses and pre-chorus but the chorus is quite underwhelming. I like the melody but I feel like it should be higher impact. Right now it is just a relaxing song. For me so far it is 3rd out of the 4 we have heard so far. Loving the variety of songs in this selection though! 6/10

Kosey
Kosey
5 months ago

I feel bad, it’s just not my type of song. It doesn’t particularly feel new or modern or intriguing. It is definitely professional but I just didn’t feel much heart in it. Sorry. But I wish everyone all the best and maybe with a knock-out live performance I will feel differently.

WannaEatMySpaghetti
WannaEatMySpaghetti
5 months ago

This is a really good song with a pretty promising beginning but something is missing for me to say wow. It seems good enough for me to be in a eurovision final.

Puff
Puff
5 months ago

Not good. Why was she dragged all over the Baltic Sea to Finland just to compete with this flat pancake of a song?

John the Go
5 months ago
Reply to  Puff

She lives in Finland, doesn’t she?

Sandy esc
Sandy esc
5 months ago

This song is giving me some major uplifting pantyliner commercial vibes.

Mikey
Mikey
5 months ago

Laura is everywear hahaha!

Andi
Andi
5 months ago
Reply to  Mikey

Is that a pun?