Finland’s best result at Eurovision came with a band when Lordi took the trophy in 2006. Perhaps it’s time for another one? That’s what Blind Channel are trying to achieve with their entry “Dark Side”.
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.
Blind Channel “Dark side” (UMK 2021)
“Dark Side” is described as “the soundtrack to an underground party and serves as the perfect distillation of Blind Channel’s message”
Blind Channel has been around since 2013, but the current formation welcomed its latest member in autumn. Their line-up for UMK consists of Joel Hokka, Niko Vilhelm, Joonas Porko, Olli Matela, Tommi Lalli and Aleksi Kaunisvesi. They define their style as “violent pop”.
We want to show everyone that even if your life isn’t ideal, it can still be fun. This song is dedicated to everyone who has ever felt excluded or unworthy, to those who just want to flip everyone off and scream bloody murder. We’re here to say that we’re not alone in this world – and the Eurovision Song Contest is all about unity, no matter how you choose to express it!”
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.
It sounds like linkin park.
Can’t stand more than 20 secs of this song
Of all the songs at UMK this year this stands out the most and is perhaps the only song that would ensure Finland a spot in the grand final. Best case scenario at Eurovision would probably be top 10 with a strong televote score. I doubt the juries would appreciate this though.
This is the first song this season that gave me winner vibes. I feel very sorry for my beloved Roop.
Please Finland send this masterpiece!
Gives me headaches.
Yes it does. tastes are different. still headaches.
Wow wow wow!! Aksel, you’re in serious danger now!
Finland just took the first place in the odds…..ok its early but …….
I can’t see this going higher than 20th place in final, and then we’re again going to that same track where Finland doesn’t get the result they were hoping for and for the few years to come there’s only medicore songs coming after that. Finland sending rock is same as Balkan country sending some balkan ballad, at some point the track won’t sound fresh anymore. The Netherlands realised this after 2018 that they can’t just send country vibe songs, just because they did so well with that in 2014. Boom, they won 2019 trying with a bit of a different… Read more »
To be fair, there’ve only been a couple of rock songs in Lordi’s wake (2007, 2008, 2014, and 2015, none of them the same kind of rock as Lordi). They came desperately close to making the top ten in 2014, I don’t think they cared how they did with PKN, and if we’re being real here, I don’t think Finland generally care how they do so much as they just send what they feel like sending (same kind of attitude as Italy, Portugal, or Georgia). The closest examples I can think of of Finland overhyping their chances were 2017 and… Read more »
Even then, I think non-Finnish fans might’ve been overhyping them the most (“Monsters” was THIRD in the OGAE vote! THIRD! Who on god’s green Earth thought that song was coming top three?).
Also, I wouldn’t necessarily call Trijntje or O’G3NE country, and I think “Outlaw in ‘Em” flopped less due to the public being tired of country music and more because every single creative decision Waylon made was mind-boggling. “Arcade” might not have been country, but it was still the other (better) half of the Linnets that pointed NOS in the right direction.
Definitly the next finnish act on eurovision stage …. and, i believe, their best final result since Lordi ( and this song is better than hard rock hallelujah)
Well, it’s as if someone has been looking up my teenage years. It’s difficult for me to take this entry seriously, but I honestly wish them all the best. 😀
This is a very cool song! It has the vibe, the impact and it could do very well at Eurovision.
For me, it’s between Aksel and Blind Channel.
However… there are some red flags the EBU could point to if “Dark Side” wins UMK. The lyrics have some references that may infringe the EBU rules on violent language (“Like the 27 club – headshot” is the best example – a clear reference to suicide). It may be nothing, but I am concerned if this becomes an issue and they are forced to change the lyrics.
I wanted to listen to this one since they were announce. The song is good if not the best in this selection so far. It has that heavy metal vibe with a pinch of pop that makes it appealing to the general public. It also reminds me of those mid-2000s WWE games I used to play (soundtrack was made up of these king of songs). Well, it is strong, it is uplifting and they will put up an energetic and frenetic show. I could see Blind Channel winning the NF. The only downside I see is that it sounds too… Read more »
You should mention that Aleksi Kaunisvesi is also known as a famous DJ Alex Mattson. His song ”UFO” was a huge hit!
The best song of this selection, until now.
I feel like I’m 15 again….surprisingly in a postive way. 🙂
This is literally the genre I love, so I´m not surprised, that I love this song, but I´m surprised that it is so much accepted by the fans. I mean, as it been said before, people are saying that they like it, although they don´t usually like rock music, which seems really awesome for Blind Channel. I personaly think that they should send this. It will probably have no problem with qualifying.
When people say ” this is not a genre I lik e , but I like this song ” , means something has been executed really well.
I do think Blind channel have hit the right spot of ‘violent pop’ ? I have a new UMK winner.
Wow. A piece for my taste. Stay as an earworm. But there are two variables that can be a barrier to voting; People who listen to metal and rock music often don’t follow the Eurovision Song Contest. However, if now they win in Finland, then another variable is Finland. Many times (not every time) for some reason Finland is not voted on. This would wake up sleepy viewers;) Greetings from an almost sixty-year-old listener of heavy music 🙂
Thumbs up and vote!
My top so far
2 Dark Side
3 I love you
6 Sina Paivana
Sina Paivana is a masterpiece tho, the new Euphoria or Amar Pelos Dois. If Finland dont send Danny I will never listen to music again.
ok, are you sure?
wow my comment was posted in the finnish ESC-forum Viisukuppila. Nice
Ok, WOW!! This came out of nowhere. We finally get a quality hard rock/heavy metal song from Finland. First listening and it’s just a BANG! That’s what you need in a Eurovision song and dare I say this could be a competitor to win the whole ESC. This one is the clear winner of UMK 2021 by far!
My top of UMK 2021 so far:
1. Dark Side
2. I Love You
5. Sinä päivänä kun kaikki rakastaa mua
I’m absolutely LIVING for that lisp
not my kind of music usually, but very good song, i quite like it
We’ll see if they can match this with their live performance. I know many fanshave been burned by the many times favorite comes up short in the voting.
When I say Finland in Eurovision, you say rock! This is an absolute winner for me as a metal fan because I tend to be bored of the same pop stuff I listen in the radio everyday.
Yes! This is Finlad and this is clear winner of UMK!
Not my actual taste but would be a much better entry than they sent last year. At least this is memorable, will have its fans and has a chance of qualifying. I think it’s between this and the Teflon Bros so far. Both are standout tracks and good options.
Well, well, well… this is not usually the type of song I listen to, but “Dark side” is quite cool! I think, if performed well, it might actually win. 🙂
It’s well made and I can see why some people are fans of this type of music, but for me this felt like those songs you could hear in the 00’s and I don’t really like those that much that I’d think “I want to listen this again”. Just not the best possible choice in my opinion, and it brings just higher stigma on people thinking finnish people listen only rock and such.
1. I Love You
2. Lie / Hurt
3. Sinä päivänä kun kaikki rakastaa mua
4. Dark Side
Stigma? Finns like rock and heavier stuff, I don’t really understand how that’s a problem. On the contrary, it’s starting to be a cultural fingerprint and it is precisely what Eurovision needs. Not 40 countries trying to sound like pop-Sweden. Still shuddering at the thought of Running Scared and its win. Also, it is okay for you to not like nu-metal/rock/whatever. The argument though that it sounds like the 00’s, hence it’s outdated, is a bit silly in my opinion. It’s a modern song with influences from the past. Getting influenced like almost every song there is. For example, I… Read more »
Oooh I really really like this!!! I don’t know how it will translate on stage but this is an immediate addition to my spotify list! This and I Love You are my two favourites so far!
This is ridiculously cool, and even if Finland doesn’t select them they have found a place on my Spotify playlist. A heavy metal entry that doesn’t feel completely pointless and doesn’t tiptoe around its darkness. The one issue I see possibly coming is that songs like these are so heavily performance-based because of their interaction with the audience. With no audience, I am mildly worried to see if they can pull through on the night. That said, this would easily catapult Finland into my top for the first time in years, and I hope that the Finnish metal tradition is… Read more »
Sorry, I don ‘t like it.
Personally I like the song, but why has so many people disliked this comment just because the person expressed their opinion without offending anyone? What’s your problem?
People usually use the dislike button as “I disagree” button, so when you criticise a song and people disagree with you they are going to downvote you. If you have given valid constructive criticism, there’s no reason to take the downvoting personally. The button exists so people are going to click on it. I personally love Dark side and I have no problem with people not liking it. With the original comment I would’ve hoped that the person could have elaborated and told why they don’t like the song. Just announcing you don’t like the song without further explaining why… Read more »
I like it. Not something I would regularly listen to, but it is done well.
This will win.
Well, it happened. Sorry, Oskr, but I have a new leader. I’d be happy with either of them, but man do I miss this sound at Eurovision! They’d be absolutely fantastic and I’m sure they’d qualify. A classic Finnish entry.
But imagine if there actually IS an audience in Rotterdam and now the cameras have to avoid showing an entire audience flipping the bird.
I am blown away! Finland has so much variety this year! This could do well at Eurovision! I love it!
Imagine they perform after Danny, that would be hilarious! Everyone is gonna be shook!
Not my favorite song of the bunch, but certainly a choice I would encourage Finland to make. After all, this may be the best chance for us to have a rock entry competing in Rotterdam. The lyrics are too juvenile angst for my taste, but the music is catchy and their energy is palpable. Maybe what the last rock songs in Eurovision needed was a sing-along chorus like this one. It’s already stuck into my brain.
I rarely just fall in love with a song this quickly. Eurovision always needs more heavy entries and I’d rather send something people either love or hate but at least it makes you feel some sort of emotion than just “eh, it’s ok” This could be the one.
I’m absolutely in love with them and I hope they win the whole thing. Don’t repeat what you did to Nightwish 21 years ago, Finland! I beg you.
This is about 1000 times better than other songs in umk!! I usually dont listen finnish music at all but this is international music and for eurovision this is even way too good! This is 100 times better than Lordi song which was not good at all. Bomfunk mc and Nightwish are both brilliant bands from Finland, but honestly this is good too! This is much like Limp Bizkit which is wonderful surprise!! This is sure winner and clear winner and might won eurovision! Singers are really cool I wish all band would be like them that only thing I… Read more »
Yes I hope that Blind Channel wins, but I will not be sad if Teflon Brothers win. Just not a boring song that will be forgototten. And I hope that the last wont be so good, but maybe Ilta is the new Loreen
Laura Pöldvere will 100% sure not win
It’s extremely catchy but those lyrics are sooo … idk. The lyrics kinda scream ‘let’s make a metal song but with eurovision in mind’
agree, lyrics are not so creative, but I hope they win anyway
Not the kind of music I listen too but it’s high quality. Let’s see the last song tomorrow but this one seems to be the best chance for the moment. Really well produced and we need at least 1 song like this every year.
I can’t decide between Dark Side and I Love You. Both very diferent yet so good, enjoyable and effective.
Danny, Oskr and Aksel are also good.
I feel bad for Finns having all this in the same year when they had very poor UMK in the past.
The phrase “cat among the pigeons” seems relevant here. I must say that I enjoyed it. I am a rock fan so it already had me wanting to love it. There are problems, I’m not a fan of the use of the word “psycho” and I would give the dog chants a miss, but overall, they have done a good job of capturing the raw energy needed to make a rock track work. They also have a killer song-a-long chorus and the whole 3 minutes feels epic as it should. There are nods to Linkin Park (RIP Chester) and I… Read more »
‘Lie’ is probably my favourite but being honest ‘Dark Side’ will bring something different and it is quality too( not just a token ‘different’ act). Lots of people will like this. I think this might be the best choice for Finland.
maNga and Lordi vibes! I always appreciate different genres in the contest – and honestly, don’t know the reason but I didn’t expect that kind of masterpiece from them – I would say they are my current winner right now!
not completely keen on this. it’s good, but not among my favorites this year – I prefer Aksel, Oskr and Laura. I am open to other genres, but this doesn’t strike the gold with me.
A bit risky. Turkey 2010 vibes, but hope not Ukraine 2017 faith? Don’t like this type music, but fortunately it has melody hook, not just noise.
I cannot predict its fate but I think that it will score better than Ukraine 2017 because Ukraine’s 2017 entry had a big drawback, the chorus. While the song was unfolding I adored its verses but Time’s chorus was a bit disastrous. I think Dark Side is doing better on this field. But it depends a lot on the other countries’ entries.
Also with how stressful it was for them to host I feel Ukraine were not aiming at all to win in 2017, and having sent so few male acts to the contest I think they were unable to translate their usual staging prowess to such a masculine act.
Which is an interesting point, because the next year they threw their all into Melovin’s staging. Nobody talks about “Time,” but everyone still remembers the flaming staircase.