The Wiwi Jury — our in-house team of music unprofessionals — is reviewing and rating the 39 competing songs in Eurovision 2021. Next up, we listen to Ukraine’s Go_A with their song “SHUM”. Did we enjoy their noise? Read on to find out!
Go_A – “SHUM”
Erdi: It this what we are used to hearing from Ukraine? Not at all. Do I enjoy listening to it? A lot. It has folk elements, it is a very different side of Ukraine that we need to explore. The song is quite uptempo and is very Ukrainian, which is something we missed before. Even though it’s traditional, it is still a song that you can dance to and go crazy with it.
Kristín: The thing with Go_A is that one never knows what to expect, but it’s definitely going to be something memorable. “SHUM” keeps the attention for three minutes and does so without much trouble. Kateryna’s voice is out of this world and this ethnic/house blend just works. The only thing that worries me is that maybe the public won’t get this right away, because when you first hear “SHUM” it might feel like some sort of a weird rave party with your next-door neighbour who may or may not be selling ecstasy, but after two more listenings, you’re hooked and you can’t help but stomp your feet along the rhythm. And they only get the one chance in the semi-finals to wow the public. It’s all down to an epic staging at this point, but all in all, good job Ukraine!
Pablo: Mixing folk with modern music is a tough art to master, but when you do so right, you earn my heart —and Go_A nailed it. Masterfully mixing Kateryna’s folksy vocals with Ukrainian folk instruments and a banging Berlin-club beat, “Shum” has this bone-chilling, suspenseful progression that creeps up in tempo across the length of the song, exploding in an enormous Slavic rave. This is not a compromise, this is a stunning merger of genres. “Shum” is extremely cool, and I don’t want to stop replaying it. Ukraine always finds a way to hook its listeners, and this is no exception!
Deban: SHUM 2.0 is difficult to love. Almost unrecognisable from its original version (which I enjoyed), the current Eurovision mix feels too tightened. Fables are fun, but this club ritual is bleak! Even within a niche crowd, Go_A are unique. They chant to birds and yell at humans. When they dance, they trample on snowfields. Army tanks, step ladders and hazmat suits form a key part of their visual interpretation. Arguably, they are visionaries in their own right. Nonetheless, this is bonkers!
Renske: In an era of self-rediscovery, Go_A fits in the momentum. It is more than admirable how this group decided to focus and show the folklore of Polyssia to the world stage, an area of Ukraine that most people only know for Chernobyl and its Exclusion Zone. Go_A is at Eurovision with an honourable mission — to show that there is power in your roots, something interesting in your family history. Building on a song she knew from her childhood, Kateryna Pavlenko again managed to create captivating lyrics. The techno elements that were popular in 1990s Ukraine are a surprisingly well-fitting choice too. Judging the good local response to the song, Go_A managed to tell show their own culture without falling into tropes.
Go_A – “SHUM” rankings
In the Wiwi Jury we have 24 jurors but only have room for five reviews. The remaining scores are below:
We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 3 and a high of 10.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 7.32/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!