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!
Horrible. Full stop. My toilet break.
I give it a 8! Go_A give us one of the most original songs this year. This song is so true to their style! Kate’s voice is so unique, The instrumentals are perfection, the lyrics are crazily cool! I love how they manage to mix Folk music with the EDM vibe without getting too messy! This song gives me energy and I’m really looking forward to what they will do in the stage because, for sure, is going to be a party just like in the MV. I have my concerns about qualification, but it’s so different & so remarkable… Read more »
I don’t think any of the songs this year (with the possible exception of Italy’s) capture the mood quite as well as this one. It’s something quite special, and an improvement even on Go_A’s entry last year. Either my top 1 or 2.
My favourite song in Eurovision this year. I got hooked on Solovey last year but this is something else. Many songs are good, but this is special. There are a few songs this year taking inspiration from the pandemic and our new dystopian world, but Go_A have taken it to its highest level: connecting us to the ancient tradition of performing rituals and songs to mark the end of the season of darkness, cold and death, and welcoming the season of light, life and new beginnings. And part of that is making this ritual something majestic and timeless that you… Read more »
One can argue if her voice is irritating or the song is annoying, but nobody can’t deny it is edgy and interesting. Definitely a nice addition to the line-up. It brings something different to the table: a fusion between the modern and the traditional; and it isn’t your usual fusion, it is a rave party! I’m not into tecnho but I enjoy this mix. I’m eager to know how the public or the juries will receive this. 7/10 Ukraine is in my 15th place. 8. Sweden (7.25) 12. Czech Republic (7.25) 15. UKRAINE (7) 17. Belgium (6.75) 19. Norway (6.75)… Read more »
Just two seconds of this entry and I get on my nerves. It seldom happens to me in music, but I really can NOT stand it. I normally like alternative music like this, but I just can’t with this one. Therefore I consider it’s totally overrated and it’s actually 39 in my top. I cannot really appreciate any musical quality in this entry, but just a screamy voice torturing my ears. I don’t intend to offend anyone. Just wanted to share my point of view. Luis, I don’t understand your 10. Really?
i actually enjoy this MUCH more than the original… the original would have been in my bottom 10 but i thought the revamp was so good
I love, love, love this!!! And I am from Germany and can vote in SF1 🙂
Ugly noises…selling cheap paganism. 2nd worst entry.
Everything Ukraine sends to the contest is so addictive. ??? Douze points.
Probably the most unpredictable entry this year. Raw and exciting, this one will either sink or swim. It has the benefit of being stand-out different to anything else at ESC this year, but this could also be a sign that it might flop.
The music itself is literally an inside-out melody taken from the original version and twisted around. The result is a really fun party anthem. Overall, I really like the concept of the folk party, so best of luck to Go_A.
they are so cool and talented band, love their song and the most their badass attitude, Shum my top 10 🙂
I dislike this song very much. It makes me feel uncomfortable. However, its quality is undeniable, so it deserves to be in Top 15 in the Grand Final.
My score: 7/10
6th: Ukraine. Ugh, what a good song. From the opening bird-like calls to the ending rave party, Shum is just all-around fantastic. The moment when the bass comes in at ‘tam ulissi, na uzlissi’ is just amazing. I love the vocal style of this, and I love the cold atmosphere of it all. There’s not even much else to say here, Shum is just so so good, and I sincerely hope it doesn’t ruin Ukraine’s perfect qualification record, because it shouldn’t. This is 3 minutes of pure Ukrainian folklore and fun, melding traditional sounds with a heavy club beat. It’s… Read more »
I love the fact that even people who don’t like listening to this type of music are telling it’s a big standout and Grand Final material
What about Jamala?
Go_A: Ukraine at its best. Both Solovey and Shum are stunning compositions, Go_A are definitwly my favorite band in the 2020/2021 songs together with Hooverphonic. The combination of tradition and moderinty here is the key element and I think viewers at home will be either love it or hate it, the marmita effect will really help with the douze point system. The techno influence, along with the flute sound and Kate’s amazing white voice moves you to another dimension. The progression of the song is enchanting and the best part comes when Kate stops to sing and all the attention… Read more »
It’s a love or hate type of entry and I’m definitely on the love side. I have high expectations for their staging too.
My number #1 this year.
One of the things i love about Eurovision is every so often you get something like this, so different from the normal ballads/diva bops that are common. Its certainly a love it or hate it kind of song. Personally i love it, but im not sure how the audience will react to it. Looking at 2019 for example both Conan from Portugal and the girls from Poland sent something very different and neither qualified so maybe the general eurovision fan isnt ready for something out of the norm. I would give 8.5/10.
Poland did not qualify by an error from Czech juries, it would had scored better than Belarus with the right votes.
Anyway I see what you are saying, but I think it even depends on the “wow” factor of the song and the level of standouts. Imo Go_A stand out more than Tulia, while Conan may have been a big “WHAT?” moment for many, but there were other polarising entries (mainly Iceland, Poland and kinda Slovenia) so this heavily penalized the amazing Conan.
Oh yes i forgot about Iceland that year. That was definitely outside the norm. I was always be sad the amazing Conan never made the final.
I liked your interaction, because I keep fearing this may share the same fate of “Telemóveis” and ” Pali Sie”, but at the same time I have a feeling that it maybe will do just like “Hatrid mun sigra”. And I’m a fan of these 4, all made to my top 10.
International, but niche. I would say that Hatari was even more niche, though they had the novelty visuals on their side. That’s why I believe staging can help a lot here. The good news is that Ukraine is one of those countries we can normally trust on this department.
This song should never be in MF its have mo quality. And if Sweden have this song in ESC it should be in the bottom of tge betting list. And Europe sjould gate it. But now its Ukraine, so Eutope LOVES it
also you should listen to instrumental version of SHUM , it’s amazing
Renske is so smart and intelectual. She knows a lot about slavic culture. I also read she studied slavic languages. She must speak more. Give her a bigger voice.
Not something I’d add to my Spotify playlist, but I think it’s a fun and interesting listen. It’s in my 13th spot. I liked the original versin more, too.
You don’t have to like this one. But thank goodness it’s slightly different compared to other up tempo songs. And, I think, it’s in their own language, which makes it even better. So yeah, well done GO_A, I like it.
It’s a pity that it’s too niche to win (prove me wrong, Europe!), because it’s brilliant. There’s a perfect balance between the white voice and the flute and some of the best electronic sounds Eurovision ever had. In terms of structure, it constantly builds up, until spring finally blossoms with a big rave. Sadly, juries are normally too conservative to value it, so I hope Ukraine stages it in a way the audience will embrace it. Here hoping to see more of the dystopian aesthetics of the videos. 9.5/10
Well, I love the music and I hope Ukraine will make it to the final but I have a problem with Kateryna’s voice. She sings well but her voice is just a bit too nasal for me. Nevertheless, for artistic risk-taking Ukraine deserves its final spot.
Did you have the same problem with Tulia? I don’t know much about the white voice, so I assume the technique leads to a more nasal sound. Though I like it, I can understand why you and other people don’t feel it’s pleasant.
How well described!
Thanks, Anita. 🙂 If you can, please cast a vote for it in my name!
happy to see this getting acclaimed, even though it’s not among my favorites i appreciate how original and outstanding it is
There is a shot in the music video wherein you can see the tip of Chernobyl’s NSC emerging from the surrounding woods like a dormant fairytale giant. The shot lasts only a few seconds, yet to me it neatly encapsulates the meaning behind Go_A’s entry. It represents humanity’s disillusion and discontent concerning technology and advances of modern age, the repressed craving to reconnect with nature, longing for the long gone times of rites, gods and mystique. And if there’s a place in Europe where you can still find the last shreds of this pre-industrial folk magic, it’s Polesia. “Shum” isn’t… Read more »
Lol , that’s called rave music in simple words . My god
Yeah, I guess. In my mind rave culture is very much a thing of the late ’80s/ early ’90s (Castlemorton, Madchester, Second Summer Of Love), but rave genre and Go_A’s folktronica/techno are admittedly similar and so is their “hippie” notion (though I’d argue that the latter is a little more rooted in Ukrainian history and folklore). 🙂
Thank you, Una, I like your reviews too. They’re very precise and concise – short and sweet. 🙂
Oh my, I’m flattered. I love your analysis, however esoteric.
Skiwalko is on fire! The exchange between you guys made me think this entry reminds of the German series “Dark”, I don’t know if you’re familiar with it. And it’s not even because they share a nuclear plant connection, but for the “What if everything that came from the past was influenced by the future” vibe of “Shum”.
Don’t worry, because there are many people that watched the show and are still trying to figure out some things about it. 😀
You said so beautifully i thought you were going to give 10/10.
The song itself is good. But it is too traditional for me. I wanted some new risky elements.
5/10 from me.
The song has got it’s fans. For me it’s not enjoyable . It’s more to do with me not liking this genre of music than the song being bad. It’s gotten a decent running order and should qualify. However it’s not a certain qualifier.The chorus I do enjoy though but it’s too repetitive for my liking
It is a really bad song.
8) Ukraine –
Good old Ukraine, I always know I can rely on them for something more outside the box! It has taken me quite a while to get used to the revamp as I was more than comfortable with the original, but the change is understandable despite slipping down my top list a little. I will be hugely disappointed if the staging come the semi-final isn’t a raver’s paradise, but I believe in Go_A and Ukraine! 8/10
Ah! Now we are into one of my favorites! Got nothing but love for Ukraine and Go_A this year. I’m a big fan of ethno-dance, especially the post-apocalyptic kind, which Go_A delivered in spades. I loved “Solovey” last year and was so excited to see what they’d give us this year! And they delivered. A mesmerising folk infused bop that represents a Ukraine with traditional values, looking to the future. This entry could only be from Ukraine and that’s what I love in a Eurovision entry – uniqueness. I so hope Europe gets behind Ukraine, this is all kinds of… Read more »
Once again, I agree wholeheartedly
I love everything about it! For me this entry is just perfect and I love seeing this kind of songs at Eurovision.
Well, actually in the beginning I hated it a little bit, so I gave it 5/10 max. But right now, I appreciate it much more, so I give this a 7/10
Yesss. One of the best songs this year
Fan wank. Terrible.
Go_A cult, that sounds… AMAZING!
Wiwi Juries’ current TOP 9 Ukraine (7.32) Russia (7.18) Sweden (7.14) Latvia (6.34) Belgium (6.16) (=) Czech Republic (6.16) Serbia (6.09) Albania (5.89) (=) Norway (5.89) My personal TOP 9 Ukraine (My 7th) Belgium (My 10th) Russia (My 13th) Serbia (My 14th) Czech Republic (My 18th) Albania (My 25th) Sweden (My 31st) Latvia (My 35th) Norway (My 39th) Opinion on UKR: Ah, Shum, a song that started as my No.3 overall in my rankings but after the revamp it kinda lost its momentum. For once, I am DELIGHTED with the score the wiwi juries gave. Of course I’m rooting for… Read more »
Go_A offers a very original and unique song as well as full experience and universe.
This will definitely be one of the most artistic and interesting performance of the contest and I am really looking forward to watvhing it. I am sure they will be fantastic and iconic. This is to discover this kind of real artists who do music in their own way that I watch Eurovision.
Do I like the song? Absolutely not at all ! But who cares as they are true to themselves.
This is not god. Its awful. 0/10
No, but God is a DJ.
Same as with Russia the other day… I would love that reviews giving a 0 or a 1 would back that up with more than just ”this is awful”. What is awful? Instrumental? Lyrics? Performance? I would actually like to read explanations from people who give negative reviews too.
I agree Colin, it would be nice to try and understand why and what people don’t like, that’s the only way you can really understand others’ perspectives.
Btw, I have a review coming up that I don’t think you’re going to like, “sorry”. I will try to be as kind and descriptive as I can!
I am actually looking forward to it. 🙂 While I do have an idea why people dislike it, I am interested to see it in a more detailed way. I know that you, Sabrina. Tibor and Mr Vanilla Bean all dislike it, and I am looking forward to read the reviews.
I also have a few low ones (I think that you like one of them, so sorry back), and I am balancing out the need never to be mean to people who made it, while not softening the blow to the point of not appearing as critical.
I swear I tried to “open up” to it, but that song hasn’t grew even a tiny bit with me. Me and it are totally incompatible.
I hugely agree with this. I never give anything lower than a 2 (unless I find it completely unlistenable, which is rare) but always prefer to see it accompanied with an explanation, more than just “godawful” “fan wank” etc etc.
In my 3 years of WiwiJury, the only grade below 2 I gave was a 1.5 to “The Dream”, for the reason you mentioned, I think it was (and I supposed it still is, but I won’t give it another try :P) an unlistenable song. But I did my best to explain why and I appreciate when people elaborate on what they think is so awful about some songs.
Yeah, indeed. They don’t come around often for me, but this year I only have two I’ve given less than a 4/10 for. At least many people like yourself can elaborate on why you don’t like a particular song, instead of “awful” without any other thought, analytical or otherwise.
I am going to give a 1 to a certain song, but personally I really can’t listen to it
I hope it’s the same entry I’ll put last, so my (still very low) grade will feel somewhat generous in comparison. 😀
7. Ukraine: One of the most original entries of the year!! I liked Solovey as well but I believe Shum is even more interesting, polished and appealing to the average viewer. The climax at the end is energetic and memorable and will create a moment in Rotterdam. I can’t wait to see them live in the contest and I hope they do well!!
UKRAINE – Go_A are one of my absolute favorites for a second year now. They combine modern and traditional sounds in such a unique way. Shum is an ode to traditional spring incantations from the olden days. I love its chanting nature, especially because it feels both calming and unnerving. There is something that feels connected to Mother Earth. The modern touch of electronic music is also flawless and makes this both current and an evergreen. Kateryna’s unique vocals seamlessly dominate this whole structure. The flute drop is simply gorgeous, and the escalation that comes afterwards is an unexpected, but… Read more »
Colin, I am loving that we are exactly on the same page on this! Your review is almost identical to mine! We can be the Go_A buddies this year!
Absoluetly! I loved your review too. Go_A are indeed amazing!
And debans mark?
1. Ukraine – Go_A – Shum – 10/10 – The ancient and the modern collide to create an audible masterpiece. From the traditional Ukrainian instrumentation to the trancy dance beat and intoxicating vocal, this is an experience to be felt with all the senses. Shum has abundant life pulsing through its electric veins. It is the contrast of the winter and the spring, the dark and the light, the quiet and the noise. Go_A deliver the subversion that Eurovision needs and the explosion of the last minute is the “moment” of this year’s contest.
I also used the word “moment”. Love the fact we have the same opinion on Shum, Kosey