Finland will again turn to the show Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu to find their representative for Eurovision 2014. Last night the first 6 acts took to the stage for the judges. You can watch the videos below or watch the entire show HERE
Fashion is certainly something that Finland appears to have a quirky take on – and that is just the judges!
The 6 acts that performed last night were :
- Jasmin Michaela – “Kertakäyttösydän”
- Clarissa featuring Josh – “Top of The World”
- MADCRAFT – “Shinning Bright”
- Hanna Sky – “Hope”
- Lauri Mikkola – “Going Down”
- MAKEA – Painovoima
Jasmin Michaela – “Kertakäyttösydän” or “Disposable Heart”
A synth pop song that you could see Margaret Berger having on her new album. The comparisons are going to be drawn with their Norwegian neighbours and I am afraid that there are a lot of people still hungry for Margaret’s Love. This song will need to up its tempo to grab the attention of the audience.
Clarissa featuring Josh – “Top of The World”
Clarissa and Josh are Finland’s answer to Ell & Nikki. Their song reminds me of many songs from Loreen – “My Heart is Refusing Me” meets “We Got The Power”. With very 80’s dance choreography I really want to sign them up to the “Fame” dance academy. However saying that, this song has immense potential. Two young likable singers with good voices and a good pop song. This is where the judges comments should be telling them to work on the stage show aspect of their performance and forget about the cheesy holding hands and looking into each others eyes. Give us the animal magnetism instead. Cheese is for after dinner not for UMK. This song can certainly get better.
MADCRAFT – “Shinning Bright”
Now for something completely different. This is a good American college rock/pop band. They have that sound that conjures up the thoughts of Blink 182 and early Green Day material. The Finns always have a liking for this genre of music and this is another great example of it. Filled with plenty of hooks that would have the audience at home and in the stadium chanting along and enough energy to power the B&W Halls in Copenhagen – this would have a place at Eurovision and in the charts after the contest.
Hanna Sky – “Hope”
The song starts and I for one moment thought to myself “Oh Turkey are back at Eurovision!”. A mid tempo ethno/pop/RnB song that is all about “Hope” of course. The song was sung in English but I felt myself straining to hearing the lyrics. That needs to be addressed immediately. Three backing singers do their job of good supporting vocals, but why they were asked to contribute hand movements that resembled The Village People’s “YMCA” is beyond me. Hanna was dressed like she was going to a “Saints and Sinners” costume party. The song, performance and Hanna herself does not need this. This song has a chilled laid out vibe to it so I suggest going casual as this song has a great chorus that sticks in your head – which is what you want from a 3 minute song at Eurovision. “Sometimes less is more”.
Lauri Mikkola – “Going Down”
One word comes to mind when you hear this song and that is “Authentic”. No fake emotions or choreography here. Minimal yet highly effective. A ballad with a hint of a dub step beat with real musicians. A chorus with the words “Going Down” repeated enough to make you remember this instantly. You can see that this band have been performing for a long time together and it all works. Quality speaks for itself. Great vocals and more importantly great diction. Lauri makes looking cool seem easy. One to keep a close eye on.
MAKEA – Painovoima
This song is called “Painovoima” or “Gravity”. Like Sandra Bullock I found my head spinning several times during this performance. Talk about a “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” this song threw me somewhat. The first 20 seconds I was thinking “this is a good melodic ballad, strong chords on the piano” and then it started! The rapper came in and went from rap to scat and pushed the tempo of the song up several gears. When the female singer came back in she brings the tempo of the song back down from its break neck speed. It is easy to say that you don’t like this song/genre of music but it is highly skilled and one has to give MAKEA respect for that.
What I do like is that they team up the hard rap/scat parts of the song with a subtle keyboard chords which is really interesting. Add to this an 80’s electronic guitar solo and you have “Painovoima”. I personally like this song but I can totally see how others will find it hard to warm to this music and how it could be a difficult sell to a mainstream Eurovision audience – but aren’t judges supposed to look for songs that could be a commercial hit? I could easily see this shaking up the stereotype of Eurovision and we need that in 2014. This song is Marmite – you will love it or hate it.
There you have the first 6 acts in this year’s Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu. You can watch live the next 6 acts preview their songs on January 4th.
So what were your favourites from these 6 acts? Take our poll
Author/Website co-founder and Editor in Chief Garrett Mulhall
Source YLE and Eurovision Ireland