Last week we received the final 5 songs for the UMK 2021 final, and the organizers delivered on their promise for a strong set of potential Eurovision entries. Each entry features a unique genre from sentimental ballads, electropop, violent pop, and more – there’s something for everyone in the selection!
The artists for UMK and their songs are as follows:
- Oskr – “Lie”
- Teflon Brothers x Pandora – “I Love You”
- Danny – “The Day When Everyone Loves Me”
- Laura Põldvere – “Play”
- Aksel Kankaaranta – “Hurt”
- Blind Channel – “Dark Side”
- Ilta – “Who Am I Calling”
The selection also features language variety, as three songs in the selection feature Finnish lyrics. Ilta and Danny’s songs are completely in Finnish, while Teflon Brothers x Pandora’s song has a chorus in English. If these three songs win UMK it will be the first time that Finnish has appeared in the contest since 2015, and the fourth time that Finnish has appeared in Eurovision after the language rule changed in 1999.
What do the competitors think of the other songs?
Each of the artists listened to the other 6 songs and shared their reactions on the official UMK channel yesterday. This footage was filmed prior to the press release, as each artist is unaware of who the other songs belong to. That certainly didn’t stop some people from guessing though! For those of you who don’t speak Finnish – we broke down the reactions so you don’t have to translate!
It seems that the artists were in unanimous agreement that Oskr’s song “Lie” was emotional, atmospheric, and charismatic. As Ilta put it – “I have competition!” Half of the Violent pop group Blind Channel said the song was “touching” and “makes a big man cry”. That’s high praise! Laura commented the song could be on a movie soundtrack, and it makes you smile and remember your childhood. Danny compared it to last year’s winning song “Looking Back” by fellow UMK artist Aksel.
For Teflon Brothers x Pandora the artists immediately reacted with dance moves and enjoyed the fun upbeat tempo the song has. Blind Channel immediately recognized that the song was by the Teflon Brothers, while Oskr commented that they sounded very familiar to him. Oskr went on to give it a 5/5 while Laura praised Pandora for the beauty in her voice. Blind Channel joked that the chorus was “So Swedish” and that “all that is missing is Pandora singing or something”. Well jokes on them, that IS the singer! Danny said it reminded him of the 1994 Finnish representative CatCat.
Danny’s song was up next and Blind Channel said the sound of his entry is legendary, and sounded like Vesa-Matti Loiri who represented Finland in Eurovision back in 1980 with the song “Huilumies”. Aksel described the song as being a “funeral song in a good way” which is potentially a reference to the lyrics focusing on life after Danny is gone. Laura said the song gave her goose-bumps, while the Teflon Brothers compared it to a Johnny Cash like song. Blind Channel once again correctly guessed that Danny was the voice behind the song.
Laura’s genre of choice was identified right away by Aksel who indicated the song was “country music, Miley Cyrus vibes”. Teflon Brothers were a bit confused on who the vocalist could be, thinking that Laura was actually Finland 2007 participant Hanna Pakarinen. They also described the song as “horse riding music” although it’s not known what that genre would mean. Oskr enjoys the pairing of Laura’s voice with the guitar motif with some motown elements, while Danny thought the rhythm was catchy and the vocal was good. Blind Channel ended their perfect guessing streak by guessing that Laura was actually an American singer.
Many of the artists immediately got that Aksel’s voice was familiar to them and wonderful to listen to. Laura was impressed with the quality of his voice, stating that he sounded like “two angels in the sky” and took her breath away. Blind Channel applied a tad bit of humor to the serious entry, stating that it sounds like a song from the Hobbit movie, where one of their shorter members might belong. Danny wasn’t ecstatic about the song stating “It doesn’t make you go wild either, but again it’s produced and sung well.”
Blind Channel received the most excited reactions, as everyone was excited to hear a heavy rock-like entry in the selection (their genre is called violent pop). This could be because of Lordi’s win back in 2006, but also because rock music is somewhat popular in the country. Aksel was particularly ecstatic to see them in the mix it seems, as he described a potential staging with pyro effects and black leather robes. Oskr cracked a joke about his age saying that their song was perfect for a “21st century teenager” such as himself. Ilta was impressed with how well produced the entry was, and how powerful and energetic it was compared to Aksel’s entry. Danny calmly stated “there’s heavy rokck in the Finnish character”.
Ilta’s song was up last and Aksel stated right away that the track “reminded [him] of Disney”, Laura went on to add that Ilta’s voice and song is so sweet sounding. Blind Channel took a stab at who the vocalist could be, throwing out UMK 2020 interval act BEHM as their guess. Later in the video they correctly guess who it actually was, branding Ilta as the next Anna Eriksson (who almost represented Finland at Eurovision in 2000). Danny continued his very direct commentary, adding that “the artist focuses on the lyrics in a great way”. Many comments popped up about the elements of the track from Aksel loving her rasp and vocal breaks, Blind Channel enjoying the use of tom drums, and Oskr enjoying the small details sprinkled throughout.
Matt Reacts to the UMK 2021 Songs
But the UMK artists weren’t the only ones to react to the songs – our very own Matt reacted to all seven over on the ESCUnited YouTube channel. We won’t spoil his reactions but he has quite a few things to say about UMK this year!
How did #YOU react to these UMK songs? Do you agree with how the competitors reacted themselves? Let us know on social media, in the comments below, or on our forum page!