This Saturday January 28th, Finland will choose its entry to the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. YLE’s annual Uuden Musiikin Kilpailun (UMK) competition has been scaled back a bit this year. Instead of three heats and a final, there will be just ten songs competing in one show.
And what of the songs?
Well there are some strong highlights, and some forgettable lowlights. We’ve already got a couple of songs that we know we’re going to keep coming back to (Emma’s ‘Circle of Light’ and Günther & D’Sanz’s ‘Love Yourself’). And really, we daren’t ask for more than that from a Finnish national final.
YLE have once again put some dosh into getting music videos made for each of the songs, so DO have a listen/watch to each of them below. And we’ve also done a brief HOT TAKE on what they’re like and how likely it is that they’d get Finland into that Eurovision final once again.
Alva – ‘Arrows’
(Arto Ruotsala, Milos Rosas, Aatu Mällinen)
What’s it like? A beat-heavy pop ballad that occasionally veers between r&b and synthpop. It’s got a strong chorus melody.
Would it get Finland into the ESC final? If Norway couldn’t manage it last year with ‘Icebreaker’, then Finland probably wouldn’t manage it this year with the similar sounding ‘Arrows’.
Anna Saikku – ‘Reach Out For The Sun’
(Mia Kemppainen, Perttu Kurttila)
What’s it like? An ethereal folkpop ballad that attempts to go all Bieber-banger in time for the chorus.
Would it get Finland into the ESC final? It’s one of the weaker songs here, but the fact that it’s genre specific could give it a few more points. It would be an almighty struggle though.
Club La Persé – ‘My Little World’
(Princess Julia, Luke Howard, Jaakko Salovaara)
What’s it like? The Hungry Hearts doing a Pete Burns tribute.
Would it get Finland into the ESC final? Would it fuck?! But it would be one of the most memorable performances on that stage this year.
Emma – ‘Circle of Light’
(Jonas Olsson, Heidi Maria Paalanen, Aku Rannila, Saara Törmä)
What’s it like? A relentless ethno-pop belter. Drums. Fiddles. Explosions. The LOT!
Would it get Finland into the ESC final? Hell yes.
Günther & D’Sanz – ‘Love Yourself’
(Mats Söderlund, Amir Aly, Tomas Cederholm, Robin Abrahamsson, Niklas Nylund)
What’s it like? An ode to having a wank. On poppers. It’s amazing.
Would it get Finland into the ESC final? We would be SO happy to see this in the Eurovision final. And if the Finns send it, it might well just do it.
Knucklebone Oscar & The Shangri-La Rubies – ‘Caveman’
(Baldauf, Martimo, Salomaa, Kumpulainen, Vettenranta, Bachér, Schönberg)
What’s it like? Rockabilly nonsense turns into actually-quite-endearing-novelty-pop-song.
Would it get Finland into the ESC final? It really all depends on how much people have had to drink on the night. That’s audience AND artist, in this case.
Lauri Yrjölä – ‘Helppo Elämä’
What’s it like? Pop meets deep house. A little bit like Belgium’s ESC entry in 2015 and Estonia’s last year.
Would it get Finland into the ESC final? With a good stage show to compliment the chorus, and an English translation – it’s likely it would, yes.
My First Band – ‘Paradise’
(Antti Koivula, Heikki Puhakainen, Heikki Kytölä, Juho Vehmanen, Mikko Virta, Jurek Reunamäki)
What’s it like? Probably the most contemporary song here. Not even our sort of thing normally, but this is undeniably good.
Would it get Finland into the ESC final? Definitely.
Norma John – ‘Blackbird’
(Lasse Piirainen, Leena Tirronen)
What’s it like? An acquired taste. For the most part it’s a fairly dull ballad. Though the middle eight is actually quite magical, and the final chorus is pretty gorgeous.
Would it get Finland into the ESC final? With a unique staging and with not many slow songs surrounding it on the night, it could be a qualifier. Without those two criteria – not a chance.
Zühlke – ‘Perfect Villain’
(Nalle Ahlstedt, Christian Ingebrigtsen, Silje Nymoen)
What’s it like? It’s a dramatic rock ballad with a fair lashing of soul attached to its delivery.
Would it get Finland into the ESC final? As much as we like it, it barely scrapes the top half when we rank this lot. So we can’t imagine it would do any better at a Eurovision semi.