Monty’s Eurovision Countdown – Ukraine

Ukraine at Eurovision

Time by O. Torvald

O. Torvald, aside from having the most unusual name for a band, are a group of some local standing with 5 studio albums to their name. It’s not quite the heights of Anna Vissi being the home entry in Athens but these boys aren’t complete unknowns for their home Eurovision. Their song is a reflection on modern life, lamenting the lack of a pause to consider what we see and believe, how we interact and how we choose to respond. There’s a personal reading of it as the mechanics of a relationship, but also a wider reading on how we approach some of the issues of our times. The call for abandoning violence is particularly resonant for a country with such a troubled recent past, and one still involved in active combat with Russia. Their latest album is entitled Our People Are Everywhere, which, whilst far less obvious than Jamala’s 1944, continues a more abstract theme of national identity and settlement which got us all to Kyiv in the first place.

For those who baulk at the first strum of a rock guitar this will be instantly dismissed as an entry to ensure we’re not back to Kyiv next year, but it does the band a disservice when they are staying true to their musical style. It’s not my bag, but to my untrained ear it seems like a perfectly passable example of the genre, and as the only rock song this year should at least feature in the middle of the table. The countdown t-shirts used in the national final are a great and simple gimmick, and probably a better bet that the effect deployed in the semis. There we had a gunshot effect with seeping blood all over Zhenia’s blouse. I don’t know how sharp a shot Julia Samoylova is, but after all the controversy banning her as the Russian entrant it’s probably much safer all round not to have something which could disguise an actual assassination as a mere special effect.

My marks – 5 points

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