“Something Better” for Finland
There we have it! After seven weeks of introductory shows, a pair of heats, a semifinal/second-chance round, and an exciting final, Finland has declared a winner in 2014’s Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu, or UMK. Once the say of the four-member professional jury and the vote of the viewing public were tallied, only one song out of the eight in the running could take the title, and with it the right to represent the country in Copenhagen this May.
Despite strong showings from electro-pop outfit MIAU (who eventually came in third) and emotional balladeer Mikko Pohjola (grabbing this year’s silver medal), it was rock band Softengine that claimed the win, with their upbeat, soaring number, “Something Better”.
Interestingly enough, Softengine is the first act since 2010’s Kuunkuiskaajat to hail from the country’s Finnish-speaking community; 2011’s Paradise Oskar, 2012’s Pernilla Karlsson, and 2013’s Krista Siegfrids were all primarily Swedish-speakers.
Newly-signed to Sony Records, this five-member outfit from Seinäjoki (a city known for its Tango Festival) have been playing together since 2011, but have yet to record an album of their work. Let’s see what the future holds for Topi, Ossi, Eero, Henri, and Tuomo…but next stop, Copenhagen!
As for my say (for what it’s worth), I’m a fan. The song is modern, anthemic, catchy, and not too far removed from what I’d listen to outside of the Eurovision bubble. With a soaring chorus like “Something Better” has, there is the risk of losing vocal power in some of the higher notes, but the band will probably be practicing the song often enough to polish up the occasional potential rough patch. Finland hasn’t been able to crack into the Top 20 since 2007, or the Top Ten since their win with Lordi, but given the right draw and presentation, I think this may have the potential to pull off the kind of placement that “New Tomorrow” or “Deli” did.