One of the absolute joys of National Final season is idly browsing qualifying songs and then hitting upon something which changes your life.
(This is not hyperbole. My credit card statements are littered with depression-curing weekend trips to European destinations to go see artists that have burrowed their way into my brain.)
And based on this video, it looks like Lithuania’s Ruta Mur might be one of those artists. MIGHT.
There is so much to love in this package! Ruta Mur has managed to do the impossible and write a sad banger, the perfect tune for crying my eyes out on the dance floor. She packs her vocals with plaintive, mournful, drawn-out vowels, pouring her moans into the song that she knows will make no difference to her situation.
And the visuals? Stunning. The monochrome outfit matching the pickup truck? The circle of hoverboards? The best use of a horse in a music video since Beyonce’s (too sparse) Renaissance visuals? I have so many questions as to what’s going on, but mostly I just want more of it.
But the studio version and video makes me a bit nervous – this is where the MIGHT comes in.
There’s a bit of auto tune in the chorus, and live horses aren’t allowed on the Eurovision stage. And while Pabandom Is Naujo is a glowup from Eurovizijos Atranka, the studio doesn’t necessarily allow for the bigger budget staging that we see in this video.
So I’m cautiously hopeful. If Ruta Mur can translate what’s clearly been crafted with care into a three-minute live performance, I will be trying to figure out how to get to Lithuania on February 18. If not, at least I have Ruta Mur’s 2022 album Prime Time to listen to obsessively this year.
I am also a bit obsessed with this song. We’ve got a lot of 80s sounding stuff last year, as we have done over recent years. But this one goes the whole way. I feel like I’m listening to a song that might happen if the Pet Shop Boys, The Communards and New Order collaborated. And Ruta has incredible voice, very much looking forward to seeing her live performance.