Ukraine – Tvorchi, Heart of Steel

First of all, I feel like I need to preface this by noting that the war in Ukraine is bad, obviously. Russia is an aggressor, war crimes are happening, and I am saddened at the loss of life that’s happening there.

I wanted to get that out of the way because this is a Eurovision blog, not an international policy journal. And what we do is overanalyze three minute pop songs – their music, their lyrics, their staging, and their context.

And it is the context that is the problem this year, because when Tvorchi performs people won’t be experiencing their performance as Tvorchi, an electropop duo made up of former pharamacology students, but as Tvorchi, the brave act from Ukraine, representing the war-torn nation that’s standing up against aggression from an antidemocratic dictator. Before the song is even performed, it’s burdened by this symbolism.

Which is a shame because it’s a pretty great song!

This song is delightfully stripped back. After three organ blasts, the first verse is almost performed a capella. And it’s not like the arrangement gets much more complicated than that, until very near the end, when a sudden burst of violins appears to take over the melodic line.

I feel like, in a contest that’s usually full of excess, Tvorchi have released a song that is exactly enough. It knows what its assets are – Jeffrey’s lovely voice; breathy samples, and that glorious gothic organ. And it doesn’t need any more than that.

I just wish that we were in a situation where people could listen to this song as this song, and see it as representation of Ukraine’s flourishing music scene, rather than anything else. I hope that when this war is over, this song will come on ESC Radio and we’ll be able to listen to it without the baggage and realise what a banger it truly is. It’s one of my top songs in Eurovision this year.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s