Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Belarus 2021 - Shuma - Dreva

With the Belarussian regime clearly using this year's Eurovision Song Contest to try and prove a political point and sending both a song and an act that were never going to meet the favour of the rest of the continent, it's still unclear whether they are going to be appearing at this year's competition in any form. So a group of musicians from the country have created a Eurovision entry in exile for their troubled country, and it's a bit stunning.

You may remember Shuma from their beautifully dark piece of folk electronica called Hmarki from the 2018 Belarussian final. Now in exile in Ukraine they've put together a sparse and chilling hymn to the current state of their nation, based around an old folk song where a woman asks the gods to ward off trouble from the neighbouring land. The video that accompanies it is both bleak and beautiful, and includes a stark message to those outside of Belarus at the end. As it's increasingly looking like there will be no official entry from the country this year, maybe we should all consider this to be actual, albeit unofficial entry for the country this year. It wouldn't be eligible for any points, obviously, but it would be a more than welcome addition to the canon in this of all years. Music is always political, no matter what you're singing about, and I reckon this is a fitting end to this year's season on Apocalypse. Thanks for staying with us in this most wonky of all Eurovision years.

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