The Kukushka – Zlata Ognevich

kukushka2

Would you like an earworm? Would you like some light hearted pop music cranked up to almost terrifying intensity, cut through by a lovely/infuriating birdsong riff? Well. Have I got a song for you.

Zlata took this song, with its groovy Hammond organ stabs and massive chorus, through Ukraine’s Eurovision selection process in 2011. I wasn’t watching National Finals back in 2011, but this one sounds like a doozy, with drama, disqualifications, the threat of the return of Verka Seduchka, and a sufficient level of uncertainty about the integrity of the result that they had to re-run the Grand Final, from which Zlata and future Ukrainian heroine Jamala asked for their songs to be withdrawn. Such drama! But even without the backstory, The Kukushka stands up as an inspired bit of pop music.

Zlata did eventually get to go to Eurovision, of course, with the equally high-intensity Gravity (which manages that musical trick of seeming to be entirely composed of ever-rising key-changes) but I think The Kukushka is the more interesting and inexplicable song.
Cuckoo!

Zlata is on UK Spotify

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