Vidbir (Ukraine) 2022 Reviews: Wellboy and Alina Pash

Wellboy — “Nozzy Bossy”
If you’ve been looking for a cheeky, sunny pop song to dance along to without risking injury, you can stop the search now. Musically this sounds more like it came from a sun-soaked Mediterranean island than the clubs of Kyiv, but it works. Wellboy’s charisma should translate well on stage, and I’m sure the crowd will be singing the “nozzy bossy” refrain during the performance. I don’t really have any criticisms of this, but it is a song that will either be your cup of tea, or it won’t and you’ll move on to the next one.

Alina Pash — “Тіні Забутих Предків / Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors”
I don’t think we’ve heard a song with the capacity to have the emotional impact of this one so far this season. Coming from a country currently living under the threat of invasion, this has strong echoes of Jamala’s “1944” in terms of its broader theme, even though musically it is more traditional in its production (Pash also dresses in traditional garb). There seems to be some controversy around Pash’s previous actions in relation to Russia and Crimea, which I’m sure Jamala will interrogate her about on camera if needed. You can tell this is a political one by how I haven’t really delved into the song as a song as much. So, let’s quickly do that: strong vocals (even the English rap is okay), big drums, lots of staging potential. I mean, are we talking Kyiv 2023 here if this gets through? It’s too early to say, but if the current political situation turns sour and there’s a wave of sympathy for Ukraine, I wouldn’t rule this out.