Much like Marmite, the international song contest Eurovision is a divisive event; you either love it or you hate it, with very few taking the relaxed “meh” approach. It’s undeniably evocative and as it takes place this week, it’s come down to band JUNODEF with their stomping alt-pop/rock single ‘Eurovision 2004’ to bring it to the pages of Unrecorded. They trade in the more often heard sugary pop or heavy metal that Eurovision has become well known for and instead offer up their moody, bass and synth laden rock affair.
While some may hear this and presume the military rhythm and melancholic melodies were born out of some simmering resentment, you might be surprised to know it’s actually derived from the JUNODEF‘s love of the contest which is deeply ingrained in the culture of their home country Sweden.
Here the trio give some more insight into this dichotomous listen:
“The song was written in 2019, and was originally called Ukrainian Eurovision, because the heavy toms reminded us of Ruslana’s song Wild Dances from 2004. The title was meant as a tribute to one of our favourite countries in Eurovision (I mean Verka Serduchka, what a legend!), but after the invasion of Ukraine earlier this year we decided to scrap the name to avoid confusion around our intentions of this song and renamed it ‘Eurovision 2004’. It’s about playing with the idea of not caring about things that normally matter to you, and what the consequences of that would be.”
With this context in hand, ‘Eurovision 2004’ suddenly becomes an anthem for all the outsiders and individual thinkers who “step out of line”. The riotous ricochet of the drums and thundering presence of the relentless guitars convey all that force one needs to push against the status quo, while the euphoric top lines hints towards the optimistic conviction you need in your own dreams to make them a reality. With the Swedish pop influence never too far away, the sparkling synths that have been present throughout the track, lead the listener out of this chaos and into some sort of peaceful resolution.
It’s an incredibly complex and though-provoking track, which no doubt each listener will have their own interpretation. For us, JUNODEF’s ‘Eurovision 2004’ is one that we’ll be turning to again in times of solitude and in need of reassurance.
Where to find JUNODEF: