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Irish Bambie Thug Is Performing in Ouija Pop on Eurovision. But What Is This Genre?

The Irish witch Bambie Thug has invented a new genre that slays on Eurovision 2024.

Photo by Dalton Smith / Unsplash
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Editor's note: We added two playlists that, according to Spotify users, are Ouija Pop. 

Eurovision 2024 in taking place is Malmö, Sweden, and it's probably among the most scandalous song contests so far. We have it all this year: disqualification of a Dutch artist without a clear reason, Israeli contestant booed during the rehearsal and mocked during an interview panel by an artist from Greece, messages condemning the actions of Isreal in Palestine shown by several broadcasting channels right before the Israel's performance, and a complete sonic eclecticism—from 90s-ish dance tracks to drum-and-bass-metal exorcism right on stage. The latter—an Irish "witch" Bambie Thug, or rather, the genre they're performing in, is what we'll talk about in this piece.

Eurovision 2024: Birth or revival of Ouija Pop?

Several hours before the Grand Final, the bookmakers estimate that the Irish contestant, Bambie Thug (Bambie Ray Robinson), might take the fifth place in the contest.

Bambie's performance, Doomsday Blue, gained 5.5 million views on the official Eurovision YouTube channel within just three days, and their performance really is something.

"Avada Kadavra, I speak to destroy
The feelings I have I cannot avoid
Through twisted tongues a hex deployed on you
That all the pretties in your bed escape your hands and make you sad
And all the things you wish you had, you lose"

Sings Bambie right after getting on stage. And the audience loves it.

The song, labelled by some critics as "electro-metal anthem," is the definition of eclecticism, melding elements of industrial metal, pop, opera, and techno combined with emotional, screaming vocals—reminding of Crystal Castles and Lady Gaga as the track progresses.

Photo: Getty Images

But it's the visuals that left Eurofans so excited. The entire performance, theatrical and mildly satanic, looks like an exorcism session. The goth-looking artist is dancing with a partner who looks straight out of a horror movie, right in the middle of a pentagram surrounded by candles—totally metal. “We tried to make the monster look a bit more kind,” Bambie shares with Readly. “He’s a lot less demonic and gory than when I first envisioned him.” And just when you think it can't get any cooler, Bambie ditches their black feathers for a ragged two-piece in the trans pride flag colours.

Photo: Jessica Gow/TT News Agency/AFP via Getty Images

Just as Bambie stops singing, the words "Crown the Witch" appear behind their back. Not surprising, considering that Bambie calls their fans a "coven" and themselves—a "rebel witch conjuring Ouija Pop since 1993." Perhaps, some magic really did take place, considering that Ireland has qualified for the contest's grand final for the first time since 2018.

So... is this what they call Ouija Pop?

What is Ouija Pop?

Answering the question of whether Eurovision Song Contest means birth for Ouija Pop or its revival, it's definitely the first. The thing is that it's Bambie who made up this unique genre.

Clearly inspired by the witchcraft aesthetics and dark celtic mythology, the artist has labeled their music as 'ouija-pop', a term that captures the eerie vibe of their sound. In Doomsday Blue, which is from the 2023 EP Cathexis, it's like they've mixed the gritty intensity of industrial with a smooth, airy layer of alternative pop. “I think it highlights a lot of different facets of my sound,” Bambie explains to Readly. “It’s like a three-minute burst of musical theatre with separate acts.”

In a 2023 interview, Bambie stated that "my stuff is hyperpunk avant electro-pop. We call it grit pop or rot but recently I've been coining the term 'ouija pop'". They said they made up the term because they didn't want to "put in a box", so the artist combined numerous genres "never having anything in mind" whenever making music.

Are we about to see more of Ouija Pop after the Eurovision? Perhaps. At the end of the day, many genres were created this way; some, like Nightcore, even emerged as a joke, made solely for a school project.

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