Track Review: Vinok: Elephant Girl

‘Delivering raw emotion and stadium level musicality, it’s a truly empowering release.’

Intro to Vinok
Showcasing their approach of creating tracks with real meaning, Ukrainian trio VINOK’s latest release ‘Elephant Girl’ tackles a subject rarely brought to new music. Depicting a story of transformation, and the spiritual awakening of a female person with a disability it may not seem the most obvious of narratives. However, when you know that the trio come from a whole range of backgrounds, including helping people with disabilities, witnessing atrocities in Eastern Europe, and coming from war-torn countries, you understand the knowledge they can bring to the subject. This isn’t your average trio, and nor is the sound of this release. They are instead both as unique, and as inspirational as one another. Read more at: Behind the Music: Interview with Vinok. 

Track Review
Bursting with infectious energy from the word go, a mix of rhythmically tribal toms and groove inducing bass lines immediately set the momentum of the track. It’s full of intent, promise, and precision, and making us want more you can’t wait to find out where it is going. Then, with soft chord changes joining the sound, and all accompanying elements shifting into the background, the start of what is to be a truly phenomenal musical journey provides our answer.

Enticing us right from the first appearance of it, the lyrical theme, one based on growth, crawls into our ears. Confident, yet tentative through its soft projection, the phrase ‘little girl what are you fighting for?’ carries a sense of meaning even bigger than the sound itself. Likewise, in basing the majority of the verse lyrics around this question fuelled theme, each new phrase connects on a new level while enhancing the one that came before. And it is this sense of connection and meaning that lies at the heart of the whole track.

Developing this further, as we surge through the pre-chorus, the focus shifts onto phrases built around the recurring words of ‘one more, one more, one more.’ Fully bringing our attention to these, the formerly solo vocals of Nathalie become enhanced by powerful harmonies. Statement like, and hinting at the real dominance that is around the corner, the sense of purpose becomes solidified. Meanwhile, with a bubbling undercurrent of Florence and the Machine influences, it feels both musically familiar, yet reassuringly refreshing. And in fact perfectly contrasting to what is on the way.

Allowing both dominance and confidence to take hold, the most driving of guitar lines appears. Infused with distortion, carrying superb drive, yet having half-time intentions, it’s a truly transformative sound. What is even more transformative though is how Nathalie’s vocal delivers the chorus lyricism. Gone is any inflection of softness, or lack of confidence, and replaced by soaring power and vigorous vibrato, the raw emotion held within soars above in a most dramatic fashion. 

With the track already shifting through notable stylistic influences, on leaving the chorus we are greeted with a further one. Feeling like the purest of funk-rock grooves, the overwhelming sound we just experienced is replaced by an overwhelming urge to move. Selectively syncing with the underlying guitar, snare flams and rolls rhythmically crack to push the energy forward. Nathalie’s vocal phrases fly off her tongue generating likewise sensations. And with growing instrumental pitch bends wailing in the background the whole atmosphere is everything you could want.

Progressing through further verse content, where we could hear those nods to influence earlier, they soon take on a much more shameless form. Remaining reserved to begin with, you find yourself tuning into a multitude of elements. You notice the hums from the start are now replaced by those aforementioned wails. You notice the harmonies, though selective, are there too. And you notice that you can’t get enough of the energetic drive underneath it all. Then suddenly it turns totally anthemic.

Influence-centric echoes of ‘one more’ interject the main vocals in stadium like fashion. You, as a result, join in. Then switching back to the half-time groove, a yearning for the chaos that can only occur with a crowd comes to mind. And then, with the confidence-fuelled chorus returning, and the sonic bursts appearing even more dominantly, you imagine the flashes of light that would flood the stage on every occurrence. It really is one hell of an atmosphere. An atmosphere that would make for the most statement filled conclusion. Yet instead, with VINOK taking us on the most vocally empowered closing journey, an even greater statement is made.

Find out more about VINOK at:
Behind the Music: Interview with VINOK

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