The Ukrainian outfit tackles societal shortcomings with a powerful, dynamic soundscape on latest album.


Ukrainian-American indie rock band VINOK have dropped their debut album following a string of powerful singles. Holy Fool is dedicated to human relationships, between individuals, people and society. Speaking on injustice, the group packs a punch when tackling a range of topics including empowering people with mental and physical disabilities. The title Holy Fool comes from the meaning of the traditional definition, of someone who reveals the truth in an outward way, even if it clashes with societal norms. 

Intertwining both English and Ukrainian lyrics, the album has a consistent flow of energy and dynamics, pulling all the songs together in powerful unison. Aside from the lyrical content being a true beacon of light and inspiration, the sound of this album is just as hard-hitting and affecting. The tracks all ooze gritty, indie rock passion, with vocalist Nathalie being an utter generator of vocal class. Reminiscent of Florence Welsh, the vocals are a combo of unreal pitch, strength, tone and emotion. All the songs are graced with Nathalie’s divine voice, surfing over an ocean of indie waves. 

Their first single off the album was “Elephant Girl,” which speaks about the frustration of dealing with a physical disability. The track is honest, clear and a huge inspiration and comfort for those who can relate. The track has a growling bassline, whistling keys and pounding drums that charge the track with electricity. The track drops into a breakdown of a mighty, dusty guitar riff that has you headbanging to the flames of the rocking sound. “Elephant Girl” is based around the story of The Elephant Man, sharing the fantastic quote, “My form is something odd, but blaming me, is blaming God.”

The all encompassing “Critical” highlights the consequences of living in a toxic environment, yet trying to remain hopeful regardless. Another example of their real and raw lyrical themes, the song will leave you speechless and deep in thought. It also features Ukraine’s iconic freedom-writer Taras Shevchenko, giving further emphasis on the sociopolitical issues in their home country. 

The unfiltered “Hold On Me” touches on addiction. Through explosive and aggressive instrumentation, the song reflects the constraining feelings that come hand in hand with addiction.

Holy Fool was mixed by sound producer and engineer Paul ‘PDub’ Walton who has worked with legends such as Bjork, U2, Madonna, Birdy and The Cure. Overall, the 11-track release is sure to have something for everyone and therefore Vinok have succeeded in creating an album for the masses. Whatever you are going through, Vinok hope that their music will act as a friendly reminder that we are all in this together.

Check out Holy Fool below!

photo by: Yurko Bielakh