Young Fathers’ experimental, meandering and expressive sound has only gotten better over the years. I remember the feeling I had listening to TAPE ONE and TAPE TWO for the first time when they came out in the early 2010s. Their soulful, eclectic and absolutely mesmeric sound has only strengthened with each and every release.
Heavy Heavy is their fourth studio album, a triumphant return for the Edinburgh trio, who really exceeded all expectations with a catchy, passionate, tribal and raw body of work that, though very early on in the year, could go down as one of my favourite releases of the year. The percussion-heavy groove of the opening track “Rice” sets the tone for the rest of the album, with beats and grooves that are just infectious. “I Saw” is an absolute standout. A pummelling beat, politically charged lyrics, an absolutely infectious hook and incredible energy throughout. It’s a real masterpiece of a track and upon listening to the album, that’s the one I returned to the most. Just pure, unfiltered, catchy energy, with tribal drums, percussion, synth leads and powerful vocals throughout. There are more subdued and beautiful moments on the album such as the poignant “Tell Somebody”, with incredible synth keys and sensual lyrics, perfectly complementing the swelling strings, as the drums and strings bring this song life. It’s a sublime, special moment that captures their aura as artists beautifully. “Geronimo” is also a profound moment, as the chorus speaks on self-growth and perseverance – “I’m on the verge of something divine that’s gonna keep me in line / Most of my life I’ve been thinking, got the feeling that I’m caught in a bind / Being a son, brother, uncle, father figure / I gotta survive and provide / My momma said you’ll never ever please your woman / But you’ll have a good time trying”. Personal struggles, love and relationships, relatable thoughts and lyrics that touch to the core of the human experience, and with tribal and energetic instrumentals that capture the soul of their artistry. “Sink Or Swim” is a catchy, groovy cut, while the choir-assisted vocals on “Holy Moly” are powerful, with a driving beat and an uplifting tone that is just incredible throughout. The closing track “Be Your Lady” is another love-themed empowering track, stating “I wanna be your lady / Forgetting I’m the man” triumphantly over the hard-hitting drums and percussion throughout. It’s a powerful way to end a beautiful, personal and frantic body of work, and is testament to Young Fathers’ artistic vision.
Young Fathers’ Heavy Heavy is an incredible album, bringing together emotive and relatable lyricism with raw and tribal instrumentation that sparks the album to life and keeps it pulsating throughout its 10 tracks. It’s incredibly catchy and dynamic, making me want to groove and dance endlessly to these rich compositions. A powerful statement from an incredible group.
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