Album Review: Young Fathers – Dead

What’s this?

A combination of electronic sounds and hard-hitting psychedelic hip-hop, Dead is the debut album from the Edinburgh based trio Young Fathers. A wild mash-up of sonic and lyrical styles, distorted beats and off-key notes, it’s guaranteed this LP will be nothing like you’ve heard before. Drawing heavily from their African background it has a very distinct sound and feel to it, mixing together different genres and bizarre sounds into the melting pot, resulting in an album that will make you stand up and listen.

And what’s it like?

An intoxicating musical journey that’s thrown down your throat at 100 miles an hour. From the start of ‘No Way’ we notice the African influences and the unique style of the trio, with zulu type chants played over a distorted hip-hop beat- the lyrical bombardment begins. Interluded with soulful voices, all three members show that they are not only extremely good rappers, but equally good singers. Each song comes with a catchy chorus, but this does not seem forced at all, instead something that sounds integral to their style. Ranging from sweet soft vocals to rough, hoarse barks, each track is unique. It packs imagination, adventure and wildness. ‘Just Another Bullet’ is built on an eerie and unsettling electro beat looping around clear and concise rhymes and hazy vocals. ‘Get Up’ is their most marketable of songs, and having had radio play already, it is on a likely route to achieve mainstream attention. “Come here and do the right thing, get up and have a party, get up, get up” coinciding with smooth flows from each member, this song could elevate the group to higher success. This is by far not the best track on the album however – ‘Dip’ combines busy rhymes with sensual vocals, and ‘Hangman’ creates a claustrophobic atmosphere in a slower more tense interlude, followed up by the brilliant ‘Am I Not Your Boy’.

What’s the tracklisting?

1. No Way
2. Low
3. Just Another Bullet
4. WAR
5. Get Up (Radio Edit)
6. Dip
7. Paying
9. Hangman
10. Am I Not Your Boy
11. I’ve Arrived

Can you listen to anything now?

What’s the final verdict?

Dead is unparalleled to most music you will hear this year. Feeling organic and natural, the sounds will leave you mesmerised. Experimental and adventurous the trio have quietly built an extremely unique sound, a fantastic debut.


First published: February 6, 2014


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