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Young Fathers

Put simply, you could call Young Fathers a lo-fi R&B trio. However, they don't completely fit in that box, with their wide-spanning spread of alternative rap, indie pop, reggaeton, and electronic music. The group released several EPs and singles before breaking through with their 2014 debut album Dead, which won the prestigious Mercury Prize. This was followed by the heavier White Men Are Black Men Too in 2015, and the group's music was extensively featured in the 2017 film T2 Trainspotting before the more direct yet equally hard-to-categorize third album Cocoa Sugar arrived in 2018. Young Fathers returned with the 2022 single "Geronimo." Formed in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2008 by Alloysious Massaquoi, Kayus Bankole, and Graham Hastings, the group started performing in nightclubs when the bandmembers were in their teens. A full-length, Inconceivable Child...Conceived, was recorded for Black Sugar Records, but it was shelved. A few singles and EPs surfaced, and the self-issued 2011 cassette Tape One was picked up by the Anticon label the following year. Tape Two appeared in 2013, and the group's first commercially available full-length, Dead, was released in February 2014 by both Big Dada and Anticon. Built on their knack for fusing inventive but gritty rhythms and sounds with incisive lyrics, the album gained a lot of critical attention and won the 2014 Mercury Prize, beating out considerably more famous competition. A U.K. tour turned into a world tour with some dates in the U.S., and Young Fathers traveled to Europe, which included a long stop in Berlin to lay down tracks for their sophomore album. After recordings were finished back home in Edinburgh, their album White Men Are Black Men Too appeared in April 2015. They guested on Massive Attack's 2016 EP Ritual Spirit, and "Only God Knows," a collaboration with the Leith Congregational Choir, appeared on the soundtrack to T2 Trainspotting, which included several other Young Fathers songs. Early 2018 saw the release of the singles "In My View" and "Toy" ahead of the tense, pared-down Cocoa Sugar that March. After a four-year absence, Young Fathers released a single titled "Geronimo" in 2022.
© Jason Lymangrover & Paul Simpson /TiVo
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