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Young Fathers - Heavy Heavy (Album Review)

Tuesday, 07 February 2023 Written by Jack Terry

It’s been half a decade since art-pop genre-mashers Young Fathers last graced us with their all encompassing sounds, but with their fourth album ‘Heavy Heavy’ the trio show that great things come to those that wait.

The group has ties and roots to a diverse range of cultures—from Liberia and Nigeria to the estates of north Edinburgh—and they’ve used all of that accumulated history here to make one of their biggest and boldest bodies of work yet. 

When they announced ‘Heavy Heavy’, Young Fathers stated that they’d ‘gone back to basics’ and had recorded in their own basement on their own equipment, keeping production as small as possible. 

It’s a marvel, then, that this sounds so massive. I Saw and Drum sound ripe for festival fields, purpose-built to ring out from big stages and set immaculate vibes for crowds of thousands.

But the most impressive part of ‘Heavy Heavy’ is how free it is. This is an album that  moves however it wants, possessing real staying power by offering so much varied content in a tight 30-odd minutes. Infectious and utterly joyous, you’ll feel inclined to move to the driving dub beats of Shoot Me Down just as much as you will for the calm, introspective wisdom of Be Your Lady. 

That freedom is reinforced by ambiguous lyricism that allows listeners to draw their own meanings depending on mood, environment or situation. For a band that started out with a Mercury Prize win for ‘Dead’, their following albums always had a lot to live up to. With ‘Heavy Heavy’, Young Fathers not just recaptured the magic of that first effort, they’ve surpassed it and set a new bar.

Young Fathers Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Sun February 26 2023 - BRISTOL SWX
Tue February 28 2023 - LEEDS O2 Academy Leeds
Wed March 01 2023 - DUBLIN 3Olympia Theatre
Fri March 03 2023 - GLASGOW O2 Academy Glasgow
Sat March 04 2023 - GLASGOW O2 Academy Glasgow
Mon March 06 2023 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE Boiler Shop
Tue March 07 2023 - MANCHESTER Albert Hall
Thu March 09 2023 - LONDON Roundhouse

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