Young Fathers Traverse (and Celebrate) Humanity’s Contradictory Multitudes on Fourth Album “Heavy Heavy”

Photo by Stephen Roe

Across their fourth album Heavy Heavy, Scottish trio Young Fathers offer a sweeping self-portrait of the human race in all its contradictory wonder. Over the course of ten gloriously anthemic tracks, Alloysious Massaquoi, Kayus Bankole, and Graham “G” Hastings captivate via their characteristically mosaic soundscapes and spiritually humanist lyricism. Rendering the album’s blazing energy and startling prescience a rhapsody of the highest form.


Please note: This post may contain affiliate links.

From the moment that the album begins with the celebratory “Rice,” a soaring song that burns bright with renewal, the music of Heavy Heavy takes the form of a beckoning journey. Whether that arrives as an invigoratingly rapid and soul-lifting ode to identity (“Drum”) or as an anxiety-laden surge of heady percussion that warns against the dangers of turning a blind eye (“I Saw”) — the album transforms the entire spectrum of human expression into ecstatically flourishing hymns.

Few songs on the album embody its grandiose spirit than the ethereal movements of “Tell Somebody,” where a collision of blossoming instrumentals finds thunderous release. While on the jittery beats and mind-boggling vocal switch-ups of “Shoot Me Down,” they splice gruff samples against their vocals to create a patchwork look at all the things that both plague and sustain humanity.


The elation of “Ululation” was created via Young Father’s first collaboration, which happened by pure happenstance when one of them invited a friend who was going through a rough patch at home to stay with them in the studio while they recorded. She started humming along to their playing and soon she found herself lending her voice to what would be this track’s heartwarming clamor. As the album fades out after the dizzying spirals of “Holy Moly,” it slips into the dreamy piano echo that begins “Be Your Lady.” A fitting finale to Heavy Heavy that soon transforms into a shuddering rush that serves as both the album’s last hurrah and final charge to ignite its purpose in you: an aggressive rekindling of love.

band to watch 2023

Visit Young Fathers on their website, Twitter, and Instagram to stay updated on new releases and tour announcements.

Words: Steven Ward

Listen to Heavy Heavy the new album from Young Fathers below!

submit your new song
influential black women femalesingers