Young Fathers, 'Cocoa Sugar' - Review
by Harry Mathieson
Edinburgh trio Young Fathers’ third studio album is a concise and pristinely chaotic album of experimental cross-genre gospel-hip-pop.
Unlike previous efforts, the group rely more on hook driven structures leaning towards accessibility, with less songs overly based on heavily driven grooves. Second single ‘In My View’ is a rousing crescendo of a song, passionate and profound, while ‘Border Girl’ stomps along a continuous plodding bassline as members blend singing, shouting and their idiosyncratic rap style over the top.
Yet, Young Fathers’ signature ear for experimental sonics remains, with many songs as likely to feature chaotic low-end roars and scratchy unidentifiable sounds as they are pretty marimbas and synths. With regards to the overall sound, one-third of the group and main producer ‘G’ Hastings must be acknowledged for the immaculate production of the album. As usual, lyrical content remains cryptic, but overall themes emerge that coincide with previous albums’ attempts at tackling race, belonging and religion.
For those until now unacquainted with Young Fathers back-catalogue, Cocoa Sugar is a perfect album to gateway into their previous works, a mixture of the experimental and the catchy that provides plenty of replay value for the sheer amount it packs into its relatively short running time. A highly recommended listen.