Mercury Prize Winners 2014: Young Fathers
A trio of unknown rappers from Edinburgh have scooped the Mercury Prize 2014 for their album Dead reports Bob Trafford
For a group to be championed here in the UK by the record label home to Roots Manuva, grime originator Wiley, recent Mercury-winner Speech Debelle, and the breathtakingly talented Kate Tempest, it's clear they must be doing something fresh, something to break through the the ranks of the often tired-sounding UK hip-hop scene. With a musical heritage that reaches from the estates around Scotland's capital as far as Liberia and Nigeria, Young Fathers have found the blend to do just that.
What they have shown so far, in two albums and two EPs, is a sound that never rests easily within the bounds of hip-hop. Flowing from restless, high-octane spitting, through early Massive Attack and Maxinquaye-era Tricky and on to a sound akin to a twist on South African Shangaan electro, their latest and most mature release sees it all laid over heavyweight beats and a dark, droning ambience, like a more soulful and mercifully less visceral Death Grips, whilst the trio's talent for catchy pop hooks (look no further than lead single 'Get Up') keeps them skirting around the edge of pure melancholy.