If you know anything about Young Fathers, you'll know that ducking and lurching away from a definitive genre has always been their thing. When you ask Google what type of music the Scottish trio make, it comes back with a lowkey hilarious mix of “hip-hop music,” “pop music,” and “contemporary R&B.” Reading those, you’d probably expect them, after two studio albums and three mixtapes, to sound like one of those ‘best-designed for a "chill-out party" Spotify playlist’ acts: sound a little synthy, a little sweet and very polished.
Not so much. I mean, even back when Noisey interviewed Young Fathers in 2015, vocalist Alloysious Massaquoi’s only response to being asked what sort of music the band make was simply “we make Young Fathers music.” They’ve stuck to that ever since, continuing to push out textured tracks that tell stories you don’t expect all while synths buzz in the background like a fly struggling on its back. “In My View,” their first new music of the year since appearing on last year’s Trainspotting 2 soundtrack, picks up where 2015 album White Men Are Black Men Too left off. It's the second track to appear off their forthcoming album, Cocoa Sugar, following last year's "Lord."
Clattering drums kick in over a delicately whining synth, on the second verse of what’s a largely sparse track. It builds layer by layer, until you’re listening to about four vocal lines tumbling over each other. One of the track's main messages is that nothing is ever really free, and that "to advance, you must pay," as Massaquoi sings in the chorus. As ever with Young Fathers, that looks bleak AF written down but is turned into a rich, pulsing slice of a three-minute song. So yeah, don't bother trying to figure out what sort of music this is, just go to the top of the back, turn it up, ideally in a slightly darkened room, and get as excited for the album as I am. But if you're holding out for a single genre to help guide you? Well, as Irvine Welsh put it last year: “They've created their own genre.”
Here's the full Cocoa Sugar tracklist:
- See How
- Fee Fi
- In My View
- Border Girl
- Holy Ghost
- Picking You
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