Young Fathers – Dead
Releasing your debut album can be a nerve-wracking experience for any artist, but expectation levels are increased to gargantuan proportions when you've been tipped as 'ones to watch' for the past five years. Young Fathers were being hyped as long as ago as 2009, but this, their first album proper, is poles apart from the pop-leaning songs that first gained them attention.
Dead continues the bass heavy, free-form direction that the Edinburgh trio explored on well-received EPs Tape One and Tape Two. No two songs sound the same; this is an album full of playful inventiveness. Alloysious Massaquoi and Kayus Bankole sing as much as they rap on stand out tracks No Way and WAR, with Graham Hastings' production charting a unique course through done-like synths and thunderous bass. Songs like Get Up show they've not completely shed those pop sensibilities, but ultimately Dead requires repeat visits before the extent of its powers are fully unveiled. [Chris McCall]