Walking into the Parish a few minutes into an enthralling set by the band I ran into Chaka Mpeanaji from Riders Against the Storm. “Why aren’t these guys playing Coachella?” he asked.
Oh, they will be. Most of Austin clearly hasn’t heard of Young Fathers but they will soon.
Last year, in an upset victory, the Scottish trio took home the Mercury Prize (the British equivalent of a Grammy) for their album “Dead.” This year’s release, the controversially titled “White Men are Black Men Too” is one of the most intriguing albums of the year thus far.
Their live show seals the deal. The band is fiercely original and 300% committed. They draw from the same simmering cauldron of ominous electronics and skittery beats as many other artists who conjure EDM and future R&B, but that’s where the similarity ends. Backed by a deconstructed drum kit, and occasionally taking turns banging on the floor tom in the front of the stage, the three vocalists spit out brazen hip-hop and furious punk rock verses interspersed with chrouses loaded with tightly woven, soaring, soulful harmonies. They move in their own lane and are one of the rare bands that truly sound like no one else.
At the Parish last night, they played to a small group, maybe 75 or 100, but they brought enough passion to the stage to move a crowd of thousands on a festival stage. The only U.S. festival appearance they currently have on the books is Hangout Festival, but as the buzz around the band continues to build expect more to be announced. An early afternoon ACL set is not at all out of the question.