Young Fathers is one of the most enigmatic bands to come out of the UK in the last decade. Back in 2014 they won the Mercury Prize for their outstanding debut album Dead. Following that win, they released the follow-up White Men Are Black Men Too in early 2015, but have been fairly quiet since. Until today, when the Scottish hip-hop group came thundering back with one of several new songs that will be included on the T2: Trainspotting soundtrack. No, “Only God Knows” is not a Beach Boys cover, even if it does feature the Leith Congregational Choir.
“Only God Knows” is one of six tracks from the trio that are featured in the film. Others included in the score are “Low,” “No Way,” “Dare Me,” and on the sound they are featured on “Get Up” and “Rain Or Shine.” The band met fellow Edinburgh native Irvine Welsh in the city back in 2014 when he was making a documentary about creativity in the city. Welsh has teamed with Danny Boyle to create a follow-up feature film to the legendary original 1996 movie Trainspotting, and Boyle argues that as Underworld’s “Born Slippy” was to the original, so Young Fathers are to the sequel:
“Trainspotting, the original book is like a modern Ulysses. It’s unsurpassed I think, and reading it is still like the ‘rush of ocean to the heart’. You’re always looking for the heartbeat of a film. For Trainspotting it was Underworld’s ’Born Slippy.’ For T2 It’s Young Fathers. Their songs are my heartbeat for the film. And ’Only God Knows’ is that rush again. The ocean. The heart.”
Well, I’m never going to say it any better than that, but Boyle is completely right, this song washes over you like an enormous wave, and knocks you down like a freight train running at full speed. Listen to the new track below, and more from Young Fathers as the rest of their contributions to the film are released.