Young Fathers’ New Single ‘Rice’ From Their Album ‘Heavy Heavy’ Is A Musical Search For Spiritual Sustenance

Mercury Prize-winning Scottish trio Young Fathers dropped what seems to be the last single off their forthcoming studio album, Heavy Heavy. However, the band consisting of musicians Alloysious Massaquoi, Kayus Bankole, and G. Hastings shouldn’t be toyed around with musically as their song by that name may suggest.

Sonically, the trio has rejected the idea of sonic boundaries in past single releases, “I Saw,” “Tell Somebody,” and “Geronimo,” and that tradition extends to their new single, “Rice.” As the group prepares for their album’s release next month, the song is the final appetizer before the full entree is served. The band paints a gutwrenching piece of spiritual yearning in just under three minutes.

Opening with the lines, “When it’s coming / I’ll be running / You’ll be doomed in 9th / We are mining / I am golden / You’re not finding what we’re holding,” it is difficult to shake the idea that something learner at play here in this thing called life.

Another set of standout lyrics in the song comes in the stanza, “I need to bide my time until I’m home again / Fill these boots to feel my soul and say / Buy more drugs to feel that love again / Kill them slow they reap, I sow amen.” This confession of both situational observations and internal self-reflection is jarring yet profoundly poetic.

The inspiration behind the track’s title comes near the song’s end in the lines, “Leave ’em out in the open / Put it all on the line / I need to catch more fish baby / I need to eat more rice.” Rice, in this context, serves a dual meaning. First, in the literal sense, a grain, but also in the spiritual sense. Many cultures view rice as a sign of nutrition and sustenance.

In a statement released about what fans can expect from their album, Kayus replied, “[Heavy Heavy] could be a mood, or it could describe the smoothed granite of bass that supports the sound, or it could be a nod to the natural progression of boys to grown men and the inevitable toll of living, a joyous burden, relationships, family, the natural momentum of a group that has been around long enough to witness massive changes.”

Listen to the whole song above.

Heavy Heavy is out on 02/02/2023 via Ninja Tune. Pre-order it here.