Younger Fathers’ new music video harnesses the facility of the weather

Mercury Prize-winning music group Young Fathers have announced their third album, Heavy Heavy, and with it, a new music video for the first single, called I Saw.

The project saw the Scottish trio team up with self-taught Austrian-Nigerian imagemaker David Uzochukwu, known for his otherworldly imagery that explores the human experience through a mythological lens. Uzochukwu has a growing portfolio of video-based work, though this is the first time he has directed a music video.

Describing the forthcoming album, the group said it’s like “you’re watching dusk roll in, somewhere hot, rural, swampy. The ground’s still warm. A rhythm starts up, hammered onto a drum. It’s going to go on late….” The image evoked by the band is mirrored in Uzochukwu’s direction for the atmospheric music video, which places natural elements like fire and water at the heart of things.

The video opens with a group running across a remote landscape, partially undressed and seemingly in a state of hysteria or panic. These scenes contrast with the composure of the other individuals found at the beginning of the video.

It then segues into scenes of people performing group rituals, who caress and lick one another’s bodies encrusted with earth and mud and contort their bodies around a fire under the moonlight. The force that’s drawing the group together in these rituals is seemingly shown in a blink-and-you-miss-it reveal at the end of the video.

Speaking to CR in 2020 about his practice, Uzochukwu said: “I’m very drawn to the idea of the natural. Untouched nature, moments of clarity and growth, stripping down. From that follows the question of the relationship between the body and its environment – where can we belong? Limbo as a state of its own, hybrid bodies shapeshifting, disintegrating or manifesting.”

Heavy Heavy by Young Fathers is out via Ninja Tune on February 3;