Young Fathers formed in 2008, and recorded their first album, Inconceivable Child… Conceived, with producer Timothy London at his studio in Edinburgh. “Straight Back on It,” their first single from the album, released on Black Sugar Records, was well received.

Framing themselves as a “psychedelic hip hop boy band,” Young Fathers spent the next three years touring the UK and Europe. During this time they released another single, “Automatic,” appearing on Channel 4’s Big Brother’s Big Mouth in 2009 and performing at T in the Park, Creamfields, Wakestock, Belladrum and Sónar amongst other festivals, as well as main support on tours with Esser and Simian Mobile Disco.

By the end of 2011 Young Fathers had left Black Sugar Records. They released a mixtape, Tape One, as a free download and limited edition cassette in November 2011. Tape One showed a maturing group, developing their sound in a darker direction, very percussive with a heavy emphasis on bass. London’s Time Out put the group in their top ten “best new acts to watch out for in 2012.”

In September 2012, Young Fathers signed to Anticon. The band re-released Tape One on the label in January 2013.

On 20 June 2014, Young Fathers won the 2014 Scottish Album of the Year Award for their 2013 EP Tape Two at the Barrowlands Ballroom in Glasgow. On 29 October 2014, they won the prestigious 2014 Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize for their debut album Dead. The win was described as an upset against the favourite FKA Twigs, Damon Albarn and Bombay Bicycle Club. On November 2, Dead entered the official top 100 UK album chart for the first time, four days after their Mercury success, debuting at 35.