Scottish hip-hop band Young Fathers are the winners of the 2014 Barclaycard Mercury Prize, an annual award for the best album from a British artist. Considering the collective reaction to the win can be summarized as “Who?”, it’s safe to call this a dark-horse victory. The band bypassed several favored nominees—Blur frontman Damon Albarn, critical darling Bombay Bicycle Club, the much-buzzed-about FKA twigs—to claim the prize with its major label debut, Dead.
This is the 23rd year the Mercury Prize has been awarded, and much like the Best New Artist Grammy, it’s been a bit hit-or-miss about choosing artists with bright futures. Some winners go on to break through in a big way; some continue on in a modest vein, releasing a respectable discography; and some aren’t really heard from much afterward. Prior to its big win, Dead had sold a mere 2,386 units in the UK. So here’s hoping the win leads to a spike in interest in the group, which describes its music as “experimental psychedelic hip-hop.”