Years & Years return with new track, â€˜Sanctifyâ€™
Years & Years are back with explosive new track â€˜Sanctifyâ€™, the first taste of their hugely-anticipated forthcoming second album. This follows the bandâ€™s celebrated debut record â€˜Communionâ€™, which reached number 1 on its release in 2015 (and went on to sell over 1.5 million copies), scored 4 platinum singles, 5 BRIT Award nominations, and concluded with a sold-out date at Wembley Arena. More details of Years & Yearsâ€™ second album â€“ together with the first official single â€“ will follow soon.
â€˜Sanctifyâ€™ is a bold leap forward in sound and vision from Years & Years, a band intuitively connected to great, homespun British pop classicism, but now standing bolt upright on the world stage. If there is a ghostly shadow sitting over the Minneapolitan strut of â€˜Sanctifyâ€™, it is arguably that of 13-year-old Olly Alexander listening to Britneyâ€™s â€˜Slave 4 Uâ€™ his bedroom, playing back the experience at full adult pop throttle. The bandâ€™s second album, thrillingly, also marks a new frontier in every sense of the world, as Olly explainsâ€¦
â€œI want to take people on a wild and wonderful adventure through my dreams to a world thatâ€™s very different from our own. Iâ€™ve been thinking about this place for a long time, a place to tell stories from;Â about identity, sexuality, celebrity and performance. The video for â€˜Sanctifyâ€™ centres around an audition against the backdrop of a future metropolis called Palo Santo. Itâ€™s the first part of a bigger jigsaw puzzle and my hope is that it confuses the hell out of people but also excites them in a mysterious and sensual way. Weâ€™ve deliberately hidden lots of different meanings and I want people to come up with their own interpretations, Iâ€™m asking people to jump down the rabbit hole with me and let their imagination run free. The thing I love most about pop music has always been fantasy and escapism so I thought, â€˜well I guess I should try and be the pop star I want to see in the world and make the most ambitious and freaky and sexy thing possibleâ€™. Iâ€™m making these videos because I want to let people inside my brain and because I love living in my own fantasy world (always have, always will) – a place where sexuality and gender are blurred and magic is real. We live in a chaotic and accelerating world, weâ€™re looking at depictions of the future to help us make sense of whatâ€™s happening right now. This is my vision of a possible future, one that makes us question what it means to be a human.â€Â
With their debut album Years & Years made a palpable new tribal impact on pop, where the minority is always the majority; and in Olly Alexander they also have a once-in-a-generation front-man, who understands more than most his responsibility as a pop star. Part full-blooded, escapist fantasia and part social comment, for Years & Years this is about outlier pop as futurism once more, offering solutions when the world around is failing you. â€˜Sanctifyâ€™ acts as its dizzying first glimpse, and a tantalising window into Years & Yearsâ€™ surprising, deeply personal and otherworldly comeback. Or, as Olly puts it: â€œWhat I love so much about being in Years and Years is this fantasy that Iâ€™m allowed to live in. Anything can happen, everyoneâ€™s welcome and everyoneâ€™s safe. Thatâ€™s the deal. So why not keep it going in that direction?â€