Years & Years

With their luminous brand of electro-pop, London-based trio Years & Years layer sweetly smooth vocals over bright and heady beats to create what they call “music you can dance and cry to.” As winners of the BBC Sound of 2015 Poll, bassist Mikey Goldsworthy, keyboard player Emre Turkmen, and vocalist Olly Alexander have spent the last few years charming audiences worldwide by merging R&B, deep house, and classic-pop with both elegance and abandon.

Communion features recent single ‘King’ — a gorgeously synth-washed track that reveals the raw yet lovely emotional power of the band’s gracefully crafted sound, and recently reached #1 in on the UK singles chart. To achieve that sound, Years & Years self-producedCommunion with the help of collaborators like Mark Ralph (the producer/engineer behind Hot Chip and Hot Natured), matching an inventiveness inspired by such artists as Flying Lotus and Radiohead with a daringly confessional lyrical sensibility.

On the album, Years & Years shape their soulful ingenuity into songs that never hold back from looking at the darker and thornier sides of love. On the album-opener ‘Foundation’, a stark yet crystalline soundscape builds the perfect backdrop for Alexander’s hauntingly delivered lyrics (“All the things I want/I really shouldn’t get”). ‘Desire’ unfolds as an epic and giddy dance anthem that slyly flips the script at the chorus (“I want desire/Because your love only gets me abused”). The somber strings and delicate piano work of ‘Eyes Shut’ gently conveys the pain of a slowly breaking heart, while the urgent beats and chilling piano of ‘Ties’ brilliantly echo the frenzy of emotional unraveling (“It’s so beautiful to see you lie/Are you having fun?”). And on ‘Memo’, Communion closes out with a falsetto-laced slow jam featuring crushing lyrics like “I’m gonna take your heart/Love you in the dark/No one has to see.”

Fresh off a series of sold-out tours all across the globe, including selling out two nights at London’s Heaven in March and two nights already sold-out at the prestigious London Shepherd’s Bush Empire this summer, Years & Years are fast gaining recognition for a high-energy live show that adds another dimension of heart and intensity to each song. “I grew up on people like Stevie Wonder and Joni Mitchell, but in the past few years I’ve become really passionate about electronic music and how there’s no limits to what you can create with it,” says Alexander. “You can push the sound in this crazy way, and still keep it as real and honest and emotional as any other music out there.”