I have been into music for the longest time. I wish I could say I played the keyboard, drums and the violin, but I can’t. Not a sausage. Well, maybe I can tap a sausage on a desk to make it sound musical? Ahem.
For many years, I followed a few artists and bands obsessively, buying their records (yes I’m that old), CDs and limited edition singles. All those years ago when music wasn’t so accessible, I loved those ceremonial moments of the journey into town, the picking up of the record/CD, looking at the sleeve notes, taking it home, and then playing it over and over again. Happy days.
I will share with you my Best Bands and Artists in another post soon, but I wanted to talk to you about a new obsession. I only found out about these guys in November 2014 when they were nominated for the BBC Sound of 2015. It was one of those BANG-smack-you-in-the-heart moments when you hear something new and different to the humdrum.
It was ‘Take Shelter‘ by Years & Years that got me. The song has a familiar dance and slight 80s feel to it, but reinvented for a new generation. Like others, I thought the vocals were sung beautifully by a lady, but alas not. Olly Alexander’s silky voice has been compared to Nina Simone’s, but his delivery is much softer, kinder and sweeter. Coupled with beats maestro Emre Turkmen on synths and keyboards and Mikey Goldsworthy, also on synths, keyboards and bass guitar, they make up hot new things Years & Years.
So naturally, I went on the hunt to find and purchase all the Years & Years songs I could on Spotify, YouTube and iTunes. What struck me most was the divine combination of the band’s vocals, songwriting and production. Haha, “No shit, Sherlock”, I hear you cry! But this was different. For me, all those have to be in synch to create the perfect pop/dance song. Some people only need a good melody, but I love knowing what the song’s about and where it came from too.
Years & Years captured my imagination when I needed a new and well overdue music obsession. Some of the songs are heart-wrenching. Even the happy-sounding ones. They speak of love, obsession and heartbreak, something we can all relate to at sometime in our lives. All of them neatly and perfectly packaged into pop and dance tracks that make you want to get up and move around like a loon.
The band started their own playlist on Spotify for the artists they love and admire, which has opened my ears to some exciting new music in 2015. Check out the playlist link below for some gorgeous gems from All We Are, Raury, Lapsley, Ibeyi, Jack Garratt, Fickle Friends, Lion Base and many others. It’s reassuring when the bands you love have the same great taste in music!
In 2015, Years & Years’ single King, a perfect pop tune of our time, went straight into the UK Singles Chart at #1 on 8 March. Not bad for a band who’s last song (Desire) peaked at 23. I am going to see the boys play live in Cambridge in June and I am really quite excited in a young school girl kind of way. Eeek. The aptly titled debut album Communion, is out on 22 June and I can’t wait to dance my old socks off to it. It’s been Years and Years since I’ve found a new band like this, and I am very happy that I have.
Complete Years & Years Playlist by Years & Years
Years & Years playlist by Sailesh Raithatha
2015 <3 by Years & Years