Years & Years
YEARS & YEARS
Confirmed by their long-awaited, phenomenal Los Angeles debut, Years & Years are undeniably one of the hottest bands in town right now. The U.K. electro pop trio has been on a rocket-climb to stardom since their early releases back in 2012 (we’ve been serious fans for years and years ;) ), and their crossover to the States has proven nothing but successful. Having only played a handful of shows in the U.S.; a few in New York, at SXSW and this week in Los Angeles, the band is in high-demand. Their initially scheduled LA debut at the Troubadour sold out immediately, prompting a need for an overflow show, which also sold out and took place at the Avalon in Hollywood as a part of KCRW’s School Night series.
Years & Years, comprised of Olly Alexander (vox), Emre Turkman (keys), Mikey Goldsworthy (bass) and touring drummer Dylan Bell, are the most humble and energetic of performers. They kicked off the Avalon show with a minimal yet compelling new song “Foundation,” and despite minor technical difficulties they gracefully recovered and delivered the infectious “Take Shelter,” setting a powerful and confident precedent for the remainder of the night. Their set list was comprised of a perfect balance, from their OG tracks like “Real” and “Eyes Shut,” to their latest bangers every person in the room could sing along to (♫ IS IT DESIIIIRE? ♫). The set was peppered with previews of songs-to-come from their upcoming full length debut, Communion, which will be out June 22nd via Polydor and Interscope Records in the U.S.
Alexander is in competition for most charming human on earth; his dance moves, effortless voice and flow are captivating. Although we’re sure we aren’t the first to draw this comparison, he evokes the charm and talent of a younger, hipper Justin Timberlake circa 1995, leaving audiences in awe. Paired with Turkman and Goldsworthy’s synth sounds, 90’s R&B and dancehall influences, and soulful bass lines, the trio are a perfect formula for cutting-edge bangers with pop sensibilities that will not escape your head. The audience’s reaction to their music speaks for itself, with shrill screams during, in between and well-after songs end, and an energy only a Years & Years crowd could exude.
“LA, you are all so nice!” Alexander charismatically expressed at the Troubadour. “We are basically testing out the new album on all of you, you are our guinea pigs!”
What an honor. Being among the first to hear the new unreleased music, it is safe to say that we can expect a promising full length with an awesome emotional range. “Worship,” released just last week, embodies strong R&B flavors, while “Border” has rad indie sentiments, and the bold, beautiful ballad “Without” is bound to give you chills. Their performances are ones you wish would never end. They closed out both shows with a longed-for encore playing their latest single “King,” perhaps serving as a premonition for the royal potential Years & Years have to be the next pop music kings.
It’s been a privilege to see this band’s growth and successes thus far, it is fully deserved. They recently won the BBC Music’s Sound of 2015 Poll (past titles given to Sam Smith and HAIM) along with MTVu’s Artist to Watch Woodie Award, and their latest single “King” has climbed its way to the #1 spot on UK Singles charts. We can surely expect the same accolades for them in the U.S. and, in the meantime we can only dream of snagging that full-feature interview with them the next time around. Years & Years will be back on a U.S. tour this summer, tour dates to be announced soon.