This week I will be reviewing the debut album Communion by Years & Years. The band is an Electronica Trio featuring, Olly Alexander, Mikey Goldsworthy and Emre Turkmen. The trio won BBC ‘s sound of 2015 and since have received a lot of attention. They have had a UK No.1 with ‘King’ and have sold out their UK tour. The album was released last week, which I had previously preordered through Amazon, buying the Amazon Exclusive Signed Edition.
Years and Years have described their sound as Electro-Soul-Pop. Often described by others as having a mix of Electropop, 90s house and R&B influences. The songs often contain pulsating synths, haunting vocals and angsty lyrics. I feel that the songs are about the band’s past rejections and painful experiences. This album was a way of getting their problems with the world out in the open.
This album definitely ticks all the boxes in terms of genre. It has an element of House but a degritted and polite alternative. A hint of heart broken ballads resembling Sam Smith, singer songwriter/auto tuned vocals. Most of the time there is a sense of a high quality production with reverb drenched textures. Not forgetting anthemic choruses with keyboard parts and a vibe of euphoric raves that aren’t quite EDM. Apart from the lack of Rock the album has a bit of everything, many argue that this has been done to ensure they remain in the UK top 40. However, the album still has numerous songs that I love so I don’t mind if it’s not very original.
Of course ‘King’ is a great tune as it was number one but it wasn’t due to the band winning the sound of 2015. The Guardian explain that it’s the due to the song being crisply written and in general a water-tight pop song. The album also features a destined future summer hit, ‘Gold’ is a definite festival anthem.
‘Real’ is my favourite song from the album it has a beautiful sound that has electronic snippets and a low rumble of bass.
‘Eyes shut’ is an emotionally driven ballad that is sure to be the next song everyone tries to sing in competitions such as ‘X-Factor’ or ‘The Voice’. Starting with Olly’s stunning vocals and a piano the song develops into the unescapable electronic dance elements that some say ruin the song but I feel it enhances it giving it an extra dimension.
Overall the general expectations of this album led to many being disappointed with the lack of real club hits, but I was generally pleased with the album and it was what I expected from Years & Years. The album is great for relaxing and I love the summer vibes, this really has something for everyone. My only concern is that their music will get over played and become background music that you here everywhere like shops, cafes and filler on the radio. Hopefully the nation won’t become bored of their of the moment sound.
As to whats next for Years and Years is a tricky question. They are definitely going to remain in the chart for a long time. The question is will they be able to maintain sounding of the moment. With their occasional song writing brilliance they might be able to move with the trend and avoid being left behind.
I recommend you to listen to Years and Years they are definitely the Sound of 2015.