The BBC’s Sound of 2015 winners Years & Years have officially released their debut album entitled Communion, as well being the very first band to have a record out on the new Friday Global Release Day.
The electronica band consisting of frontman Olly Alexander, bassist Mikey Goldsworthy and synth player Emre Turkmen have been making a lot of noise this year, bagging a UK number one single with the brilliantly upbeat “King” and another that hit number 2, “Shine.” But that’s not the only reason why the trio have achieved soaring spotlight success. Their immersive debut Communion is fiercely emotive and shows off a unique synth-house style, bursting with euphoric pop as well a few heart wrenching piano ballads.
Being among the many artists traversing the festival circuit this year, Glastonbury, Latitude and Reading and Leeds being a few of them, Years & Years really have been one of the stand out crowd-pleasers. Their songs despite their torn up subject matter seem to generate a happiness and infectious joy that spring from the melodic drum beats and soaring vocals, causing a kind of celebratory, ritualistic dance amidst audiences.
The album itself has both its up and downtempo moments, “Real” picking up the pace as the second track but still retaining the inner struggle of heartbreak and self worth that dominates the record. A highlight comes in the form of “Worship” another electronic, lyrically infused sensation which is definitely a favourite. “You’re all I need to survive, blind devotion” Olly croons before the chorus crescendos into another dancefloor moment for the masses.
What is remarkable about Communion is how vulnerable issues are presented through dance vibes. These issues become even more honest through piano ballads like “Eyes Shut,” reminiscent of artists like Sam Smith or Tom Odell. It has a relatable and upbeat quality to it, in places almost sounding like a gospel choir, raising the roof and letting the emotions pour out.
With this album Years & Years have created a fresh sound, taking themselves out of the bubblegum summer pop scene and so far doing it well. The subtle mix of genre’s from reggae, funk, electronic, house and to pop make their debut a standout, and the band one to look out for in the future.