Years & Years

Years & Years

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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.

Frontman and keyboardist Olly Alexander comes from a classicist musical upbringing, drawing upon iconic figures such as Joni Mitchell and Jeff Buckley, via the surrealist imagery of David Lynch and the dirty realism of Raymond Carver. The former qualities are wrapped in his distinctively dulcet tones, which Disorder described as “Nina Simone…crooning a melodic lullaby to the folktronic lovechild of Beach House and Terry Riley".  

The group is by no means a one-man affair; it’s down to Years & Years’ two other members – bassist Mikey Goldsworthy and synth player/beat-maker Emre Turkmen – to truly bring the tracks to brilliant life. Using an idiosyncratic process that takes Alexander’s timeless songwriting and updates it with a love of cutting-edge electronic music and R&B (think FKA twigs, SOHN, Jai Paul) that is then finished off with a final collaborative output.

On 10 July 2015, Years & Years released their first album, Communion which entered the UK Albums Chart at number one. As well as it being the fastest selling debut in 2015 from a UK signed band, it was also the first #1 on the inaugural New Music Fridays release date, marking a moment in history.

To celebrate the launch of the album, a world first interactive ad-break takeover happened on Channel 4, on the evening the album was released. Three exclusive music videos for the band's next single, "Shine", were filmed especially for the initiative, and fans were encouraged to 'take control' of the ad break by tweeting the hashtag for the video they most wanted to see; #ChooseLight, #ChooseShadow or #ChooseDark. The initiative garnered 1.55 million viewers and resulted in the most interacted-with ad in Channel 4 history.

"Shine" was the band's seventh single and follow up to King. It was released on 5 July 2015 and peaked at number two on the UK Singles Chart. Following this, "Eyes Shut" was the next single to be taken from Communion. The video for the single was released on 27 September 2015, and depicted the band exploring a post-apocalyptic world, set in the outskirts of Sofia, Bulgaria.

In January 2016, Years & Years were nominated for four BRIT Awards, including British Group, British Breakthrough Act, British Single (for 'King') and British Artist Video (also for 'King').

On 2 March 2016, the band announced that Tove Lo would feature on their next single; a new version of, "Desire." The video for "Desire ft. Tove Lo" was released the next day, accompanied by an open letter from frontman Olly Alexander on the band's Facebook page. 

The band played their biggest headline show to date on 8 April 2016, at Wembley Arena, London, as part of their 2016 UK headline tour. The show was completely sold out, with support coming from MØ, Nimmo and Mabel.

In July 2016, the band released the video for their next single from Communion, 'Worship'. The video was directed by Matt Lambert, with choreography from Ryan Heffington.

On the 11th September 2016 Years & Years performed their last show at Lollapalooza in Berlin marking the end of their Communion, tour.

On the 13th September 2016 the band released a new song called 'Meteorite' which was an Official Soundtrack for the movie Bridget Jones's Baby. On the 28th September the music video was released for the song.

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.”

Awards & Nominations:

  • Years & Years were nominated for the Critics Choice Award at the 2015 BRIT Awards. 
  • In January 2015, they also won the prestigious BBC Sound of 2015 award
  • In January 2016, Years & Years were nominated for four BRIT Awards, including British Group, British Breakthrough Act, British Single (for 'King') and British Artist Video (also for 'King').

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