Maybe you don't know who Years & Years are yet, but if the show I saw last night was any indication, you will. Though they've cited TLC and Aaliyah as influences, they are — to my ear, at least — the spiritual descendents of Erasure.
Years and Years are a gift to those who love absolutely massive pop hooksThe trio won the BBC's Sound of 2015 poll (previous winners include Ellie Goulding, Haim, and Sam Smith). That was enough to convince me to see them live at Le Poisson Rouge in New York. Though they only played a short set, Olly Alexander's falsetto was just as gorgeous live as it is on their EP Y & Y — something of a rarity in the age of autotune. (If Alexander looks familiar, it may be because of his role on the British show Skins).
Years and Years are a gift to those who love absolutely massive pop hooks. Whether it's the pulsing, irresistible "King" or the resigned, unhurried "Take Shelter," each song resolves into a sing-along chorus. Overall, the tone of Y & Y is melancholy; most of the songs seem to be about romantic rejection and the various failures of love. But sad as these Brits might be, they're determined to dance it off. Live, they're energetic and joyous — at one point during the show, Alexander said he knew he was in New York because the audience was so attractive. Olly, flattery will get you everywhere.
Years & Years' debut album, Communion, comes out June 22nd. Here's where to start familiarizing yourself: