Meet Years & Years, a British trio made up of singer Olly, Emre and Mikey.
While I was over galavanting/having a much-needed mental escape in Swinging London Town these past two weeks (still severely jet-lagged), I caught the troupe playing a sold-out gig at Plan B. I hadn’t heard a single song up until that point, so I wasn’t really expecting to be dazzled…but they were, indeed, pretty dazzling.
It’s genuinely hard to really define the Years & Years sound: It’s an eclectic-but-seamless mix of electronica, disco, bits of reggae, R&B and pop — but it all feels thoroughly now. (If you’re similarly unfamiliar, try their previous two 2014 smashes — “Take Shelter” and “Real.”)
When I caught their performance on Monday, they’d just premiered their brand new single on BBC Radio: “Desire,” due out on November 23…and it’s a big one.
The pulsating, finger-snapping cut keeps in line with the luscious ’90’s House revival happening in pop from across the pond a la Clean Bandit (who they’re opening for!) and Disclosure, but with a tinge of steel drum island flavor. The song’s loaded with rich vocals from Olly, and a chorus that just won’t quit. “Is it des-i-yahhhhhh?/Or is it love that I’m feeling for you?” Follow that up with an equally infectious post-chorus chant, and you’ve got a tune that can easily cross in between the club floor and Top 40 radio — perhaps even abroad to America.
From Olly: “We started writing the chorus first, which isn’t usually how we write, as “desire” became the hook and statement. The track reminded us of those big 90s house tunes, which we took a lot of inspiration from, including Chicago house, so we wanted to keep that same energy and pace throughout.”
Judging by what they’ve served up so far, it’s looking like Years & Years might be sticking around as long as the name implies.
“Desire” will be released on November 23. (iTunes UK)