Years & Years

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I really don't care the great dark corporate forces beyond my ken are forcing me to love this band. "Mr Brightside (Thin White Duke Mix)" X "Night Air" X "Climax" X "So Good To Me" was an idea whose time had come.

Tim F, Thursday, 18 June 2015 13:07 (six years ago) link

is the album out yet? I'm still a bit perplexed by their popularity, I enjoy them but they still seem a little bit like a dime-a-dozen blog band to me

I guess there is a bit of a cult of personality around the lead singer who I remember played a stalker in the skins reunion special

bae sremmurd (monotony), Thursday, 18 June 2015 13:27 (six years ago) link

You forgot their latest (and probably my favourite) Tim:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXTAn4ELEwM

groovypanda, Thursday, 18 June 2015 13:31 (six years ago) link

Yeah that one is great too!

monotony they are totally a dime-a-dozen blog band, so much of the flava here comes from the fact that I could also conceivably describe them as Sam Smith X Walk The Moon.

Tim F, Thursday, 18 June 2015 13:35 (six years ago) link

They strike me as so much more obvious than a dime-a-dozen blog band, but in the best possible way - they're going for the biggest hooks, the most obvious melodies, the stadium sing-along lyrics. I could never imagine the likes of Passion Pit or Hot Chip writing such immediate songs.

boxedjoy, Thursday, 18 June 2015 20:56 (six years ago) link

Yeah that too, they are totally unrestrained by notions of indieness.

I feel like coming up with the most gruesome metaphors possible, like, they are the Imagine Dragons to (insert here).

Tim F, Thursday, 18 June 2015 21:12 (six years ago) link

Thanks for making this thread, was toying around with making a thread for these guys but wasn't sure they were big enough to merit it…

I don't get how "King" is their big hit because their other songs are so much better.

self-clowning oven (Murgatroid), Thursday, 18 June 2015 22:56 (six years ago) link

Shine hasn't been released yet. Would be very surprised if that didn't also top the charts.

Surprised to learn that Take Shelter peaked at 140 though - I thought it was much bigger than that.

groovypanda, Friday, 19 June 2015 07:13 (six years ago) link

they even have a toyboy & robin remix

dbs, Friday, 19 June 2015 09:48 (six years ago) link

I'm a little confused. So we're comparing them to Sam Smith, Walk The Moon and Imagine Dragons as if that's a good thing? Or does Tim F take pride in liking bands that sound terrible on paper?

MarkoP, Friday, 19 June 2015 15:14 (six years ago) link

Not pride, but I'm increasingly of the view that anything worthwhile derives at least some of its worth from containing hints of things that sound terrible on paper.

And it's much more interesting to work out why those hints work in a particular case than to try to construct everything as belonging to a closed circle of good taste.

Tim F, Saturday, 20 June 2015 07:25 (six years ago) link

"king" is so good that i'm scared to listen to any of their other songs

J0rdan S., Saturday, 20 June 2015 17:17 (six years ago) link

i feel like they're all similarly good-but-ignorable/forgettable

dyl, Saturday, 20 June 2015 21:20 (six years ago) link

I found "King" can be slightly improved by singing it as "OH! I was a fing...er in your butthole".

Big tune, though.

oh, boy, .GIF! That's where I'm a Viking! (edwardo), Saturday, 20 June 2015 21:27 (six years ago) link

lol that is indeed better

dyl, Saturday, 20 June 2015 21:28 (six years ago) link

"Desire" is Monsta Boy via actual monstrous boys.

etc, Sunday, 21 June 2015 17:17 (six years ago) link

ok i take back what i said before, i like "shine" quite a bit now

dyl, Monday, 22 June 2015 16:18 (six years ago) link

i re-listened to all the others tho and still am not feeling them

dyl, Monday, 22 June 2015 17:50 (six years ago) link

They're like populist junior boys

supreme problematics (D-40), Tuesday, 23 June 2015 01:52 (six years ago) link

Really like "worship" and "memo" although king is still best

supreme problematics (D-40), Tuesday, 23 June 2015 01:52 (six years ago) link

Where is Brad

supreme problematics (D-40), Tuesday, 23 June 2015 02:26 (six years ago) link

I sent him a link to their SoundCloud a couple of weeks ago, he liked it

self-clowning oven (Murgatroid), Tuesday, 23 June 2015 04:06 (six years ago) link

it's true, i like these guys. deej sent me "memo" earlier and it's very pretty

i think i would loathe the material of "eyes shut" if articulated by any other group

That song is almost bad enough to destroy any excitement I have for the album, it's really bad

self-clowning oven (Murgatroid), Monday, 6 July 2015 17:50 (six years ago) link

i mean the appeal of this band for me was always the way they balanced between tasteful and tasteless. "eyes shut" sounds like a reorganized "see you again" but i still... don't really hate it exactly

meanwhile i've been listening a two song playlist that consists of "shine" and crj's "boy problems" on repeat

Whoa, turns out I've been listening to the album version of "Eyes Shut" this whole time, the EP version is a bit better

self-clowning oven (Murgatroid), Monday, 6 July 2015 18:16 (six years ago) link

"Foundation" is a marvellously tense and brooding number, the darkside counterpart to "Memo".

Tim F, Monday, 6 July 2015 21:39 (six years ago) link

"king" reminded me of savage garden

lex pretend, Monday, 6 July 2015 21:41 (six years ago) link

Yep! They would do a dece cover of "to the moon and back".

Tim F, Monday, 6 July 2015 22:12 (six years ago) link

the darkside counterpart to "Memo".

want someone 2 bury me alive 2 "memo"

savage garden is an extremely positive comparison in my book

I don't know why i wasn't caring at all about years & years, but the savage garden reference makes me want to listen to them.

Nourry, Tuesday, 7 July 2015 04:21 (six years ago) link

savage garden makes the most sense of any comparison lol

supreme problematics (D-40), Tuesday, 7 July 2015 16:36 (six years ago) link

ok this album

Tim F, Wednesday, 8 July 2015 01:42 (six years ago) link

"Gold" is on repeat over here.

self-clowning oven (Murgatroid), Wednesday, 8 July 2015 23:23 (six years ago) link

"shine" is just the best song in the world basically

'King' sounds like Bros produced by Hot Chip

nashwan, Friday, 10 July 2015 15:19 (six years ago) link

come on guys, this music is crap.

cod latin (dog latin), Friday, 10 July 2015 15:20 (six years ago) link

come on guys, this music is crap.

i'm convinced

i own two savage garden albums and haven't the slightest idea which song(s) y'all are thinking of when comparing years & years to them

"shine" is just the best song in the world basically

― insufficiently familiar with xgau's work to comment intelligently (BradNelson), Friday, July 10, 2015 8:14 AM (8 hours ago)

i am almost beginning to agree with this tho

dyl, Saturday, 11 July 2015 00:15 (six years ago) link

This is another case of Tove Lo-ism for me. By definition, it should be my thing, but it's not and I actually kind of actively dislike it.

Johnny Fever, Saturday, 11 July 2015 00:19 (six years ago) link

Can't get over how amazing "Memo" is, and how accurately Ollie captures that sense of desire rendering you vulnerable and ashamed that is... If not unique to the gay experience then certainly uniquely framed by it.

Tim F, Saturday, 11 July 2015 05:35 (six years ago) link

"Without" is just so fucking gorgeous.

self-clowning oven (Murgatroid), Saturday, 11 July 2015 05:59 (six years ago) link

come on guys, this music is crap.

― cod latin (dog latin), Friday, 10 July 2015 15:20 (Yesterday) Permalink

yes everyone is lining up correctly

supreme problematics (D-40), Saturday, 11 July 2015 06:26 (six years ago) link

Can't get over how amazing "Memo" is, and how accurately Ollie captures that sense of desire rendering you vulnerable and ashamed that is... If not unique to the gay experience then certainly uniquely framed by it.

― Tim F, Saturday, July 11, 2015 5:35 AM (1 hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I mean three out of the five singles to date have been about this to some extent so it's obviously an idee fixe but I think "Memo" captures it most nakedly and powerfully.

Tim F, Saturday, 11 July 2015 07:21 (six years ago) link

fav of the new records is "Ties"

supreme problematics (D-40), Saturday, 11 July 2015 08:42 (six years ago) link

on replay, not super into this

Listen to my homeboy Fantano (D-40), Thursday, 8 March 2018 23:43 (three years ago) link

i still kinda like it but it feels to me like a song that could have been on album 1 just w/ slightly different production that doesn't quite do it much favors

J0rdan S., Friday, 9 March 2018 00:14 (three years ago) link

it's a little underwhelming, definitely not the same level than some of their best work...though it's better than "meteorite"

k3vin k., Friday, 9 March 2018 01:38 (three years ago) link

I know it's the way it is, but this strategy of testing and teasing the market with dribs and drabs has the effect of dampening my enthusiasm but idk that's mem.

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 9 March 2018 01:43 (three years ago) link

*me

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 9 March 2018 01:43 (three years ago) link

one month passes...

july 6th

J0rdan S., Wednesday, 25 April 2018 18:40 (three years ago) link

put it in my veins

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Wednesday, 25 April 2018 18:43 (three years ago) link

also curiously totally medieval. good soundtrack for wooden planet spec script alien3 probably

― r|t|c, Wednesday, January 4, 2017 2:08 PM (one year ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

god bless rtc

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Wednesday, 25 April 2018 18:44 (three years ago) link

already freebasing

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 25 April 2018 19:22 (three years ago) link

two weeks pass...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psn18d-4hBI

not feeling this new single, feels way too twee and like it was written as a commercial jingle?

ufo, Saturday, 12 May 2018 06:35 (three years ago) link

co-written/produced by Steve Mac so that explains that

ufo, Saturday, 12 May 2018 06:37 (three years ago) link

yeeeeeeah... i think the songwriting is great but it almost sounds like a sigala song

J0rdan S., Saturday, 12 May 2018 07:56 (three years ago) link

one month passes...

*cough*

self-clowning oven (Murgatroid), Friday, 6 July 2018 16:51 (three years ago) link

oh boy

k3vin k., Friday, 6 July 2018 16:52 (three years ago) link

I was underwhelmed by the singles but this actually turned out alright I think. “Karma” and “Hallelujah” both slap and “All For You” especially. It’s a bit les Kitsuné than the first one production-wise.

monotony, Friday, 6 July 2018 22:15 (three years ago) link

It's gotten surprisingly positive reviews (my take goes up on Monday). "Surprisingly" because while Alexander is more confident he's also turned the act into Maroon 5 with himself as Adam Levine. The other two are barely involved. Far less angst.

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 6 July 2018 22:44 (three years ago) link

The leaked tracks are awful, but look at the credits (Julia Michaels, Thomas Hull).

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 6 July 2018 22:45 (three years ago) link

what are leaked tracks? the album is out

Listen to my homeboy Fantano (D-40), Saturday, 7 July 2018 05:06 (three years ago) link

ok listening now

k3vin k., Saturday, 7 July 2018 05:07 (three years ago) link

what u think deej

k3vin k., Saturday, 7 July 2018 05:07 (three years ago) link

The album is a lot stronger than I was expecting based on the two singles. Not sure what they were thinking with those choices when they had Hallelujah, Karma, Rendezvous and Up In Flames right there.

kitchen person, Sunday, 8 July 2018 17:46 (three years ago) link

what are leaked tracks? the album is out

― Listen to my homeboy Fantano (D-40), S

"Sanctify" and "Hallelujah."

They were mad to leave "UP in Flames" off the album: an excellent freestyle-soaked banger w/the record's most confident Olly performance.

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 8 July 2018 17:51 (three years ago) link

It's on the deluxe edition, that is (you can stream it on Spotify).

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 8 July 2018 17:51 (three years ago) link

Yeah, Up In Flames is so great. It screams lead single, not bonus track.

kitchen person, Sunday, 8 July 2018 17:53 (three years ago) link

listened to this a couple of nights ago but was doing other things at the time...there wasn't much that grabbed me but I need to give it a closer listen

k3vin k., Sunday, 8 July 2018 18:32 (three years ago) link

this feels like their Urban Legend

Listen to my homeboy Fantano (D-40), Sunday, 8 July 2018 19:21 (three years ago) link

this doesn't have the frisson of the debut but that's not surprising at all.. what could really? accepting that fact i feel pretty good about how this turned out actually. the singles sound better in context.

J0rdan S., Thursday, 12 July 2018 05:11 (three years ago) link

I've made my peace with Sanctify as it works as a decent introduction, I still can't stand If You're Over Me. I really like the rest of it. Karma is the one. I keep getting it stuck in my head.

kitchen person, Thursday, 12 July 2018 14:11 (three years ago) link

four months pass...

i like this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuIrr-qJ_UQ

ILX’s bad boy (D-40), Saturday, 1 December 2018 11:11 (three years ago) link

^^

very legal and very cool (k3vin k.), Saturday, 1 December 2018 22:51 (three years ago) link

one year passes...

Been listening to the bonus tracks on Palo Santo a lot. Damn -- "Howl."

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 29 December 2019 22:47 (two years ago) link

one year passes...

New track out now (video premieres on Monday)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGfaYTIYh40

groovypanda, Thursday, 8 April 2021 09:04 (nine months ago) link

this is not surprising whatsoever but how did i not know that Y&Y is an Olly Alexander solo project now (announced last month that the other two members left although one of them will continue as part of the live band)

self-clowning oven (Murgatroid), Thursday, 8 April 2021 19:47 (nine months ago) link

"now"

Tim F, Thursday, 8 April 2021 22:39 (nine months ago) link

I mean the last album had a couple token band songwriting credits. He's it.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 8 April 2021 22:44 (nine months ago) link

i can't tell if i like this song or not. i think i do the more i listen to it... it really wallops you in the face from the jump in a way that feels a bit off but halfway thru it clicks into place a bit.

J0rdan S., Thursday, 8 April 2021 23:25 (nine months ago) link

eight months pass...

I went to see Years & Years live around the time of the first album and really enjoyed it - the music was good, he was a great performer despite his obvious limitations as a singer, and it really did feel like a celebration of queer identity.

What we saw of the BBC New Years & Years special was rubbish and I was surprised at how much I didn't enjoy it. The actual sound was terrible which didn't help, but it feels like all the things that made them so exciting and interesting to begin with have been lost at the expense of trying to make Olly Alexander into a superstar.

boxedjoy, Sunday, 2 January 2022 13:25 (two weeks ago) link

i suspect that it becoming a defacto olly solo project with the second album (and officially with the third) didn't really do anyone any favours at all

ufo, Sunday, 2 January 2022 13:30 (two weeks ago) link

i hardly watch any TV but every time i do he seems to be on. it really seems he is well on his way to being a household name in the uk.

stirmonster, Monday, 3 January 2022 20:30 (two weeks ago) link

I'm not sure it's working with the music though. Apparently his new single has been one of the most played songs on radio over the last few weeks yet it's still not been able to get any higher than 94. It will be interesting to see if it jumps up the charts now the Christmas songs are all disappearing, somehow I doubt it. The lead single, Starstruck got a massive push too and didn't reach the top 30. I'm not sure why these songs aren't connecting with the public. They're not great, but seem like the kind of songs that would do well right now.

Totally agree with Boxedjoy about the BBC special. Very disappointing. They really won me round on the Christmas TOTP performances back in 2015, but this didn't have any of that charm or warmth.

kitchen person, Monday, 3 January 2022 21:31 (two weeks ago) link

yup, i don't think he is becoming a household name for his music. i'm guessing the majority of people who know of him now have never even heard of years & years.

stirmonster, Tuesday, 4 January 2022 00:52 (two weeks ago) link

I think if he is becoming a household name it's more to do with It's A Sin than anything Y&Y have released in the past few years.

boxedjoy, Tuesday, 4 January 2022 00:53 (two weeks ago) link

i guess they figured the years & years name had some brand equity but it's pretty bizarre the way he uses that name for music, even tho he's well known by his real name for acting, just seems confusing. like when he did the royal albert hall xmas special they did this whole intro about how "he" was in "it's a sin" and then introduced "him" as "years & years." i feel like they should've either kept the group together as an olly solo project in everything but name (which is basically what paramore is for hayley williams) or just let him go by his name for his music

as for the music itself, i think it's prob furthering his goals of becoming a very famous person who does different kinds of art including pop that hits the charts but might not be huge smashes. there was something about the sound & writing of the first album that felt like a band working towards a specific kind of artist goal but that all mostly seems to have been abandoned after that. who knows how that one was made, honestly -- who drove it creatively etc, what the motivations were w/ the music after that, what new voices got in the mix or were given more weight. i liked "starstruck" but it just didn't stick for me & the stuff after felt very generic & less personal. the lyrics feel deemphasized w/ the kind of pop he's making now. oh well, happy for him anyway. the first album still means a lot to me

J0rdan S., Tuesday, 4 January 2022 01:12 (two weeks ago) link

he truly was inescapable on british TV around xmas, i think i saw his face like 9 days in a row. feel like he'll be around as a british celeb for a very long time popping up on TV as a game show panelist or competition judge, shit like that, if he doesn't actually become a real deal TV & film actor who doesn't need to do that kinda stuff (tho honestly it seems like he enjoys shit like that i.e. being on celeb gogglebox so i bet he'll fill that role regardless)

J0rdan S., Tuesday, 4 January 2022 01:15 (two weeks ago) link

I'm disappointed he's turned into the Ed Sheeran of/for the twink set

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 4 January 2022 01:48 (two weeks ago) link

i feel like they should've either kept the group together as an olly solo project in everything but name (which is basically what paramore is for hayley williams)

eh paramore isn't really a good comparison because there's always been other major creative forces besides hayley (for the last decade taylor has been just as key to the band as her) & then even the hayley solo albums still strangely had taylor heavily involved everywhere.

the first years & years album had everything credited to the three of them + a few other producers they worked with, but the second album, while they were still a 'band' only had the other two co-write/produce two tracks (one of which was a bonus track), with the other tracks all just being credited to olly + a wider range of pop producers. those two 'band' tracks were among the most reminiscent of the debut's house-pop sound too, he tried to branch out away from that sound on a lot of tracks but the further away he got the worse the results were. & now of course it's officially a solo project. it's definitely an awkward transition where the second album was a creative shift to being nearly an olly solo album but they didn't commit to that then & now he's sticking with the name even though he's already very famous under his real name. one of the original years & years guys is still in the touring band apparently though, just no creative involvement anymore?

ufo, Tuesday, 4 January 2022 01:50 (two weeks ago) link

like i would say a better comparison for keeping the band but becoming a solo project in all-but-name is maroon 5?

ufo, Tuesday, 4 January 2022 01:57 (two weeks ago) link

Otm

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 4 January 2022 02:11 (two weeks ago) link

jordan are you british now?

first record is still so wonderful

auld gang syne (k3vin k.), Saturday, 8 January 2022 12:27 (one week ago) link

Yeah.

The second is half wonderful, and I love its bonus tracks.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 8 January 2022 12:40 (one week ago) link


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