Years and Years: ‘Y&Y’ Track-by-Track EP Review

Synth-pop trio Years and Years have been releasing music since 2012 but their breakthrough year was definitely in 2014 when they released a few Eps (Traps, Real, Take Shelter) containing some smash singles. Now that their hometown U.K. is embracing their music, Years and Years decided to give the U.S. a taste of their music through EP Y&Y. Last month Years and Years won the BBC Sound of 2015, an annual list created by music critics that help determine the artists that are bound to blow up for the year and become the future of music (50 Cent, Adele, Ellie Goulding, and Sam Smith are a few past winners from previous lists that have captivated millions with their music). Y&Y is a four track introduction to the trio filled with 90s inspired house beats, soulful vocals from lead singer Olly Alexander, synth filled electronic production and tracks waiting to be blasted for huge crowds.

Desire” is the first track that made me take notice of the group and it kicks off the EP. From Alexander’s distinct voice, to the overall house feel of the track, it’s hard not to dance when listening to the infectious track. With that massive chorus and chants that help build up the bridge, it’s easy to see why this track is making waves on the charts and it’s the perfect introduction to the electronic trio.

Take Shelter” is the next song off the EP. Years and Years slows down the pace with a mellow jam that is dominated by a pulsing beat. The group knows how to craft a chorus that makes you want to sing along with it. Alexander declares on the ear worm chorus, “Do what you want tonight / it’s alright / if you want to get used.” There’s a dancehall feel to this melancholy song that has me questioning if I should be drowning my tears in a glass of vodka or grinding in a crowded club in Ibiza.

Y&Y is full of emotions with the next track “King” playing like a euphoric love song about a king controlled by feelings for his lost queen. “All that I compromised / to feel another high / I’ve got to keep it down tonight.” It’s easy to get lost in the infectious production in this EP but listen to the songs multiple times and hear the meaning behind them. I love when a song can make me dance then think because of the meaningful lyrics. “King” is definitely a standout track from the EP.

The last track from the EP, “Memo,” is the slowest out of the short collection. Alexander sounds devastated on the track and he matches the emotion in the music perfectly. I like the variety that can be found in this EP and it has me excited to hear their full length debut album next month. While I wait for King this EP will definitely get some more plays, from the impressive lyrics to the contagious production, I’m excited to see where Years and Years take their music.