There must be something in the water across the pond, because the U.K. consistently produces amazing music artists year after year. Sam Smith was named at the top of the BBC’s Sound of 2014 list, and this year, he took home four Grammys. If Sam Smith’s success is any indication, then the band Years & Years—named at the top of the Sound of 2015 list, and my current music obsession—are about to get big, fast.
The trio, comprised of Olly Alexander (yes, the one from the U.K. version of Skins), Mikey Goldsworthy, and Emre Turkman, first started performing at U.K. festivals before playing a support role alongside Sam Smith. Their current solo tour is primarily in the U.K. and Europe with stops in Los Angeles and San Francisco as well if you’re lucky enough to live there. Their most recent EP, Y&Y, is available in the U.S. on iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon.com. You can also get a download of my favorite song, “Memo,” and the equally good ‘Take Shelter’ for free on their site.
Songs like “Real” and “Desire” feature dance-y beats that cross between pop, electronica, and R&B genres. Most of their music includes ‘90s house music elements influenced by bands like Radiohead and Diplo. “Memo” slows down with beautiful, soulful vocals that you’ll want to listen to over and over again. Their cover of Blu Cantrell’s 1990s R&B hit “Breathe” is better than the original, and so different that I didn’t realize it was a cover until months after I first listened. You can check out all of the aforementioned songs in the playlist below. Stay tuned for more, because Years & Years is a band not to miss as they continue to take off in the U.S.
- Take Shelter
- Eyes Shut
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