Placing near the top of most ones-to-watch lists for 2015, London-based trio Years & Years are a different proposition to most of the house acts that have arrived in the wake of Disclosure.
Their frontman Olly Alexander can take much of the credit. The 24-year-old has already established himself as one of Britain’s brightest acting talents, thanks to roles in the 2012 big-screen adaptation of Great Expectations, Gaspar Noe’s avant-garde thriller Enter The Void and zeitgeist-defining teen drama Skins.
But having showcased his musical abilities as aspiring songwriter James in Belle & Sebastian’s indie musical God Help The Girl last year, this double threat may also very well take the charts by storm with a quivering and androgynous vocal style which has drawn favourable comparisons with everyone from an angelic choirboy to the legendary Nina Simone.
Their magnetic lead vocalist isn’t Years & Years’ only major selling point. The group, whose core line-up of Alexander, bassist Mikey Goldsworthy and keyboardist Emre Turkmen, eventually settled in 2013, was formed with the intention of bringing a more organic band-led feel to a scene dominated by laptops and samplers.
And although the jangly guitars of lead single “I Wish I Knew” and the pulsing indie-disco of follow-up “Traps” have given way to a more polished and clubbier production, the group have still built a reputation as a must-see live act thanks to support slots with the likes of baggy revivalists Swim Deep and 2014’s biggest breakthrough star Sam Smith.
Shortlisted for the same BRITs Critics Choice and BBC Sound of… polls that the latter won last year, Years & Years could well follow in the soul crooner’s footsteps. They’ve already graced the UK Top 40 with Balearic anthem “Sunlight,” a collaboration with Belgian DJ The Magician, and the glorious soaring electro-pop of “Desire,” and few would bet against them adding to their tally once their debut album hits the shelves later this year.