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Moodboard: Years & Years

Don’t you just love it when you hear new music and it just clicks for you; automatic sonic cohesion and a happy ear. For me that moment has just come with Years & Years, the electronic pop three-piece hailing from London. Comprised of frontman and keyboardist, Olly Alexander, bassist Mikey Goldsowrthy and synth player/beat-maker, Emre Turkmen, the group initially made their splash back in 2012 with debut single, ‘I Wish I Knew‘, a bouncy electro-indie number bubbling full of promise.

Now, after two years and one other release, Years & Years have returned with the new single, ‘Real’, and what an absolute banger it is. Slowly pulsing synths lead into a cracking throbbing bass, complete with hand-claps. Olly’s vocal is surprisingly R&B with an emotive quality, as the song builds on electronic elements to create something more akin to moody-pop than anything else, complete with big hooks and an itching need to repeat the song. The accompanying video is equally as entrapping. It sees brillo actor, Ben Whishaw, almost explode from dancing so much as the band watch on, creepily eying him and holding up playing cards. I wouldn’t say that I understand it, but it is truly captivating.

You should check the video out below, and while you’re at it keep reading to see what inspires Years & Years in a list that includes My Private Idaho, Twin Peaks and Marvin Gaye.


Autobiography of Red – Anne Carson:
- “When I desire you a part of me is gone”
“This is a heartbreaking verse novel about a monster and unrequited love – two of my favourite things. Some writers have a way of getting inside your brain and every line makes you feel like you’re vibrating, that’s why I love Anne Carson.”

My Private Idaho:

“River Phoenix’s performance in this movie is probably the reason I wanted to act. The world Gus Van Sant creates is both bleak and depressing, and beautiful and hopeful, all at the same time. Also, Keanu Reeves is hilarious in it (I think unintentionally).”


Sagrada Familia – Antoni Gaudi:
Sagrada Familia
I love this building because it’s totally original and idiosyncratic. It takes a certain style and completely pushes the envelope. The church is a never-finished piece of genius that’s full of invention and (over) elaboration inspired by the geometries of nature. Like all creative works, it’s never really finished.”

‘When Did You Stop Loving Me, When Did I Stop Loving You’ – Marvin Gaye:

“Favourite Marvin Gaye song. A confessional pop gem with no discernible verse or chorus and endlessly layered vocals. The most beautiful chronicle of divorce EVER.”


Bob Moog:

“I can’t remember exactly when I first heard a synthesiser but I can remember when I bought one. For some reason I had it in my head that Moog was the only way to go. I saved up a lot of cash and purchased a “Little Phatty”. Buying this instrument completely changed my style of playing.
Bob Moog not only created subtractive synthesis but changed the whole world of pop music.”

Philip-Lorca diCorcia:
Philip Lorca
I love the way he approached Photography. In the 70′s he used to get his friends to stage a scene and take an almost “still” image from a movie. One day I’d love our band photo’s to be on a similar scale.”


‘Until The Quiet Comes’ – Flying Lotus

“We disagree on some things, but we all unanimously love Flying Lotus in a scary fanboy way. His kind of brain-melting, headphone dance music is incredible.”

Twin Peaks:

“We all love Twin Peaks, even though Bob is the scariest thing ever and haunts all our dreams. It’s the best T.V show, even when it’s shit, it’s still amazing. Have to mention Mulholland Drive (the thing in the carpark at the diner, that haunts our dreams too, thanks Lynch) and Blue Velvet as they’re some of our favourite films too. SILENCIO!”

Edward Hopper:
Edward Hopper

“The whole disassociated bleak Americana thing is something Edward Hopper pioneered. That feeling of driving down a highway, for ten hours, and passing nothing but gas stations and strip malls, and feeling like the world is a fucked-up but kind of beautiful place, we like that.”


“Not a day goes by when Mikey or Emre don’t quote Seinfeld. Once we went to a cottage by the sea to write music with nothing but lasagne and a box set of Seinfeld. It was wild.”

‘Real’ is out now via Kitsuné. Years & Years are also playing a string of live shows throughout March

05/03/14 – Oslo, London (Headline show)
06/03/14 – Heaven, London w/ MØ
07/03/14 – Cockpit, Leeds w/ MØ
08/03/14 – Broadcast, Glasgow w/ MØ
09/03/14 – Deaf Institute, Manchester w/ MØ

- Alim Kheraj

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