British-Australian trio Years & Years released their latest EP Y & Y EP Feb. 3 as their first full EP under Polydor Records.
The EP features four songs, Desire, Take Shelter, King and Memo. The 14-minute album feels beautifully longer in the way it transports feeling.
If there is one EP that makes you simultaneously want to dance, run a marathon and fall in love, it’s this one.
Vocalist and keyboardist Olly Alexander leads the main vocals with a unique sound that is incomparable to other artists.
Though the electropop style of music has been compared to MGMT’s style of synth and keyboard sounds, their sound is reminiscent of R&B with a pop facelift under a blanket of rich lyrics.
Desire opens with a simple vocal track that, after a few seconds, is laced in with an audio track of snapping to a beat, which in turn blends into the heavy bass track kept throughout the song.
Though the chorus repeats throughout the middle and end of the song, the variation of tone and style of Alexander gives it a unity that strays far from a repetitive nature.
“Is it desire/Or is it love that I’m feeling for you/I want desire/’Cause your love only gets me abused” is the standard chorus with a change at the end: “I want desire/I wanna see what you’re willing to lose.”
The next track, Take Shelter, was released as their fourth single. It takes a full house-style intro and overall sound with a sultry style of vocal lead from verse to the pre-chorus that you can feel builds into the full chorus where the sound turns back to the more similar style from Desire.
Though the chorus has the dancing feel and rich lyrics, the bridge near the end of the song is the real treat.
The beat increases so much, then drops to focus on when Alexander sings/shouts/pleads, “I don’t really need this pressure to go/If you wanna find love/If you want something more/I’ll be the one to run for you,” and repeats, before dropping back in the chorus one more time.
The third song – and sixth single ever – King is next on the track list reaching No. 1 on the Official UK Chart early this month. King is yet another foot-tapping song that begs to be danced to.
Alexander’s singing takes the focal point on this track with an intense variation and fast-paced ballad.
“All that I compromised/to feel another high/I’ve got to keep it down tonight,” interlaced with Alexander singing, “Oh, oh, oh” to a beat of his own.
Concluding the album is a superbly tragic melancholy song, Memo with a focus back on Alexander’s powerful lyrics, “Are you gonna hide/Are you gonna burn/Gonna answer me?/I’ma gonna take your heart/Love you in the dark,/No one has to see/I-I-I want more, I want more.”
Straying from the dancehall style of music, Memo shows the versatility of the band’s musical and vocal capabilities, “Memo, you could bring it back/Uh, who wouldn’t want it when it looks like that?/Oh oh, I want you to stay/And if I try my hardest, would you look my way?”
Y & Y EP is a chart-topping, beautifully crafted EP that will hopefully lead to similar and great songs, like Worship, from the band on their debut album Communion set to release on June 22.