BBC’s Sound of 2015 Years & Years played their first US show at Brooklyn’s Rough Trade last night. A massive blizzard hit NYC and almost ruined the London synth pop trio’s debut. The sold out crowd lined up early to get a good view of lead singer Olly Alexander, bassist Mikey Goldsworthy, and keyboardist Emre Turkmen. Alexander started the set with a bit of a cappella leading into “Foundations” and jamming straight into “Take Shelter.” Influenced by R&B giants like Aaliyah and TLC, Years & Years combines those achingly honest lyrics with electro pop vibes. It’s the kind of deeply affecting and complex dance music that sends fans running to their shows and festival plays. We’ve been waiting nearly a year to see them stateside and were not at all disappointed.
Alexander is a charismatic entertainer and has an amazing stage presence. At times he was shy and shocked that the Brooklyn crowd knew every single lyric. At other times, he was super confident and exuded a kind of coy sexuality that took us by surprise. He also packs a powerful voice with pretty good range considering he was dancing during the entire set. It’s obvious he was born to be on stage (you may have seen him on Penny Dreadful recently and Skins). Goldsworthy provided the sick basslines that had fans dancing against each other. We’re only bummed the set was short but we can’t wait to hear more material from them. “Real” and their latest single “King” were highlights of the evening and got us even more pumped to see them again.
Breathe (Blu Cantrell cover)