Single Review: Years & Years - 'Sanctify'

Years & Years have made a long-awaited return today with an exciting and conceptual track, ‘Sanctify’. Accompanied by a music video, the track is the first single off of their upcoming second album.

The song begins with a solid bassline and is joined by vocals reminiscent of 00’s Britney from lead singer, Olly Alexander. It doesn’t take long for ‘Sanctify’ to sound like the Years & Years that we are familiar with, but it is clear that they are not returning as simply as we remember them.

The music video is perhaps the highlight of this release from the three-piece. Olly says that he hopes the video “confuses the hell out of people but also excites them in a mysterious and sensual way”. I can certainly vouch for the first part of his intentions; I am sat here wondering what the next parts are going to be and how religion really slots into the concept for this album as it is set against a backdrop of a future metropolis called Palo Santo. Acting as a main character, Olly Alexander is no less sensual than ever, with the video including him dancing with a chair: does it get much better than that?

The huge success of their debut, ‘Communion’, doesn’t seem to be pressuring the band to make music that fits the traditional mold of chart pop music. Years & Years are challenging not only the pop industry but also notions of identity and sexuality. Olly is undoubtedly striving to “be the pop star I want to see in the world and make the most ambitious and freaky and sexy thing possible” and so far, he seems to be living up to this.

Anticipation for their new album was founded on how successful their first album was but now, with a budding concept that we are still very much in the dark about, we are very excited to hear and no less see the rest of this venture.

Words by Max Herridge