Just released, the Years and Years album, more fame for Olly Alexander.
Mikey Goldsworthy, Olly Alexander, and Emre Turkmen
You might have seen him in any of the thirteen movies in which he has appeared or on stage as Peter Pan in the West End play Peter and Alice alongside Ben Whishaw and Judi Dench or in a supporting role in the final series of Skins playing Cassie Ainsworth's stalker in the two-part episode "Skins Pure", which aired in July 2013.
If so, you'll remember him for his disarming Johnny Deppish good looks and quirky characterisations. Right now, however, he is most visibly incarnated as lead vocalist and frontman witt synthpop band, Years & Years. Formed in 2010, Olly joined the band 'after guitarist Mikey heard him singing in the shower and reckoned he had "a good voice". His unique tone has lead to their music being described as "Nina Simone...crooning a melodic lullaby to the folktronic lovechild of Beach House and Terry Riley. Just think Sam Smith in his Disclosure moment and you'll get the picture.
Years & Years have the BBC’s coveted “Sound of 2015” poll already under their belts. (Previous “Sound of” winners include Sam Smith, Haim and Ellie Goulding.) The new album, a mix of danceable pop electronics and winsome ballads will do nothing to halt the rise and rise of this trio.
Standout tracks include the monumental 'King' , the freshest chart topper of 2015 to date, the current single 'Shine' featuring an uplifting chorus and terrific middle eight and earlier tracks like 'Desire' and 'Real'. The surprise comes with the lyrically intriguing slower tracks, including two acoustic versions. Though Olly's vocal ability won't enthuse everyone, it's great to hear a vulnerable male vocal telling a story simply and with authenticity.
And, yes, Olly joins Sam Smith as a starry British out gay singer. Asked about his songs, often reflecting dysfunctional gay relationships, Olly is happy to tell it like it is.
"That comes from experience, you know. I just have had a lot of dysfunctional relationships. I’ve really gone from one to another to another. I’ve been stuck in a cycle of being addicted to rejection in some fucked up way and always choosing someone who is going to reject me. But, I’m in a less dysfunctional relationship now. I’d say it’s relatively functional.
"I’m definitely writing from that (gay) perspective. There’s a choice when you write a song with how you talk about someone else. I watched Joni Mitchell do this interview where she said songwriting became easier when she started writing about “you and me.”
He's relaxed about the 'out' thing too.
"This has only been a thing recently. I’ve done a few interviews and been like “I’m gay and I’m singing about my boyfriends.” I guess for a lot of people you need to say something before they’re really accepting of it."
As for his mate, Sam Smith, Olly has a view too.
“What’s interesting about Sam is that he lets people in. You can almost feel his audience on the journey with him, discovering the gay man he’s going to be."
Lustralboy salutes the talent and openness of this gay man, already the man that he planned to be.
Join our mailing list
- December 30th, 2016
- December 1st, 2016
- October 29th, 2016
- October 1st, 2016
- August 31st, 2016
- July 23rd, 2016