We are within a hair’s breadth to the release of Years & Years sophomore album “Palo Santo” gliding down into our ears, and undoubtedly securing itself as a staple on our summer playlists. The trio has already popped up with guest spots at a number of prominent festivals and equally look set to continue the trend beyond summer when the album is fully unleashed, into the public domain. Thus far, we’ve been spoonfed chipper sounding track “If You’re Over Me” and boldly impacting “Sanctify.” Next in the line-up of releases is the album title track “Palo Santo“, it is also my favourite teaser of the album campaign, yet by a clear mile.
The minimal production on the track allows Olly’s evocative vocal to take hold with maximum effect. I like it all the more because you can feel the emotion resonate. Unlike the radio-friendly style of predecessors “Sanctify” and “If You’re Over Me” the title track is noticeably a shade darker and slower. Strong melodies, powerful turns-of-phrase within the lyrics help create a spine-tingling excitement that sets in right from when Olly begins to sing. Stylistically the track does flow more in the path of London Grammar than Years & Years material to date. Nonetheless, I feel it is this track where we are open to see the band’s musicianship turned up a notch with the added intake of more diversity going into their brand of sonic, electronic pop.
The track is a masterwork of powerfully vulnerable and sophisticatedly accessible adult pop. Beautifully crafted with emotional directness, mixing introspection with earnest lyricism. A heartstring tugging pop ballad with lush and emotive piano motifs. Cutting through the intense atmosphere permeates a sweetly, intoxicating new style in sound for Years & Years. In my estimation, it renders Olly Alexander’s unmistakeable vocal performance as his most soulfully charismatic to date.