Years & Years have shared the first track of their new era – listen to ‘Starstruck’ below.
The song is the first new material since the recent news that Years & Years will now operate as an Olly Alexander solo project moving forwards, with the frontman’s former bandmates, Emre Türkmen and Mikey Goldsworthy, remaining close to the band.
‘Starstruck’ was previewed on TikTok last month by Alexander, who shared a snippet of the comeback single to launch a new TikTok dance challenge.
The full version has now arrived on streaming services, and you can listen to it below. An official video is set to premiere on YouTube next Monday (April 12).
Speaking of ‘Starstruck’ in a statement, Alexander said the new song “came together one night at a studio in the countryside outside of London. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d seen so many stars, you get used to them not being there when you live in the city. Since we’ve all had to stop, all I’ve wanted to do is go out and dance. So I’ve been putting all that pent up energy into the music.
“‘Starstruck’ is about the rush you get when you’re with somebody you’re really into, it’s about holding onto a good feeling and not letting it go. Like most of us I’ve spent the past year at home, and I wanted to create something super positive and fun for people (and myself) to bop along too. Whatever we’re doing or wherever we are in life, I think we all deserve three minutes of interstellar ecstasy.”
Years & Years’ Olly Alexander performing live. Credit: Debbie Hickey/Getty Images.
Explaining last month that their upcoming third album has been an “Olly” endeavour, the band wrote: “The three of us are still good friends, they wrote in a statement shared to social media. “Mikey will be part of the Y&Y family and play with us live and Emre will focus on being a writer/producer.
“These past twelve months have been crazy for us all and we want to thank you for the love and support you’ve given us over the years (& years). New music will be coming this spring.”
Alexander recently revealed to NME that he scrapped an entire album’s worth of songs for the band when the coronavirus pandemic hit last spring.
Speaking to NME about his starring role in Russell T Davies’ new show It’s A Sin, Alexander said that appearing on the show made him reassess the music he was working on, and “wanted to make a lot of upbeat, euphoric dance tunes.”
“That’s what I’ve been focused on the majority of 2020 doing,” he added of work on the new album. “Definitely the show had an impact on that. Although I don’t think it’s going to sound ’80s, I’m trying to channel that energy and dancefloor transcendence.”
Years & Years’ last album, ‘Palo Santo’, arrived in 2018. In a five-star review of the album, NME wrote: “Taking intense sadness out for a night on the glitter-soaked tiles, ‘Palo Santo’ links the intense escapism of pop music with the sanctuary the queer community seek in their own special, sacred spaces.
“From start to finish, Years & Years worship at the triple-altars of limb-thrashing hedonism, religious iconography and guilt-tainted desire. Filthy, sexy, thoroughly debauched pop at its finest; ‘Palo Santo’ feels like a magical album.”