Years & Years scrapped an entire new album after the pandemic hit

But they're now working on a third record of "dancefloor transcendence", Olly Alexander tells NME

Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander has revealed that he scrapped an entire album’s worth of songs for the band when the coronavirus pandemic hit last spring.

Speaking to NME this week about his starring role in Russell T Davies’ new Channel 4 drama It’s A Sin, Alexander said that appearing on the show influenced how the new album will sound.

“The pandemic happened and I went back to square one and just wanted to make a lot of upbeat, euphoric dance tunes,” Alexander told NME, revealing that he had an entire album’s worth of songs ready to go that he then discarded.


“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.”

It's A Sin
Olly Alexander in Russell T Davies’ ‘It’s A Sin’. Credit: Channel 4

Years & Years released their second album ‘Palo Santo’ in 2018. A five-star NME review labelled the album “filthy, sexy, thoroughly debauched pop at its finest,” adding: “It’s refreshing to see Olly Alexander – who has become increasingly vocal with regards to mental health and LGBTQ rights outside of his band in recent years – bring this same voice straight to the heart of Years & Years.

“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.”

Elsewhere in the new NME interview, Alexander spoke of the unique nature of the new show, saying: “There’s not been a drama about this period made in the UK on this scale ever. It’s all those things Russell [T Davies] does so well. It makes you laugh and cry. It makes your heart break as well as growing three sizes bigger.


“When I watched it, I bawled my eyes out and I knew everything that was going to happen but it was still so emotional and joyful.”

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