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It’s been ages since I got excited about British electro-pop, but London-based three-piece Years & Years have made me sit up and take notice. Billed by Disorder Magazine “as if Nina Simone is crooning a melodic lullaby to the folktronic lovechild of Beach House and Terry Riley”, the band have already come in for some heady praise; but on the strength of ‘Eyes Shut’ it’s deserved.

An understated slice of minimalist synth-pop, in less talented hands the track could have become a cringe-worthy X-Factor single. Thankfully, though, it transcends it’s Simon Cowell-esque title to become one of the finest electro ballads I’ve heard in years. Built from solid eighties foundations, ‘Eyes Shut’ recalls Prince at his most yearning as it evolves into bold, cinematic indie-pop.

Fronted by actor and scriptwriter Olly Alexander (who was in Skins), there’s no sense that the band are playing at being popstars; genuine authenticity permeates every beat. Soulful enough to find their way onto a John Lewis advert at Christmas, Years & Years have got everything in place to grab 2014 with both hands.

Words by Toby Rogers

Tipped by Tim Dickinson from The Blue Walrus

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