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Released: 7th March 2018.

Years & Years - SanctifyThe lead offering from British synthpop band Years & Years, "Sanctify" is a shift from the glimmering electro-pop sound of the band's 'Communion' era to a darker blend of pop. There's no loss of excitement, though, and "Sanctify" gets to the meat of things from verse one, with an early beat drop that quickly leads into an earnest chorus, highlighted by Olly Alexander's emotionally gripping appeal encouraging self-acceptance on the part of his sexual partner, who's reluctant to acknowledge the queerness of his sexuality.

Layer by stubborn layer, Olly tears away the shame and hurt of the song's protagonist by empathising with his struggle ("I'm a man like you, I breathe the ritual of the dancer's dance") 'til the glorious bridge transports the protagonist to the shore of realisation that maybe the love expressed through his dance with Olly is "heavenly", too.

Three years removed from their critically acclaimed signature hit "King", "Sanctify" reassures the music community that the band are no one-era wonder. If "Sanctify" is an accurate representation of what's to come, we can brace ourselves for even more ambitious and mature lyricism and production from Y&Y. Bring on LP #2.

* * * * * (JSparksFan)

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