FRIDAY, MARCH 04, 2016 |
Posted by: Don Saas
Communion by Years & Years is one of the best pop albums in recent memory. The British trio dropped our #2 song of last year, the transcendant "King." The band hit #1 on the UK charts with the album and that single, but despite that major success in their native land, they haven't slowed down since the record dropped. And they're back with a new version of one of Communion's stand-out tracks, "Desire," but this time the track features major vocal work from Swedish pop sensation, Tove Lo.
Years & Years have also shared the new music video for the new version of the song, and it continues what I'm realizing is a theme in Years & Years videos...Olly Alexander being mauled by a mob of thirsty as f*** men & women. And, I mean, it's Olly Alexander so we get it. However, considering that the song is called "Desire" (and, on some level, romantic and sexual desire at the heart of nearly every song on Communion), this new video takes this hedonistic lust even further when they have the gathering that Olly is part of erupt into a full-blown orgy. It's basically the indie pop version of the orgy scene from Shortbus minus the unsimulated sexa.
Olly makes out with a woman at one point in the video which would have upset me because of that time that I was interviewing Olly (see below) and we talked about "straight-washing" of queer musicians and queer representation more generally , but he avoids that pitfall cause he starts making out with a dude about two seconds later. It's hard to overstate how radical of a political act this is in 2016. Olly Alexander is major pop star with a commercial stake and unlike Sam Smith, he isn't making himself seem straight to appeal to a wide audience. He's embracing his queerness and he's showing his young queer fans that you can be queer and sexual and yourself and still present yourself in the mainstream of contemporary art and music. And for that we tip our hats to Mr. Olly Alexander and Years & Years.