Electro pop band Years & Years have topped the annual BBC Music Sound of 2015 list of rising stars to watch out for.
The London –based trio’s frontman, Olly Alexander, used to play Jakob in Channel 4 drama Skins, while the group has recently supported the likes of Clean Bandit and Sam Smith.
Bassist Mikey Goldsworthy, keyboardist Emre Turkmen and Alexander have performed at UK festivals including Bestival, Latitude and The Great Escape, and their new single “King” hit Radio 1’s airwaves earlier this week.
“We can’t really get our heads round it, Olly nearly passed out when we found out, it was so surreal and emotional,” the band said.
“It feels like it means we’ve got a real shot, which means the world to us. People are going to listen to what we’re going to do and we’ve just got to not muck it up. We’ve got to make the most of it and deliver.”
Rock and pop highlights of 2015
Rock and pop highlights of 2015
1/5 Mark Lanegan Band - touring from 20 January
The most intriguing performance prospect of a fairly docile January is the arrival of the Mark Lanegan Band for a clutch of shows in support of the recent masterly album Phantom Radio. Expect soul-ravaged blues fatalism as Lanegan confronts dark memories and apocalyptic visions with apparent sangfroid, his baritone croon traversing soundscapes of chugging electropop, spiralling guitars and courtly pop melancholy.
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2/5 Bob Dylan - Shadows in the Night released 2 February
An album on which Dylan sings Sinatra, a performer in whose voice he claimed to hear "death, God, the universe, everything". He's eschewing the usual swaddling orchestrations in favour of relaxed small-combo versions, recorded with his own band. They're not cover versions, he explains: "They've been covered enough. Buried, as a matter of fact. What me and my band are basically doing is uncovering them. Lifting them out of the grave and bringing them into the light of day."
3/5 The War on Drugs - touring from 16 February
2014's breakout US indie band will arrive for a string of British dates. Songwriter/frontman Adam Granduciel's blending of Dylanesque vocals, stadium-pop melodies and guitar drones should appeal to fans of Neil Young and My Bloody Valentine alike, and these shows offer the perfect opportunity to check whether they’re as loud and overbearing as Sun Kil Moon's Mark Kozelek claims in his amusing song "War on Drugs: Suck My Cock". Thankfully, music is big enough to accommodate both.
4/5 The Jesus and Mary Chain - touring from 16 February
Having bowed to the demand to perform their debut Psychocandy in its entirety – a move that places them firmly in the rock-heritage classicist ranks, rather than the punk-nihilist cadre of their original 1980s inception – the re-formed Mary Chain take their sweet white whine around the country. Expect: great tunes; loud feedback. Don’t expect: a revolution.
5/5 Nicki Minaj - touring from 28 March
Initial reaction to Nicki Minaj's new album The Pinkprint is mixed, but however its more assertively autobiographical songs transfer to the live arena, bangers like "Want Some More" and "Anaconda" suggest that her upcoming shows should pack some punch. And the flamboyant diva can surely be relied on to put on a show. But what will be the colour-scheme? Think pink.
Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens has been revealing the top five acts in a countdown on the Radio 1 Breakfast Show this week.
Brits Critics’ Choice winner James Bay came runner-up to Years & Years, followed by unsigned grime artist Stormzy in third.
Singer-songwriter Raury came fourth, with Cambridge graduate and spoken word artist George the Poet in fifth.
“Years & Years have already and will continue to capture imaginations with their electronic melodies and lively on stage sets,” said Stephens.
“They are a young band with loads of ideas and a clear vision of the music they want to make, and that will take them far this year.”
This year’s BBC Music Sound of 2015 was voted for by 140 influential music industry experts including DJs, critics and bloggers.
The list began in 2003, with previous winners including Sam Smith, Haim, Adele and Ellie Goulding.Reuse content