Olly Alexander to Continue Years and Years as a Solo Act

Thursday March 18, 2021

Years and Years is breaking up. "The British synth-pop group announced Thursday that they have split up, with lead singer Olly Alexander to continue the group as a 'solo project,"" reports Entertainment Weekly. "The band previously consisted of Alexander and instrumentalists Mikey Goldsworthy and Emre Türkmen."

They made the announcement in a tweet saying that their upcoming album "has been an Olly endeavour and we've decided that Years & Years will continue as an Olly solo project. The three of us are still good friends. Mikey will be part of the Y&Y family and play with us live and Emre will focus on being a writer/producer... These past 12 months have been crazy for us all and we want to thank you for the love and support you've given us over the years (& years)." They added that new music will be arriving "this spring."

The group was formed in 2010 by Goldsworthy and Türkmen along with Alexander and two additional band members — Noel Leeman and Olivier Subria, who departed in 2013. Goldsworthy overheard Alexander singing in a shower and liked his voice, which led to him joining the group. They were best known for the 2015 single "King," which hit No. 1 on the U.K. Singles Chart and ranked among Billboard's Mainstream Top 40. They released two albums, 2015's "Communion" and 2018's "Palo Santo."

This year Alexander starred in the hit HBO Max/Channel 4 mini-series "It's a Sin," Russell T. Davies' five-episode look at the impact of the AIDS epidemic on a group of young Londoners, including Alexander who played an aspiring actor named Ritchie Tozer. The mini-series was a huge hit on both sides of the Atlantic, having the collateral benefit of increasing AIDS testing in awareness. Alexander is the break-out star of the series with talk that he win a BAFTA Award for his dynamic performance. "Among a roundly excellent cast, Alexander is especially good at showing the boyish light that Ritchie keeps alive in himself even as he grows increasingly afraid it will be snuffed out early," wrote James Poniewozik in reviewing the series in the New York Times.