It’s been almost three years since Years & Years last released an album, but the wait was well worth it. “Sanctify,” their latest single, depicts a futuristic fantasy world that holds a mirror up to frontman Olly Alexander’s own sexuality.
Over an upbeat yet sensual jam, and with a flamboyance reminiscent of ’90s pop queens, Alexander croons about a life that alternates between unapologetic sexual expression and his attempts at redemption. “So don’t break / Sanctify my body with pain / Sanctify my sins when I pray,” he declaims.
“Sanctify” is accompanied by a video that resembles a world gone horribly wrong. In a futuristic dystopia, Alexander is captured, enslaved and brought to his robot overlords for entertainment. He then kicks off a sexually charged dance routine on top of a chair as his android masters watch on. It all feels very mid-’90s Britney with Gaga influences—or a reverse Westworld.
“I wanted to write a song that was kind of inspired from some experiences I’ve had with guys who identify straight, but I’ve had something a bit more than just a friendship with them,” the frontman explained in an interview. “It spoke a bit to my own coming out journey as a gay guy.”
Check out the video for “Sanctify” here: