Hayes & Y – The Times

Defying the typicality of Manchester’s beloved synth-pop, Hayes & Y display their unique flair in their latest release, ‘The Times’.

The Salford-based four piece has been affected by the pandemic as much as anyone else, facing a disappointing halt to their live performances and dealing with the neglect of support for the creative industries. Overcoming this, the band have channelled their energy into creating new music instead; ‘The Times’ is the first of three singles set to be released over the coming months.

Fronting the band is Blagoslav Anastasov, who describes their latest single as being, “very influenced by 2020. It paints a post-apocalyptic picture, a couple of people watching the end of the world. I think that a lot of us feel like we’re living in some sort of a movie and the last four years have been leading up to a grand finale of sorts. I hope that the worst is behind us, but it did influence me to write this.”

Juxtaposing the gloomy nature of the lyrics, the track’s composition is sincerely upbeat. Diving straight into the instrumentation, ‘The Times’ doesn’t refrain from fiercely gripping your interest from the off. Utilising disco beats with the addition of cowbells alongside a driving bass line, the groove of the track is quickly cemented as the resilient backbone of the song.

With phasered soundscapes and layered vocals dancing among the funkier elements of the music, ‘The Times’ feels like a tasteful hybrid between Vulfpeck and MGMT – a respectable level of influence can be heard without crossing the line and sounding like a rip-off.

The choruses do fall victim slightly to the demanding composition and lose a bit of distinction; it would’ve been nice to hear them thickened up with stronger harmonies or solidified more with double tracking some of the instrumentation.

That being said, ‘The Times’ is a song I can’t wait to have a dance to post-lockdown, and I’m sure many will be in agreement. With this being the first of their trilogy of upcoming releases, the bar has been set seriously high for Hayes & Y.