Rating: 4.5/5

This track is infectious. But, not in the traditional bubblegum-pop can’t-help-but-sing-along way. It’s the Ted Bundy of music: it’s eerie and haunting, but also charming, warm, and inviting.

Palo Santo is a natural wood incense used by the indigenous people of the Andes to cleanse and purify spirits and to purge evil. As a UK-based band, it’s unclear why Years & Years even know about this, but it doesn’t matter. Everything about the track glides together to make a perfect Bundy tune.

This is a song that begs to be deciphered:

And I’m giving in to your fever touch
Let it all begin when the fire starts
You’re the darkness in me, Palo Santo

Presumably, because of the earlier lyrics ” ’cause you’re with another boy,” this is written about an ex, which is really, disturbingly (in the best way) dark. This ex is the darkness that needs to be burned away by this holistic, magical wood? Fucking cool.

“Palo Santo,” musically, sounds like the better, more complex version of The Weeknd. The voice timbres are similar, and the music itself is earthy yet electronic and spacious all at once. There’s a simple piano line lurking in the background that, mixed with the other electronic elements, gives this track a stalking-prey feel.

There’s a lot here, and I’m not sure I could fully go into this track with any less than a dissertation to work with. This is the title track of Years & Years’ upcoming album, so if it’s any indication of what’s to come, the music community is in for a treat.

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