In March 2021, Years & Years announced they'd switched from being a trio to the solo project of Olly Alexander, with the frontman's former bandmates Mikey Goldsworthy and Emre Türkmen remaining close to the band. This song, dropped on April 8, 2021, is Years & Years' first release of the new era.
Alexander wrote the song one night at a countryside studio outside of London. He recalled that the number of the stars he could see in the sky struck him. "You get used to them not being there when you live in the city," he said.
Inspired by feeling "starstruck" looking at the night sky, Alexander penned this song about the rush he gets when he's with somebody he's really into. "It's about holding onto a good feeling and not letting it go," the singer explained.
When everything stopped with the 2020 COVID lockdown, Alexander missed being able to go out at nights dancing, so he put all his pent up energy into his music. "Like most of us, I've spent the past year at home, and I wanted to create something super positive and fun for people (and myself) to bop along too," he said. "Whatever we're doing or wherever we are in life, I think we all deserve three minutes of interstellar ecstasy."
Alexander first previewed the song on TikTok in March 2021 when he shared a snippet to launch a TikTok dance challenge.
Years & Years' go-to video director Fred Rowson filmed the clip in London's Hotel Cafe Royal. It sees Alexander chase an alternate version of himself throughout the luxurious establishment. Sherrie Silver, who was responsible for Childish Gambino's Grammy-winning visual for "This Is America
," choreographed it.
Years & Years released a remix
on May 21, 2021 with new vocals by Kylie Minogue. Olly Alexander and Kylie have been friends for years and are big fans of each other's music; the Years & Years frontman joined the Aussie singer on stage at the Royal Albert Hall to duet on "Better The Devil You Know
" for her 2016 Christmas shows.
Years & Years released a second remix
with J-pop singer-songwriter SIRUP. The collaboration came about after Alexander heard a track SIRUP made with Joe Hertz titled "MAIGO." He thought the Japanese rapper's style would suit this song. "He's got a lot of personality in his voice!" Alexander said. "In 'Starstruck' there's a lot of ad-libs and noises, so I thought SIRUP would be a great fit."