the Young & Sexy - "Life Through One Speaker"
Mint Records

Vancouver's the Young & Sexy owe much of their sound to another Canadian act, the New Pornographers, who are labelmates of theirs at Mint Records. They share that same indie-pop sound with dual male and female vocals.

But where the New Pornographers perform upbeat music that's pretty much akin to Big Star and Cheap Trick, the Young & Sexy sound like Belle and Sebastian's slower moments. It's very dreamy, organic pop that seems suited to a spring afternoon.

The whole of Life Through One Speaker sounds like it was designed for mix tapes. There's not a song on here that wouldn't make any girl swoon with your choice of such pretty music. And pretty music is about the best way to describe the album- it has swells of melody, harmony, and tunefulness that sounds like Phil Spector's wet dream gone horrible horribly right.

The amazing thing is that I saw the Young & Sexy when they opened up for the New Pornographers last summer, and they sounded nothing like this. They were dull as dishwater, and had me ready to go into the back of the club and take a long nap. It may be that they're just a great studio band, but the difference between that performance and what's coming out of my speakers is night and fucking day.

Canada's got some great musicians, it seems, and Mint's nearly got a lock on all of them. This album is no exception. Go buy it, grab a blanket, and sprawl out in the sunshine with some iced tea and a good book. You can thank me later.