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Youth Group, ‘Casino Twilight Dogs’ (Anti-/Epitaph)

A double-platinum act in their native Australia and a cult act here best known for a cover of Alphaville’s “Forever Young” on The OC, Youth Group make civilized, bracingly lovely pop. Singer Toby Martin finds the sweet spot between Pet Shop Boy Neil Tennant’s plaintive croon and New Pornographer Carl Newman’s seductive bark, and Casino Twilight Dogs is that most welcome of albums: a great driving record that exquisitely soundtracks crushes and heartbreaks. The future mix-tape hit “Sorry” showers an old lover with chiming guitar kisses before saying farewell forever, and “The Destruction of Laurel Canyon” ruminates about California falling into the sea. Somewhere, Seth Cohen is freaking out.

Now Hear This: Youth Group – “Sorry” DOWNLOAD MP3

>> Listen to Youth Group on Napster