Youth Group

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Y outh Group is a rock band based in Newtown, Sydney, Australia signed to Ivy League.

Youth Group has its roots in the Canberra indie rock scene, the group was formed in the late nineties by Narrabundah College school friends Paul Murphy, Toby Martin and Andy Cassell. The fourth founding member, Danny Lee Allen, however never lived in Canberra, instead growing up in Maroubra and then Coogee in Sydney, meeting Paul through attending Marcellin College in Randwick. Andy Cassell being one of three partners in the Ivy League / Winterman & Goldstein group of companies. Of the original members only Toby Martin (vocals/guitar) and Danny Allen (drums) remain. After various configurations, including the temporary membership of versatile Sydney musician, John Lattin of La Huva, the current lineup was finalised in 2004 through the addition of Cameron Emerson-Elliott on guitar (previously a member of The John Reed Club) and former bassist of The Vines, Patrick Matthews.

Built around the pure vocals of Martin and clean production of Wayne Connolly, the sound of Youth Group is reminiscent of power pop/indie rock artists such as Teenage Fanclub, Pavement and Matthew Sweet. However it is Martin’s insightful and empathetic lyrics which distinguish Youth Group from comparable bands. Able to create vignettes based around the emotional dynamics of his characters, often female, Martin’s lyrics are typically unsentimental but rarely unsympathetic.

While the band always had a dedicated following in the inner cities of Sydney and Melbourne, their career was unremarkable until a series of chance happenings lead Epitaph boss Brett Gurewitz to hear their second album, Skeleton Jar, and release it in the U.S. Despite sounding nothing like the California punk that Epitaph is widely known for, the support of a US label was the break that Youth Group needed to find a wider audience.

Although the band had played at the 2003 South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, and done a small number of dates with The Vines and The Music on their US West Coast tour, including a sold out show at San Francisco’s legendary Fillmore, it was the chance to support Death Cab for Cutie in 2005 that saw their profile rise most quickly. In addition, their single “Forever Young”, a cover of the song by Alphaville, was used in the television show The O.C… With the band getting attention in the United States, it spurred Australian acts to reassess the band, raising the band’s profile among mainstream audiences in Australia. The song debuted on the Australian charts at no. 2, and eventually peaked at no.1. It was also no.1 in the first ever digital download chart. During 2006, they supported Coldplay in their sold-out tour of Australia.

In July 2006 the band released their third album, Casino Twilight Dogs, which features “Forever Young”, along with the album’s second single, “Catching and Killing”. As of July 24, 2006, Casino Twilight Dogs debuted at no.10 in the ARIA Album Charts.

There is a widely-circulated theory in the music community that the band name Youth Group is a clever twist on the name of the Scottish indie rock band Teenage Fanclub, whom vocalist Toby Martin has cited as a major musical influence during his childhood.

Youth Group won a 2006 ARIA award for “Break-Though Single” for “Forever Young”.

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Source: lastfm


alternative, indie, indie rock, rock


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