Boy Least Likely To Best Party Ever

With such an endearing name, Buckinghamshire, England’s the Boy Least Likely To don’t play the ironic card — they’re exactly what you’d expect them to sound like: well-mannered and full of twee. After receiving the kiss of life from Pitchfork last year, members Jof and Peter have secured a North American release of this debut, Best Party Ever, which coincides nicely with their tour supporting SUV mom-approved balladeer James Blunt. Don’t let that diminish your interest though — this is a brilliant pop record that takes you for a real unexpected trip. The clever acoustic-heavy set is awash with tambourines, harmonica, synths, lap steel guitar, banjos, fiddle and sneakiest of all: the mystical recorder, which sets this album up for a real Winnie the Pooh-type of innocence. However, within the simple, chaste harmonies is a chapter out of a Lewis Carroll novel, twisting and turning a sneakily titled tune like "Fur Soft as Fur” into a polite little nightmare. It’s not one starring a chainsaw-wielding maniac, but more like a bee sting, but the subject matter is still dim at times. "Be Gentle with Me,” a modest and subtle hit for the band, also disguises a theme of frailty with a delicious melodic mask, much like taking a crushed-up pill with a spoonful of jam. Best Party Ever isn’t exactly designed for a rowdy house party, but instead, a nice unpredictable afternoon lunch with the White Rabbit, Mad Hatter, Tweedledee and Tweedledum. (Wannabe/Fontana North)