In the summer of 1998, friends and former lovers, Paul Pittman and Lucy Brain were halfway thinking about starting a band. Wanting to keep it casual and fun, they practiced only when the mood hit and performed occasionally at parties. That autumn, a mutual friend asked them if they wanted to be the opening act for a local show she was putting on at Ms Tís Cabaret. They accepted, but not before welcoming artist/guitarist Colin McLean into the fold. Band names were quickly made up and rejected but for some reason, Young & Sexy stuck.
Over the next year the trio began making a name for themselves playing local Vancouver venues like the sadly missed Sugar Refinery and the aforementioned Ms. T's Cabaret. The line up was expanded to include drummer Ron Teardrop, keyboardist Ted Bois and bassist Andre Lagace. Colin moved on, howwever. It was with this 5-piece incarnation of the group, that Young And Sexy's debut Stand Up For Your Mother was recorded. Mother was released in March 2002 to critical acclaim and spent some time on the college charts, also making appearances on a number of year-end top ten lists. AMG described the songs on the album as "beautiful and tough as nails" while Now Toronto forgave "the Vancouver artsies (...) for their dorky moniker" because of their "stellar debut".
The band did a small western Canadian tour in support of the record as well as an immensely successful showcase at NXNE in Toronto. Work immediately began on their sophomore release Life through One Speaker. The album is steeped in 60's and 70's pop, ranging from Beach Boy-esque harmonies (Weekend Warriors) to Pink Floydian grandeur (In this Atmosphere) to relatively straight up pop a la Nick Lowe (Herculean Bellboy). Speaker was released in the fall of 2003 and, although a less eclectic affair than the debut, earned uniformly great notices in papers and websites across Canada and the States even finding a spot on The Globe and Mail's year end "best of" list. The year was rounded out with a tour across the United States with The New Pornographers.
Early 2004 saw the band record a 7-song live session with CBC Radio 3. As it happens, this would be the last time this particular lineup would record together, as both Ron Teardrop and Ted Bois departed soon after.
While the transition was not easy, Y&S forged ahead. Andre switched from bass to lead guitar and new members were quickly, though not hastily, brought on board: Brent McDonald on bass, and Lucy's brother, Alex Brain, on drums. This new line up had been together only a month when they were asked to headline the western portion of the CBC Radio 3 cross-Canada Connect the Dots tour in late April to early May 2004. The tour was a great opportunity for the new line up to find its "sound" and hone new material for Young And Sexy's 3rd album Panic When You Find It.
Panic When You Find it finds Young & Sexy coming into its own. While the striking harmonies and songwriting are still firmly in place, the energy of their live show has at long last been captured on tape. And perhaps most importantly, the band's wide range of influences, so apparent on the first two albums, have been internalized and fashioned into something unique making Panic When You Find It Young & Sexy's most rewarding release to date.
Some press for Panic When You Find It
Time: "...a technically superb, 60s-influenced pop-rock album. The result is an album that sounds unified and pleasant, but that you could still offer to your piano teacher as proof that not all pop musicians are talentless hacks."
spin.com: "drippingly sarcastic and hopelessly danceable"