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U.K. duo the Boy Least Likely To was one of the freshest and most exciting indie pop groups to surface in the mid-decade. The group is made up of singer/lyricist Jof Owen and Pete Hobbs. Owen writes the words and sings them; Hobbs writes the music and plays it. Formed in the English countryside (specifically Wendover), the Boy Least Likely To is influenced by country storytellers like Marty Robbins, C-86 indie pop groups like the Pastels and Television Personalities, and turn-of-the-century pop groups like Belle & Sebastian and Kenickie.
They began releasing records on their own Too Young to Die label in 2003. The Papercuts 7" was first; then came the incredibly good Be Gentle with Me/Hugging My Grudge later in the year. The Fur Soft as Fur single followed in 2004 and the Best Party Ever album (which contained many of the songs released as singles) was unleashed in February of 2005. The record garnered some good reviews and lots of attention from blogs, all of it well deserved. Live shows in the U.K. and Europe were undertaken to support the album, and the rest of 2005 saw re-releases of Papercuts and Hugging My Grudge on 7", and a U.K.-only release of Monsters. The Best Party Ever was issued in America in early 2006 and the band toured the U.S., both as an opening act for James Blunt and as a headliner.
After a long delay, the duo's second album, The Law of the Playground, surfaced in spring of 2009. To celebrate the holidays in 2010, they released a full-length album of Christmas songs — some traditional, some the duo composed —titled Christmas Special. Before their next album, the duo decided to switch things up and set aside the instruments they had used to create their music in favor of electronic gear. Out went the banjos and ukuleles, in came cheap drum machines and wonky old synths, though their trademark cheerful songwriting style stayed about the same. The fourth album, The Great Perhaps, was self-released in early 2013.