The debut album, Celestial Electric, from the new band project creatively titled “AM & Shawn Lee” is out today on ESL – stream the whole album here via Spinner.com. The band is launching their tour this week, as special guests touring as support for Thievery Corporation and performing their own headlining dates. Later on they’ll join up with Fool’s Gold for a handful of co-headlining shows on the East Coast. They’ve also added a few extra in-store appearances and radio sessions along the way, including KCRW and KEXP.
Celestial Electric finds L.A.-based indie-pop auteur AM and London-based groovemaster/experimentalist Lee pooling their talents to create a unique brand of electro-soul that achieves seamless pop perfection, while mining a startlingly broad array of stylistic influences. The resulting blend of heartfelt, warmly melodic songcraft and vivid, inventive soundscapes underlines the artists’ abiding love for all manner of vintage genres, encompassing pop, soul, funk, jazz, Brazilian tropicalia, Turkish psychedelia, and soundtracks and library music from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s.
Celestial Electric’s sleek, boundary-pushing approach is reflected on such uplifting tunes as the insightful generational anthem “Dark Into Light,” the bittersweetly soulful “City Boy” and the hauntingly intimate “Can’t Figure It Out,” which merge irresistible melodicism with deeply distinctive grooves. Elsewhere, “The Signal” demonstrates the duo’s penchant for exotic, eclectic arrangements, suggesting an ’80s Bollywood synth-pop dance party, while the swaggeringly funky instrumental “Callahan” (named in honor of Clint Eastwood’s ’70s cop anti-hero Dirty Harry) conjures up a bracingly atmospheric vibe a la Lalo Schifrin, while adding a dollop of futuristic electronic melody. The twosome’s irresistible pop sensibility also drives their effervescent reading of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils’ 1974 hit “Jackie Blue”.
AM & Shawn Lee documented their recording process in Los Angeles and London through photos, emails, and behind the scenes studio videos. The album, Celestial Electric is released today on digipack CD, digital, and limited edition gatefold vinyl. (Andy Votel, U.K. DJ and tastemaker mixologist of Finders Keepers/B-Music fame, provided the album’s cover design and liner notes.) The album is now available for pre-order on Amazon iTunes & Dusty Grooves.
ABOUT: AM & Shawn Lee is the name of the new 4 piece band project. Shawn Lee is best known for his Shawn Lee’s Ping Pong Orchestra project and as the composer of the Bully Video Game soundtrack and Ubiquity Records collaborations with Clutchy Hopkins, Princess Superstar, Money Mark, and Bei Bei and more. Shawn’s music has appeared on TV shows, movies, and commercials including Lost, Ugly Betty, and CSI. AM spent last year touring as support for AIR in North American and France, and also on tour with Charlotte Gainsbourg, Caetano Velosoo, and Josh Rouse.
09/06 Encinitas, CA Lou’s Records In-store 5pm
09/07 San Diego, CA House of Blues* http://bit.ly/slamsd1
09/08 Los Angeles, CA Live on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic
09/08 San Diego, CA House of Blues* http://bit.ly/slamsd
09/09 Los Angeles, CA Greek Theater* http://bit.ly/slamgreek
09/10 Las Vegas, NV Cosmopolitan* http://bit.ly/slamvegas
09/13 Live on KEXP Seattle, WA
09/13 Seattle, WA Sunset Tavern# http://bit.ly/slamseattle
09/14 Portland, OR Mississippi Studios# http://bit.ly/slamportland
09/16 Oakland, CA Fox Theater* http://bit.ly/slamoakland
09/19 Boston, MA Middle East # http://tktwb.tw/slamboston
09/20 Philadelphia, PA Kung Fu Necktie http://ticketf.ly/slamphilly
09/21 Washington, DC Black Cat^ http://bit.ly/slamdc
09/22 Mercury Lounge, NYC, NY^ http://bit.ly/slamnyc
09/24 Rochester, NY Lovin’ Cup # http://tktwb.tw/slamrochester
09/28 Los Angeles, CA Audio Absinthe Presents at the Troubadour $ http://ticketf.ly/slamla
# = AM & Shawn Lee headlining shows
* = w/ Thievery Corporation
^ = co-headlining with Fool’s Gold
$ = w/ Wax Poetics’ Adrian Younge Presents Venice Dawn Opening