The debut album, Celestial Electric, from the new band project creatively titled “AM & Shawn Lee” was released on Sept. 6 on ESL. The band has been touring with Thievery Corporation and Fool’s Gold and today has added more Fall dates. Today they share a new remix of the album’s lead single “Dark Into Light” by Virgil Howe, the drummer of Little Barrie (and son of legendary YES guitarist Steve Howe).
You can now check out the band’s full archived session for KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic here — AM & Shawn Lee also recently compiled an exclusive 20 minute mix for Sirius Satellite Radio’s Chill channel which will be airing throughout the next week.
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”.
09/28 Los Angeles, CA Troubadour
11/06 Washington DC Montserrat House
11/07 New York, NY Knitting Factory
11/08 Cleveland, OH Beachland Tavern
11/09 Chicago, IL Subterranean
11/10 Minneapolis, MN Turf