The transatlantic electro-soul collaboration creatively titled “AM & Shawn Lee” are touring in support of their new album Celestial Electric (Eighteenth Street Lounge) which Under The Radar describes as “unadulterated soul vibes and funk tempos filtered through ’70s soundtracks.” The band has been touring with Thievery Corporation and co-headlining with Fool’s Gold to great reviews with comparisons to Broken Bells, Beck, and MGMT and the Seattle Weekly proclaimed it one of the “best live shows of the year”. Today they start ticket presales and add more Fall dates and are sharing a new remix of “Promises Are Never Far From Lies” by Thievery Corporation as well as an animated video for the album version of the same track, directed by Tim Hendrix.
The album thus far has been available only digitally and on CD, on Nov. 1 the limited edition gatefold vinyl with artwork by Andy Votel (Finders Keepers) will be available.
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 first behind the scenes video is for their debut single “Dark Into Light” see here Additional behind the scenes studio footage of the the song “Somebody Like You” see here 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.)
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.
all dates w/ Peggy Sue
11/05 Montserrat House Washington, D.C.
11/07 Knitting Factory Brooklyn, NY
11/08 Beachland Tavern Cleveland, OH
11/09 Subterranean Chicago, IL
11/10 Turf St. Paul, MN
11/13 The Garrison Toronto, ON
11/14 La Sala Rossa Montreal, QC