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SUNDAY SOUNDS FROM THE UNDERGROUND • AM & SHAWN LEE

No Comments Alternative Sunday Sounds From The Underground

Alternative is alive and well my fellow kilSters! I know what you’re thinking, YIKES! alternative, what does that even mean anymore? But I’ve come to find that no matter what the genre, you can always find a gem where you least expect to. AM & Shawn Lee are such a gem. The duo released their first album Celestial Electric in 2011. Respectively, they were already accomplished artists before they decided to collaborate together. AM released his first album, Troubled Times, in 2005. This mellow alternative rocker of an album brought AM considerable attention and he followed Troubled Times with two more albums almost back to back (Soul Variations in 2008 and Future Sons & Daughters in 2009), with his star clearly on the rise.

YIKES! alternative,what does that mean anymore? But I’ve come to find that no matter what the genre, you can always find a gem where you least expect to. AM & Shawn Lee are such a gem.

Shawn Lee’s foray into music began in 1993 and 14 albums later he’s still at it. Hailing from Wichita, Kansas, Shawn Lee is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, game composer  (Shawn composed the music for “Bully” in 2006), and producer. In 2011 after AM first heard Lee’s “Music and Rhythm“, it prompted AM to contact Shawn Lee and through sending tracks to each other between Los Angeles and London, a collaboration developed resulting in “Celestial Electric“. The album itself is an alternative, trip hop infused, mellow moods type of record, incorporating 60’s style sounds for the modern era. The group’s first album is the equivalent of directionless driving with the top down with nothing but this album to guide you.

The group’s first album is the equivalent of directionless driving with the top down with nothing but this album to guide you.

With the success of “Celestial Electric” well behind them, AM & Shawn Lee did not just up and decide to rest on their phenomenal  accomplishment. After touring was completed on Celestial they were back in the studio recording their sophomore effort, “La Musique Numerique” which was released on May 7, 2013. The good time feeling felt by the first album carries itself to the latter. The music on this album specially feels dated circa 1983, not that that’s a bad thing. It’s not. It pays homage to what was good and pure about that era of music without making a parody of itself.

The music on this album specially feels dated circa 1983…It pays homage to what was good and pure about that era of music without making a parody of itself.

La Musicque Numerique on the whole could have been played all the way through by the deejay at a place like the China Club in New York City back when that club was still around. You know, the good old days, back when cocaine was as readily available as candy and it was still cool for men to embrace their androgynous side and walk out of the house in stretched leather pants, matching leather jacket, loud, garish makeup and if you were really high-class, a huge gold medallion hanging there in the middle of of your chest as the centerpiece that tied your whole outfit together. I know what you’re all probably thinking…”Is this about music or the bygone age of fashion?” It’s all about the music, but this latest effort by AM & Shawn Lee is so complete in it’s awesomeness, it’s really hard to separate it from an era that for it’s time, was lived out loud, (i.e, Day Glow, Genesis). La Musicque goes as far as to bring back the ethereal sound effects that were so prevalent to the pop music of the 1980’s. Nope, these boys want you to know what inspired their latest album without leaving you with the slightest bit of mystery.

the good old days, back when cocaine was as readily available as candy and it was still cool for men to embrace their androgynous side and walk out of the house in stretched leather pants, matching leather jacket, and if you were really high-class, a huge gold medallion hanging there in the middle of of your chest as the centerpiece that tied your whole outfit together.

Now I’ve heard about the recycling of fashion trends, but if this is any indication that this is where the underground dance scene is headed, I’d be quite happy to join in. Sure, it goes to show you that sometimes, there isn’t anything new under the sun, but when exactly did taht become such a bad thing? I bombard myself with a myriad of different types of music and it’s not always the case that because it’s new that it automatically makes it good as well. Where is that written in the guidebook? I’ll tell you where, nowhere, because there’s never been, nor will there ever be a guidebook when it comes to creating music because people will just do what they feel sounds good to them and hope that others like it too. This album is no exception, and I, for one, am sold. Now if only I could find where I put those red leather pants of mine, then the party could really begin…

http://www.amsounds.com/

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