Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is “Two Times’” by AM & Shawn Lee, from the 2013 album La Musique Numerique on Park the Van.
Although they hail from New Orleans and Kansas, respectively, AM & Shawn Lee’s music reflects anything but those places. Instead, their electronic-soul hybrid incorporates the tones of France, Italy, Detroit, and San Francisco to form a smooth, groove-heavy mix that oozes the duo’s natural charisma. Originally, the pair had embarked on individual careers for some time, but their collaboration began in 2011 when AM contacted Lee after hearing his track “Music and Rhythm” on the radio in Los Angeles. Bonding over their shared love of ’60s psychedelia and Italo-disco, the duo quickly released their first album, Celestial Electric, which was quickly and effortlessly crafted shortly after. Since then, the duo have been on the road touring with drummer Brett Bixby. A slithery, silver mid-tempo jam from their second album, “Two Times” melds a handful of sounds from the late ’70s - Giorgio Moroder-style disco, smooth, pop-inflected R&B, heady atmospheres - and pushes them all to the top of the mix in a swirling, flowing breeze of a tune. As AM sings lyrics condemning political corruption, hazy soundscapes rush over him, covering his solemn message in lush, psychedelic sounds. Although it doesn’t seem that AM’s wish for bi-partisanship is going to happen anytime soon, “Two Times” is something almost as good: a song that’s just as easy to get lost in laying on your bed as it is on the dancefloor.
Keep track of AM & Shawn Lee at their website and Facebook ahead of their June 14th show at Chop Suey. Get tickets and info about that show here, and watch the duo play “Somebody Like You” live at KEXP in 2011 here: