Album: AM & Shawn Lee, Celestial Electric (ESL)


Cult LA singer-songwriter AM and cult London beatmaster Shawn Lee share a taste for the outré, so it seemed only natural that they should collaborate on Celestial Electric.

Sweetened with things like glockenspiel and marimba, along with a warehouseful of obscure analogue keyboards, Lee's rhythm tracks provide subtly scuttling beds for AM's songs and sweet soul falsetto: the desolate edge it lends to "Lonely Life" is the making of the song.

Together, these outsider talents create an engaging blend of slinky Tropicalia, soulful Bacharachia, and enigmatic Euro-thriller themes. Its snaky shuffle and lowering synth pad make "Dark into Light" a standout track, and "Somebody Like You" has genuine pop charm, while their lovely version of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils' "Jackie Blue" is a guilty pleasure deluxe.

Download this: Dark into Light; Somebody Like You; Jackie Blue