Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
It's scary how much certain bands or writers make me want to grouse and mull on about the weather. Surely, this isn't just a personal flaw or anything that I should be hugely embarrassed about. It must happen a lot - that songs and the way things sound reminding us of either the woods, wide-open spaces, driving down an evacuated, nighttime highway with a huge soda and a sack of beer jerky, the bustling city or the way the wind or the sun strikes us when we pull ourselves out from beneath the roofs that we love to hide under most of the time. It could just be that these urges produce themselves because, whether we like it or not, we get surrounded by the weather. It's not like it hits us here and there, but not so much over here and definitely not there. It's all or nothing and that's the way great songwriting is too. It just works us over completely, a full-body massage or a full-body agitation. Both can be good, depending on the mood that you find yourself in.
Today, as I'm listening to AM & Shawn Lee on a repetitive cycle, a real repeater's heaven, it's coming as the afternoon has degenerated into one of those all-encompassing weather days, where it's flash snowing. It's thick and it's just piling up without much mercy. It's started and it looks like it's never going to calm down and stop. The snow is throwing a real tantrum and everyone's cursing it, swerving and sliding through it, just trying not to get themselves or anyone else killed. There's nothing to do, but just let it get all over you and everything else.
AM & Shawn Lee music gets us to these parts of wonderful immersion, where we're stuff looking out at it, trying to make out every ounce of it. Hearing their album, "Celestial Electric," is like starting out at the snowstorm and trying to track the paths of a dozen flakes all at once, realizing that your eyes are splitting into dozens of directions, but it feels good to be doing it. It's getting out into the weather, letting it envelope us and feeling what cold, but warmed up cheeks feel like, how they're working extra hard and are mostly getting the job done, not letting any of the cold sink in too much. AM and Lee have perfected a collaborative musical relationship that brings about these intricate and groove-filled dreamscapes that are every bit organic and every bit mad genius, these guys knowing exactly which buttons to press on everyone to get them to respond in kind to a piece of music. It's a swarm of bees and bullets, hot wires, hot feet, soft features, bare legs, tops down, expensive drinks, sun burns, wind burn and a gratifying sense that it's all coming together into a chuggable brew. We keep our lips to it and sip it instead, savoring the everything qualities of it.