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Critically acclaimed indie pop artist AM and groove master Shawn Lee have created a new album of “electro soul” that will be showcased through live performances on March 17 & 18 at the SxSW Music and Media Conference in Austin, Texas.

The as-yet-unnamed album – the first-ever collaboration between AM and Lee -- will be released in May 2011 with a 12-inch single available in April.

The new album promises to push the boundaries of soul, pop, electronica and Latin grooves. Strategic Revolution Media Group client AM combines several musical styles including pop, soul and R&B, tropicalia, British Invasion and '60s psychedelia. His music has been compared to the likes of Beck and Jeff Tweedy. His album Future Sons & Daughters was named in the Top 100 albums of 2010 by Rough Trade, given a four-star rating by Q and a five out of five-star rating by U.K. Sunday Express as “one of the great pop albums of the year.”

Lee, who also records as Shawn Lee’s Ping Pong Orchestra, is well known as an innovative instrumentalist whose music spans funk, soul, acid jazz, and electronica. Lee’s landmark recording Strings and Things: Ubiquity Studio Sessions, Volume 3 was described by music critic site Allmusic.com as is “a hotbed of mischievous imagination, intense focus, and crazy mad technique, as well as loads of fun.” Lee has also collaborated with artists ranging from Jeff Buckley to producer Clutchy Hopkins (the latter as Clutch of the Tiger).

According to Strategic Revolution Media Group, the collaboration between AM and Lee started after AM heard Lee’s Music and Rhythm album on the radio in Los Angeles. After AM reached out to Lee, the two became quick friends, sharing a similar love for vintage grooves and ‘60s and ‘70s soundtrack music.

The two decided to record together after AM played guitar on a few of Lee’s Ping Pong Orchestra shows (including KCRW’s “Morning Becomes Eclectic”) in summer 2010. Lee, armed with a four-track and other vintage tape machines in his London studio, started sending AM drum and percussion beats over the Christmas holiday in December. AM took the beats into the studio in Los Angeles and wrote songs and lyrics over the grooves, adding guitars, Casio synths, vocals and occasional bass.

Lee added more instrumentation such as bass, keys, guitars, glockenspiel and other assorted instruments. Lee then mixed the tracks in his groove lab, co-producing the tracks with AM, resulting in a special brand of electro soul that will rock SxSW 2011.

The new music occurs amid busy period of touring and recording for both AM and Lee. AM spent 2010 on the road opening for AIR, Caetano Veloso and Charlotte Gainsbourg while Lee played Bonnaroo and toured the west coast of the United States. Their recording will build off a music portfolio that has appeared in more than 200 movies and television shows, with AM’s music appearing in shows like Big Love and Friday Night Lights and Lee’s in Desperate Housewives and Lost.

AM’s music and more about this album collaboration can be explored on his website www.amsounds.com, Facebook www.facebook.com/am, MySpace www.myspace.com/amsounds, Twitter www.twitter.com/amsounds and YouTube www.youtube.com/amsounds.

My Artists Sessions

Friday, March 18