Young Gun Silver Fox Create Best Yacht Rock Album Of Last 35 Years With ‘AM Waves’ (INTERVIEW)

Andy Platts and Shawn Lee of Young Gun Silver Fox shouldn’t dismiss the term yacht rock when describing their new album AM Waves and its brand of of 70’s SoCal-infused pop rock that recalls Ambrosia, Doobie Brothers and to a modern day extent Mayer Hawthorne and Chromeo. Recorded at The Shop in London and Roffey Hall in the English countryside, the U.S/British duo’s second LP. AM Waves may very well be perhaps the best yacht rock lp of the last 35 years?  All moustaches, Michael McDonald references and captain hats aside – Young Gun Silver Fox aren’t hiding their musical influences.

“We’re not afraid to celebrate the gimmicks and use them playfully to our advantage (palm trees, beaches, yachts etc), besides it helps give people a clear indication of what our music sounds like, which ain’t a bad thing,” says Platts about his band’s lean towards AM friendly breezes. “In a modern day scene where music is so homogenised and everyone is desperately trying to come up with the newest freshest sound, there’s something to be said for what we’re doing – there’s a real clarity and identity.”

Listeners may remember Lee for his work with AM entitled “AM & Shawn Lee” whose debut album in 2011 was received to rave reviews for its daring take on futuristic soul. When Lee initially heard Andy’s funk soul band Mamas Gun he knew a collaboration was in order and recognized the Londoner had both the soul and classic song melodic song craft in spades. Lee self financed the album and employed an engineer named Pierre Duplan who is a genius of what he does. I think that every aspect of the writing,recording and mixing process has to be spot on in this music particularly from the melodies, the instruments and performances. In reflection of the sounds the duo put together a horn section dubbed the Seaweed Horns in honor of the Seawind Horns in honor of the late 70’s outfit that collaborated with Earth Wind & Fire, Michael Jackson, George Benson and others.

“I knew that together we could really nail the West Coast vibe and boy did that turn out to be true,” proudly claims Lee who produced the album amidst his projects for Saint Etienne, Shawn Lee’s Ping Pong Orchestra, and several other acts. He certainly had a clear vision when meeting up with Platts.

“We wanted to reference the music in particular that Shawn grew up with living in Kansas, and that both of us love and appreciate,” says Platts. “Taking the AM Gold sound as a starting point and then creating songs which are very much our own has given us an updated, authentic take on the Soft Rock/ West Coast sound.

“This era of radio music made a really big impact on me, adds Lee.” The desired intent of Young Gun Silver Fox is to take this musical inspiration and pick up where it left off and make classic new music.”

Classic meets 2018 is just what’s needed in a current era which has been oversaturated with new-wave flourishes. For a minute you hear shades of Boz Scaggs on the slick shuffle of “Mojo Rising” to the “What A Fool Believes” Doobie keyboard karma of “Take It Or Leave It and the soulful Earth Wind & Fire escapade of “Just A Man.”Listen even more and Ace’s 1974 hit “How Long” tastefully falls into the ears of listeners on more than one occasion.

While current musicians the duo have been getting down to include: Home Shake, Mac Demarco, Monophonics, Adrien Younge, Mocky, Mamas Gun, Ping Pong Orchestra, Diane Birch, Jonathan Jeremiah – there are plenty of other modern nuances at work here. The buzz is building on AM Waves and offers listeners an original flair where tribute bands like Yacht Rock Revue and original 70’s one hit wonder “AM Gold” bands with one original member left, trog out to small venues to revisit that leisure sound.

“The buzz is building organically off the quality of the music and I can see it has legs. I think if we could do some support gigs for the likes of Hall & Oates, Michael McDonald, Steely Dan etc. We could absorb their whole fan base who maybe aren’t that up on new current music. In terms of the younger audience , I think we can crossover there too. We are starting to see a really cross-generational audience in Holland which is really cool. Pitchfork in the US just gave us a really good review so it proves my feeling that we can be seen thru new eyes as being something new and hip on the scene,” says Lee.

For now keep your ears out for Young Gun Silver Fox, as every movement, including hair metal is due for its rightful revival – except this duo might very well be legit, creating perhaps the best Yacht Rock album of the last 35 years.

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