Already the name of the album shows the direction: “AM Waves” refers to the late ‘70s, when West Coast and AOR dominated the waves from New York to LA and artists like Hall & Oates, The Eagles and Steely Dan led the charts. YGSF absorb all these different influences and moods into their own music without ever plagiarizing their idols.
Their songs, which in all their freshness and attention to detail sound like always beloved classics, show that they can do it up to the highest level of craftsmanship. The single “Take It or Leave It” is a clever reminiscence of The Doobie Brothers of the Michael McDonald era. “Mojo Rising” leans his groove on the Ace classic “How Long”, while “Caroline”, a song about the famous British pirate radio station based on a ship in the North Sea, is a musically bow to the great artists of British pop history such as Paul McCartney and Electric Light Orchestra. Every crisp hook, every smooth harmony on this album fits like a glove.
A real win for the YGSF sound is the five-piece horn section “The Seaweed Horns”, with the sublime arrangements by trombonist Nichol Thomson. This horns give “Underdog” an extra dose of funk and let YGSF in “Kingston Boogie” – one of the highlights of the album – even shake their hips on the dance floor to a sweaty midnight disco groove.
“AM Waves” ends with the beginning. Even before Young Gun Silver Fox existed, there was “Lolita”, the first song that the duo wrote together. Despite to the optimistic smoothness of the music, the often melancholic, slightly nostalgic lyrics let always resonate the transience that surrounds all beauty. This gives the second album even more depth.
“AM Waves” is definitely a summer album, especially for the mellow sunset moments or the evening cruising – whether along Venice Beach or in London. We are already looking forward to the next chapter of this great musical journey.
This review was first released in 2018