[Music] How Young Gun Silver Fox + Mamas Gun (Andy Platts) saved my 2020
[Scroll down for Spotify Playlist]
'How is it possible that these guys are not ultra famous?' was the first thing that came to mind on a cold winter morning of 2020. I was listening to 'AM Waves' – Young Gun Silver Fox's album released in 2018 – a mixture of new sounds made old, with a West Coast aesthetic that reminisces 70s pop, rock & soul.
AOR or Yacht Rock is what this is, a genre that in it's purest form evoques the sights of sandy beaches, cliffs, blue oceans, convertible cars on an open highway with a cold breeze that combs your hair. This is the place, paradise if you will, where both Young Gun Silver Fox and Mamas Gun have taken me as we sheltered in place for months.
Less than a million reproductions on Spotify was the number I found on some of the AM Waves tracks when I discovered them. Chronicle of having me in the top 0.05% of listeners foretold, of course. The album hits all the right spots, from more dance oriented tunes like Kingston Boogie, passing through sweet soft-rock ballads like Mojo Rising. The sound is enveloping, the engineering work sublime and the craftsmanship of the songs shines through. Thoughtful lyrics is the cherry on top. It will make you want to hit repeat, repeat and repeat, again.
But this shouldn't come as a surprise since Platts played on Corinne Bailey Rae's first release and his associates in Mamas Gun include the musical director for Lisa Stansfield and a guitarist that has played with legends like Leon Ware. Mamas Gun has also supported amazing R&B/Soul acts like Ben L'Oncle Soul (magical Motown like French soul sing-songwriter), Raphael Saadiq and Beverley Knight. This musical pedigree – based on soul, rock and R&B – shines through in their compositions that I can only describe as 'jamais vûs' or 'timeless classics that sound awfully familiar but have never heard before'.
As with everything, artistry and fame have an odd relationship. Talent doesn't have a linear causal relationship with it – although maybe it should. Mamas Gun hit big in Japan – where AOR has still a considerable following – but we, in the west have been passing on the opportunity in spite of glowing reviews in newspapers and music magazines.
In short, a gem, to be treasured by all of us who enjoy the likes of Hall and Oates, Boz Scaggs, Joey Dosik, Steely Dan and, iconically, Robbie Dupree's hit Steal Away.
“When he poured that sweet, sweet wine. We were golden for the night. And every day was a time to celebrate.” – Kingston Boogie
Listen to my selection on Spotify: 'Andy Platts for when times are rough'
Follow them on social media, specially @younggunsilverfox and @mamasgun_uk
See you in another adventure,