Le Switch, a band name which is damn hard to say without affecting a bad French accent, has added another notch to a year whose belt is already full. The notches, in this case, count the bands who have released albums that, genuinely and without schmaltz, channel classic rock and pop tropes through a modern sounding release. And Now…Le Switch falls more on the side of head-bobbing Dr. Dog than reflective-nod-inducing Blitzen Trapper, but the results are immediately identifiable and repeatedly enjoyable.
The key here is flow. With albums like this, and especially with bands I’m not overly familiar – which most people won’t be on a debut LP – I prefer that the album is kept short. In this case, ten tracks is a perfect digestible portion. It allows the band, fronted by the dynamic Aaron Kyle, to get in, get out and leave a sweet aftertaste.
And it’s Kyle’s voice that serves as one of Le Switch’s biggest boons. He sings in a style that takes occasional flights into a grittier, yowling energy that is thrilling and when they do appear in songs like “Give Me Something,” their proto-Waitsian growl is an infusion and a rush. It’s the sound of someone abandoning self-consciousness and turning to sheer emotion and performance.
The loose-limbed feel of the album recalls a Basement Tapes type atmosphere. Fully integrated and fleshed out; an impressive feat for a band with only a prior EP under their belt and two years as a band. Available now via AD’s label Autumn Tone. words/j. neas
MP3: Le Switch :: Simple Gifts
MP3: Le Switch :: Country Song
Purchase: Le Switch – And Now…Le Switch