Thursday, November 04, 2010

Le Switch: Record Release and Show Tonight at Spaceland

I don't normally re-print press releases, but I guess I'll make an exception for one that wrote. They're also streaming the new album at Bandcamp and debuted their new single at LA Weekly.

When Los Angeles’ Le Switch decided to go into the studio to record the follow up to 2008’s And Now….Le Switch, they mulled their options. With the departure of their longtime viola/trumpet player they wanted to sharpen their focus and make a truly collaborative record. With too many distractions in Los Angeles, the remaining four members opted to head north to Hangar Studios in Sacramento (Vetiver, Broken West, The Morning Benders).

The change in environment worked its magic. Singer/guitarist Aaron Kyle opened up the songwriting process and the other three members contributed lyrics and production ideas, organically pushing the band in new directions. At their core, the new songs retain the soulful, early 1970’s rock ‘n’ roll approach of the first album, but as if filtered through the pop half of Jon Brion’s brain.

Josh Charney’s presence is felt profoundly; there are very few songs when the first note played isn’t from an upright piano, organ, Wurlitzer or Moog. He also contributes the almost Petty-esque track, “Bad Decisions.” Christopher Harrison (who also plays bass) punctures all the toe-tapping in the songs with jagged guitar solos. Drummer Joe Napolitano (Henry Clay People, Princeton, The Northstar Session) once again engineers, contributes the occasional guitar riff and even plays keys on his late-period Beatles-inspired contribution, “How We Imagined It.”

Aaron Kyle’s voice (both literally and figuratively) is front and center in the mix. Flavorpill described him as “one of the most seductive and mournful voices around, running the gamut from yodel to Hank Williams warble” and the LA Times said he “sings as if he’s never five minutes from his last whiskey , or five minutes from his next.”  Lyrically, Kyle explores classic, personal themes like: falling in love, falling out of love, searching for your place, finding your passion, Sisyphean struggles and succumbing to desperation. 

When asking the band about the meaning behind the album title (The Rest of Me is Space) I was told a little story of their Halloween in Sacramento. The band was taking a break from recording and Christopher called home to say hello to his wife and daughter. They had just returned from a costume party. His wife, Bridget, mentioned being particularly impressed with one of the little boy’s costumes. When she asked the boy to explain it, the boy said, “I’m Saturn (a large blue, orange and yellow bulb with rings covered his head), and the rest of me is space” wearing black pajamas with glitter. The band fell in love with the story and when they saw the actual photo of him, it was decided that this be the name of the record.

Le Switch is ecstatic to have Paul Larson (The Minor Canon, Strictly Ballroom, DNTEL) join them on bass for their upcoming tour. Their record release show takes place at Spaceland (in their home base of Silver Lake) on November 4th. They’ll follow that up with a West Coast tour that will take them through the new year.

MP3: Call Out
MP3: All About Heart

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