By Zach Collier
“I swear, if Provo Music Magazine doesn’t do a writeup about my upcoming self-titled EP, the Le Country Club EP, coming out Monday, December 20th, then I will quit music and break Carson Ripley’s guitar.”
And so went the brief video message that Noah Lefgren tagged us in on Instagram. Out of concern for Carson Ripley’s guitar and a burning desire to not see another promising Provo artist quit music to become an orthodontist, I am reviewing this EP purely out of obligation.
Joking aside, Lefgren’s video message got my attention. The man behind Utah act Le Country Club, Lefgren’s dry humor and unorthodox approach are accurately represented in the kind of music he makes and how he describes it. He originally envisioned Le Country Club as a “fictitious and elitist society made up of mentally unstable rich people who spend too much time taking Adderall and drinking caffeine.” I would describe his music this way: imagine what would happen if slacker rockers Sego became cyborgs, downloaded the entire internet to their brains, and then wrote songs for Odd Future.
A prime example of Internet Music, Le Country Club is a crazy, groovy amalgamation of R&B, funk, and electronica with vocals that owe a lot to mumble rap but feel more grunge than hip-hop. “never mind pt.1” is a perfect example of this. Lazily delivered, the vocals feel like Beck’s “Loser” in a modern context: auto-tuned and layered over Lil Peep guitars and Chicago hip-hop beats that would make Animate Objects proud before dropping into some relaxing jazz chords and fuzzy flute-like synths.
All of this works in the same way a good collage works. The fact that such disparate elements work together to form such a cohesive whole is a testament to how good Lefgren is as a producer, audio engineer, and multi-instrumentalist.
I think my only problems with this record are 1) how short it is, as every song is under 3 minutes and they end right as they’re getting good and 2) that one of the more challenging songs on the record – “u don’t even smoke” – is the opening track. I probably would have led with “cheap,” one of my favorite tracks on the EP. I worry that Lefgren’s strange, formant shifted and phased vocals on the opener could turn potential listeners away from the entire record. All that being said, I feel like the short songs leave me wanting more, so I keep coming back to them. I also feel like Lefgren’s music is for a very specific type of listener, and presenting them with the more challenging material up front helps find true fans faster. I mean, the opening number immediately snagged me. So maybe the two things I listed aren’t problems after all.
There are so many interesting and varied influences crammed into this record that it’s hard to comprehend and make sense of, but in a good way. I’m not sure what to definitively call Le Country Club. Whatever it is, I like it.
Make sure to follow Le Country Club on Instagram and check out “never mind pt.1” below!