(Editor’s Note: Guest writer Andrew B. White’s latest piece for Vehlinggo is a mixed review and interview centered on London-based Le Flex and his latest EP, Save Room for Dessert. Check it out.)
In late 2016 the album The Dancefloor Suite from London’s Le Flex caught my attention. A smoldering mix of 1980s-influenced UK smooth pop/funk and soul, the album channeled hints of George Michael, Imagination, and SAW (Stock Aitken & Waterman) with a sprinkling of house. It was certainly impressive stuff, as were the talents of Le Flex himself, single-handedly taking on all instrumentation and vocals on the album.
On Monday, reasonably quickly after the album, Le Flex released a brand new EP curiously titled Save Room For Dessert. Through his music and videos it’s apparent Le Flex has a sense of humor and the title for the EP is no exception.
The four-track EP opens with the late-night, edgy funk of “I’ll Never Find A Better Love” in the signature Le Flex style: great bassline, tasty keyboards, rhythmic guitars and of course those vocals.
“On The Weekend” introduces us to a more contemporary beat resulting in a fusion of old and new, and, to my mind, a little bit of Kruder & Dorfmeister’s K&D Sessions.
Le Flex certainly knows how to set set the scene for all the lovers (and wannabe lovers) out there. Not surprisingly then, “Lovers” swoons along a swelling ache.
The use of processed vocals here may not be to everyone’s taste, but like a lot of desserts, one man’s fruit cake is another’s crème brûlée.
“This Is Love” is quintessential Le Flex, lyrically and musically. Close your eyes while listing and you can picture Le Flex getting his mime on on Top Of the Pops circa 1988, with the cool kids, moms, and girlfriends all getting down together.
The EP closes with a reworked version of “When I Saw Your Face,” a short version of opener for The Dancefloor Suite. Here, it gets fleshed-out into a full-length ballad, worthy of the late George Michael himself.
Save Room For Dessert is enjoyable escapism into the world of lovers rock, Le Flex style. It’s worth checking out. Also make sure to check out Le Flex’s You Tube channel for some entertaining videos documenting the creation of his music
A Q&A: Le Flex on George Michael, Album-Making
I was lucky enough to have a quick chat with Le Flex and here’s what he had to say.
ABW: The title of the EP, Save Room For Dessert—Do you consider the EP “dessert” to your recent album?
Le Flex: Yeah, that’s what it is really. It’s only five months since the album came out and i’m already putting out something else, but not enough for a full album again. Plus, I’ve experimented a little bit with a couple of different styles just because it’s what’s been coming out of me. I hope people will be into it, but if not then the next release has some guaranteed “normal” Le Flex stuff.
Also on this EP, I’ve included the full length version of my intro song “When I Saw Your Face,” from the album. I only ever intended that idea to be the intro for the album and then suddenly it kind of took on a life of it’s own and I started getting messages asking for a longer version. I only ever made it short as I didn’t think anyone would be interested in a ballad. I was wrong there!
ABW: To me, Le Flex channels George Michael. How did his passing affect you?
Le Flex: It’s unreal that so many people say that. I get loads of comments from fans on my videos, etc., mentioning George Michael and it’s really quite strange.
Vocally speaking, I don’t deserve to shine his shoes, so it’s hard to see the comparison personally. He was the best male vocalist ever in my opinion — Richard Marx and Peter Cetera are next — and I’m constantly finding something new about his stuff that I love.
He is a massive influence on me and his music was never off the stereo when I was growing up. I got a pop-up news notification on my phone that he’d died, and I remember reading it like three times and not registering properly in my mind. A really surreal feeling.
ABW: What’s next for Le Flex — another album? Collaborations? Live shows?
Le Flex: Well, in the past year or so I’ve hit a massive vein of creativity, and songs are just pouring out of me. I’m in two minds whether to just put out an album every six months or whether to keep them back in case I suddenly hit a block and can’t write anymore — haha.
I’ll either put another album out in summer or at the very least another EP and then go from there. What I’d really love to do is go on tour and play some live shows. I’ve got all the gear ready, but haven’t made a start on setting anything up yet. I suppose I should get a booking agent.
I’ve had a couple of collaborations in the works, but I’ve cancelled them all because they weren’t sounding like I wanted. So at the moment there’s none, but maybe in the future I might entertain the idea again.
Le Flex’s is available via Bandcamp, among other avenues.