Thom LaFond talks solo album ‘The Moon Leans In’

LaFond’s upcoming concert and album release party will be at the Supermoon in Boulder on Feb. 3, with an opening act by Dan Hochman.

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(Graphic Illustration by Lee Billiot | The Collegian)

Kota Babcock, Arts and Culture Director

Named for his time spent under the stars while recording, Thom LaFond’s debut album “The Moon Leans In” traverses genres to create melodies that stick with listeners. Recorded in rural Lyons, Colorado, LaFond said his album takes inspiration from musicians like Mac Miller and Billie Holiday.

LaFond released the album’s first single, “In a Hurry” in mid-2021. The song features a slow and steady drumbeat with LaFond’s soft and soothing vocals. It’s reminiscent of Hozier verses and has a unique Colorado feel to it.

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“I think I found a genre that I can kind of call my own. But this album wasn’t about that. It was more about capturing the things I like to do and the things I hear.” -Thom LaFond, singer-songwriter

With his roots in swing and indie music, LaFond’s new album features songs written at various points in his life. He described them as a “fruit salad” of works from his career.

“Many of the songs on (the) album are from up to 10 years ago,” LaFond said. “Some of them I wrote for the studio or a week before or the day I recorded the vocals.”

LaFond’s musical upbringing involved playing guitar, despite the new album excluding guitar solos and focusing instead on lyrics. The new album shows an evolution in his writing and performing style since his band, Banshee Tree, released their album in August 2021.

In his recent works with Banshee Tree, LaFond’s swing roots and indie influences are incredibly present. In several songs from “The Moon Leans In,” listeners can notice his new influences and shifting genre.

Despite the overall music industry’s interest in using genre as a branding method, LaFond said his record label gave him some freedom in playing a variety of genres.

“I think I found a genre that I can kind of call my own,” LaFond said. “But this album wasn’t about that. It was more about capturing the things I like to do and the things I hear.”

As LaFond works to brand himself as a newer musical artist, having the opportunity to work with his own perceptions of his music rather than taking on a larger producer’s expectations allowed him to deliver a product that is incredibly intimate in comparison to many other new indie albums.

In addition to new influences, LaFond worked with analog recording devices, placing new limitations on how he could produce the album’s sounds. While he typically would have layered vocals and instruments separately, he found himself with a new challenge to overcome that shaped the dream-like essence of the album.

“When I got into the logistics of creating the budget and finding the musicians, I realized I had some limitations,” LaFond said. “The arrangements kind of came out of trying to strip down the album to basically record everything with four people live.”

The result of the album’s live-style recording is a melodic sound that hooks listeners quickly and carries them through each song. All the album’s tracks work together despite shifts in genre.

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“In a Hurry” was recorded at LaFond’s home with layering techniques, and even without these techniques, he brings a romantic energy in. He’s excited to release new songs from the album, which feature a stripped-down, live sound that disregards the heavy use of effects often seen in indie music.

Much of the album was shaped by LaFond’s time in nature while writing the album, with his favorite recent concert being at the Gold Hill Inn in Boulder, Colorado, which features a log cabin vibe.

LaFond’s upcoming concert and album release party will be at Supermoon in Boulder Feb. 3 with an opening act by Dan Hochman. His album can be found on Spotify and SoundCloud Feb. 3, and LaFond’s single, “In a Hurry,” is available now.

Reach Kota Babcock at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @KotaBabcock.