Octave Records artist Thom LaFond’s latest album, Lawless, tells a remarkable tale: a wildly imaginative story about a romance between a human and an alien. The album blends synthesizers, acoustic instruments and vocals into an aural landscape that is unlike anything LaFond – or anyone – has ever done, and has a pop/rock feel that finds LaFond venturing from his deep singer/songwriter roots into expanded musical and lyrical territory. The Pure DSD recording showcases the eclectic instrumentation and arrangements on Lawless in spectacular audio quality.
As LaFond describes it: “While walking through the forest at night, the human encounters a magnificent shimmering creature. The human’s immediate infatuation intrigues the visitor, and the two make a pact to love and protect each other. The initiation phase is blindingly beautiful.
“The toils and tribulations of an unconventional love begin to haunt the characters, as the world casts shadows on them. The time spent together in hiding offers a glimpse into the alien’s violent side. In a swift decision, the alien abducts the human, promising eternal life in space.
“The trust is now broken. The human obsessively looks over their shoulder, constantly questioning their sense of safety. Life on the spacecraft is cold, mechanical, and lifeless. Newfound immortality feels more like a curse than a blessing, as lifetimes on Earth pass by. Transfixed by grief, the human mourns for friends and family they left behind. Jealousy overtakes the alien, its who directs anger to the place that has stolen its lover’s attention.”
The story takes a number of unexpected paths from there…
Lawless features Thom LaFond on vocals, synthesizers, keyboards, guitars and other instruments, with major collaboration from Chris Duffy on synths, keyboards, drum machine and percussion. Additional musicians, many of whom have recorded for Octave Records, include Katie Mintle (vocals), Emily Lutz (vocals), Forrest Kelly (drums), Michelle Pietrafitta (drums, percussion), Enion Pelta-Tiller (fadolin, an instrument like a six-string violin), Tom Amend (organ), Jay Elliott (drum synth), and Jonathan Galle (tambourine).
The album was produced by LaFond and Duffy, recorded by Jay Elliott at Octave Studios, and mastered by Gus Skinas using Octave Records’ cutting-edge Pure DSD 256 technology on the Pyramix recording system. The album conveys the songs with stunning audiophile fidelity, from the deep bass on “I Will Love You” to the expansive synthesizer layers of “Fifty-Three Portals to the Soul” and LaFond’s warm, intimate vocals throughout. The album offers interesting musical and sonic juxtapositions, such as Pelta-Tiller’s fadolin shining through the synth-heavy mix on “So Criminal,” and the unexpectedly sweet vocal harmonies and upbeat melody of the closing song, “I Thought You Died.”
Lawless features Octave’s premium gold disc formulation, and the disc is playable on any SACD, CD, DVD, or Blu-ray player. It also has a high-resolution DSD layer that is accessible by using any SACD player or a PS Audio SACD transport. In addition, the master DSD and PCM files are available for purchase and download, including DSD 256, DSD 128, DSD 64, and DSDDirect Mastered 352.8 kHz/24-bit, 176.2 kHz/24-bit, 88.2 kHz/24-bit, and 44.1 kHz/24-bit PCM. (SRP: $19 – $39, depending on format.)
“Lawless is a totally different musical project for Thom LaFond and Octave Records,” noted executive producer Jessica Carson. “It’s both grand and intimate in scope, and each time you listen, more sonic and emotional depth is revealed.”