Rob LaFond wasn’t a kid like you. He skipped classes and railed on the electric guitar he was given for his 14th birthday. He crashed sets at Worcester, Mass. blues clubs and he learned to play the entirety of Hendrix’s The Ultimate Experience by the time he was 15. He engineered a 16-track recording studio in his Vermont college dorm room because he needed a place to roll out his sound—which resulted in a long list of musicians waiting to work with him.

LaFond is folk artist who listens to rap. He’s eclectically immersed in classic rock, folk, doo-wop, and indie-Americana, but still regularly riffs on Wurlitzers, bongos, and Mexican mandolins. He’s down with old school hardbop jazz and cites a breadth of rock inspiration for his music, from Nirvana, to the Strokes to TV on the Radio, but he has still been known to snap up track samples from street noises and cell phone voicemails.

After establishing himself in New England for school, LaFond co-founded an experimental rock project Modern Loss, releasing an EP and touring around the east coast. But, not content with his own musical development, he traversed the country, eventually finding a home in Los Angeles working for Epitaph Records. Today, he puts time in at one of the largest national public radio stations in the nation, KCRW.

For 2007’s release Shadows in the Room, LaFond recorded himself on every instrument as a true ode to the album’s Americana worth-its-salt spirit. His upcoming release, When We Fly, builds on that classic Brill Building throwback sound, enlisting industry veterans like the Indie Mastermind producer Raymond Richards (Local Natives, honey honey, Ferraby Lionheart.) They recorded the EP in one week in Raymond’s West L.A Studio, Red Rockets Glare with music heavyweights bassist Jesse Ingalls (Ben Harper, Rickie Lee Jones), and drummer Adam Topol (Jack Johnson, Mason Jennings) in addition to his own skills. When We Fly reminisces on overcoming the struggle to gain a new view on life—a revivalist project with a distinctly modern voice.

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