As the leader of 80’s/90’s power pop group The Sighs, Robert LaRoche knows how to wring everything of emotional significance from songs encased in euphoric rhythms and malleable melodies. There’s a compelling simplicity to those early tracks, a subtle weight in their movements that anchors the transitory energies held within. After stepping aside from the band, he began working with Texas pop-rock songwriter Patricia Vonne before focusing once more on his own creativities, eventually releasing his solo debut album, Patient Man, in 2015.
Aiding LaRoche in his various musical endeavors has been Oscar-winning songwriter and producer John DeNicola, who has been working to shape these sounds since The Sighs released their debut album back in 1992. And for LaRoche’s upcoming record, Forevermore, he once again enlisted DeNicola to create something informed of their past collaborations but instilled with a unique vision and purpose.
“Collaborating with John is an absolute pleasure, as he’s full of musical curiosity and makes the recording process extremely enjoyable,” says LaRoche. “He’s a strong advocate for experimentation, so whatever idea one or both of us had was given a try.” Recorded at DeNicola’s studio in upstate New York, the new album is occasionally lush in appearance but guided by a lyricism which is stripped of all pretenses and lays bare its honest perspective through plainspoken sentiment and experience. Old friends also make an appearance here, as The Sighs drummers Tommy Pluta and Rom Borawski lend their talents alongside guitarist Zonder Kennedy, violinist David Perales, and cellist Brian Standefer.
Forevermore is a tribute to personal connections, to relationships forged and sometimes strained, and to an uncynical romanticism often left to wither in the wake of broken hearts. “Love, loss, redemption and most importantly hope are the basic essence of these songs,” Laroche explains. He seeks to show people that despite the hardships involved, the relationships we cultivate are the very things which allow us to experience life in all its absurdist wonder.
On the record’s title track, LaRoche develops a sentimentality born of familial longevity, an ode to the good and bad years his parents have shared over the course of their 70-year relationship. Strings ripple and shiver against acoustic guitar and a voice worn but not without hope. There’s a clarity, a sense of musical directness in the way he details the ache and the joy that echoes within those decades. It’s a gorgeous and captivating look at sustained affection and how its’ contours can blunt the weariness of time.
“‘Forevermore’ is a tribute to my parents’ 70 year love affair,” he reveals. “I wrote the song on New Years Eve of 2020; just five days before my Father’s imminent passing. Its about moving forward in the face of loss and fear.“
Listen to the song below.
You can purchase the single here and pre-order the CD here.
Robert LaRoche’s upcoming album, Forevermore, is due out September 19 via Omad Records. Follow him on Facebook.