The Stan Laurels
The Stan Laurels, founded in 2007 and based in Austin, Texas, USA, are the musical creation of earthling Sound Scientist John Lathrop. The epitome of "indie," Lathrop takes independent ownership of every aspect of music production (all the way down to the album cover art and liner notes), as he writes, plays, sings, records, produces, and releases his music on his own label, Plaid Records. Lathrop, born and raised in Central Florida, comes from a musical family; growing up, he was constantly exploring his parents' legendary record collection that spans decades and countless genres, and then jumping behind his dad's drum kit to play his favorites. Self-taught in every instrument, he has an underdog mentality that drives him to keep getting better with each song he writes. The culmination of Lathrop's musical vocabulary and this relentless drive, The Laurels have a big, lush, multi-layered pop/rock sound that feels both vintage and modern. The music is solidly rooted in the melodic mod-pop sensibilities of the 1960s (think Beatles/Zombies/Kinks), but truly spans a myriad of styles, including power-pop, psychedelic, progressive, folk, and occasionally a twist of classical.
Lathrop has released two full-length albums as The Stan Laurels, with one more finished and ready for release in June 2018. His debut, Death of the Sun (2009), is a sprawling, nearly 60-minute-long epic psychedelic pop/rock concept album about alien abduction on the surface, with much deeper personal metaphorical meaning in the words and music. This record garnered applause and quickly led to an opportunity to move into the film industry (Lathrop was a Radio-Television-Film major in college, so it made sense), as he was immediately asked to write and record the score and original songs for the motion picture Billi & Theodore, the soundtrack of which became his second full-length release, Billi & Theodore: Music from the Motion Picture (2013). This is a more stripped-down acoustic guitar-based record than its everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink predecessor, but still maintains The Laurels' signature rich, lush fullness and surpasses it in production quality. For this effort, Lathrop won the award for Best Music and Sound Design at the 2013 May Day Film Festival in Indianapolis, IN.
With Maybe, The Laurels' upcoming third album, Lathrop has created something special and original: a film soundtrack that is also a pure stand-alone rock record. The lyrics are centered around characters and themes in the fictional Maybe Shower universe, but one does not need to know the movie to appreciate or understand the music. Paying homage to his power-pop and rock heroes, this is Lathrop's heaviest album yet, full of loud, crunchy guitars, big hooks, pounding drums, space-age synths, and melodic guitar solos, while still being as poppy as ever. The LP is also unique in that it's The Stan Laurels' first release on vinyl! Feedback has been stellar, and the result is a bigger, tighter, more powerful, more accessible sound, while still staying true to The Laurels' signature strong melodic drive, thick beats and bass lines, clever lyrics, unexpected twists, and splashes of psychedelia. The title track, "Maybe," was one of just four finalists for Best Song at L.A. Cinefest in 2018 and Maybe Shower won Best Feature at the 2018 Portland Comedy Film Festival and Best Screenplay at the 2017 Austin Comedy Film Festival.
Experimenting with many different musical styles, yet always maintaining an unwavering, strong sonic sense of self, John Lathrop is a unique force of nature, an audial auteur like no other artist. And to his delight, his loving creation, The Stan Laurels, can be found gracing film screens as often as radios. Modern science has officially classified the listening experience as "The scientifically engineered combination of everything and nothing you've ever heard."
The Stan Laurels’s tracks