Rob Laakso, a longtime guitarist and multi-instrumentalist in Kurt Vile & the Violators and Swirlies, died this previous Thursday (Might 4), his spouse Mamie-Claire Cornelius confirmed in an Instagram publish. Laakso was identified with cholangiocarcinoma, a uncommon and aggressive type of bile duct most cancers. “You’re the gentle of my life and the one slightest sliver of peace I’ve is that you’re now not in ache. We’ll be dreaming of you each night time till we see you once more,” wrote Cornelius. He was 44.
“After praying for a miracle each day since he was identified my prayers lately modified to a peaceable dwelling departure surrounded by love. I notice now each day we had collectively was a miracle,” Cornelius wrote in an replace on GoFundMe to cowl prices of Laakso’s most cancers therapy. “I’m additionally attempting to recollect for myself and for instance to hold out to our youngsters how a lot Rob liked life, he was at all times busy with a brand new undertaking to raised himself, writing a brand new track, prepared for an journey, desperate to attempt a brand new restaurant, go for a hike, take a sauna – so please go dwell life and check out one thing new for him whenever you really feel an ache creeping in. Go profit from it; he pushed by means of a lot simply to sit down and bask within the pleasure of our youngsters working by means of bubbles within the yard… that was absolute residing to him in our most up-to-date days. It doesn’t should be grand, simply benefit from the current deeply.”
Kurt Vile thought-about Laakso to be his recording companion, taking part in a number of devices with each the Violators and on his solo materials. After first contributing to 2009’s God Is Saying This to You, Laakso went on to carry out on his albums Smoke Ring for My Halo, Wakin on a Pretty Daze, B’lieve I’m Goin Down…, and Bottle It In. His final studio report with Vile was 2022’s Watch My Moves. Laakso was additionally a staple of the Violators lineup on the highway as nicely, performing with Vile throughout his album tours, festival sets, and his NPR “Tiny Desk Concert.”
Earlier than crossing paths with Vile, Laakso performed guitar within the shoegaze band Swirlies, showing on their 2000 album Damon, Andy, Rob, Ron: The Sure Ladies, 2003’s Cats of the Wild Volume 2, and 2005’s Swirlies’ Magic Strop: Winsome Zamula’s Hammer of Contumely. Laakso was a member of indie rock group Mice Parade for a number of years, too, for his or her albums Obrigado Saudade in 2004, Mice Parade in 2007, and What It Means to Be Left-Handed in 2010. He additionally carried out in a number of different bands as nicely, together with Superb Child, Diamond Nights, and the Depraved Farleys.