UK based singer-songwriter and artist Thoby Burton, well known as RockCounsellor just released his newest single, Laura. This funky rock song is your quirky pick-me-up at the end of a long day. Steeped in 80s nostalgia, Laura is a smart rendition of taking disco punk-rock and making it modern. The song is characterized by its upbeat, pulsating orchestral keys in the background and a very cohesive sound. The song really builds up to its ending, where it transforms into an immersive whirlwind of harmonies and an attractive guitar solo.
RockCounsellor wrote the song for a Laura from his secondary school days. The quirky, smart lyrics immediately put a smile on your face. The song has a very fantasy/first love storytelling vibe. RockCounsellor also puts an innovative spin on his vocals. The song is the perfect coming-of-age track which gives you the nostalgia, the upbeat energy and the thrills of friendship all in a span of 3 minutes. Whether you’re at home or on a drive, Laura by RockCounsellor is a jam you should put on and indulge in a little guilt-free, foot-tapping.
We had the chance to talk to RockCounsellor about his music and this is what he had to say:
1. Laura gave me such a nostalgic vibe. It reminds me greatly of the music my parents used to play for me. Can you tell me your inspiration behind it?
Now you’re making me feel my age! My parents weren’t big music fans. My dad liked ‘Durham Town’ by Roger Whittaker and ‘Sailing’ by Rod Stewart, and mum liked ‘Don’t Cry for me Argentina’ by Julie Covington. These tunes were a fairly traumatic introduction to the world of music for a young boy, so I avoided it with Lego and model making until one day a friend played me his brother’s Doors record.
‘Laura’ is a song about a song I wrote as a Jim Morrison obsessed teenager at secondary school for a friend I walked home from school with. Production-wise, Richard, my collaborator, and I were aiming at an 80s sound to reflect the narrative, hence the Pet Shop Boys style orchestral stabs. For the guitars and drums we were aiming for a Queens of the Stone Age sound. You can discern that if you listen closely, which is worth doing if you’re a Pet Shop Boys fan who also likes QOTSA.
2. What led you to writing your music in the first place?
I always wanted to be different, I think. I wasn’t very good at football – “all style and no substance”, my dad said. When I was growing up the only alternative to football for a teenager, other than the Rubik’s Cube, was being in a band. Punk rock seemed like it might be easy enough to play, so that inspired me to learn the guitar. Combine a love of punk with a fantasy about being the next Jim Morrison and I swore I had the perfect recipe for rock super-stardom.
3.RockCounsellor is such an interesting name. Is there a story behind it?
So, when I realised my recipe wasn’t gonna bring me rock super-stardom after all, I had to get a proper job. For my sins, I fell into one that involved helping people with their substance addictions, which was as good as any proper job. I later became a counsellor and psychotherapist, which would have made my parents proud. So that’s where the name comes from.
4. Can you tell me who are your biggest musical influences? How do these influences come through in your music?
As I said, my first musical loves were punk and The Doors. Later in my teens I got into synth pop and classic rock, and in my early 20s I was into the bands that seeded the grunge and lo-fi rock sound of the 90s. I don’t think I have a clear musical influence these days. When I get inspired by new music I hear, I think it gets dissolved into the cocktail of all the music I’ve ever loved, so you can barely hear the influence of Dua Lipa, for instance.
5. Do you have more music planned for us? What do you see for yourself in the future?
RockCounsellor is studio-based at this point. The dream was always to play this music live to thousands of adoring fans who sing along, wave lighters in the air and throw their undies on stage. I continue to write and record music as a way of fooling myself that this dream has come true. It’s a well-meaning self-manipulation, which thus far has kept the demons at bay. The future is almost certainly more delusions of rock-stardom.