Shares third single ‘Dotknij Mnie’
Debut album ‘Something to Lose’
due 23rd October via Arbutus Records
Better Person – aka Adam Byczkowski, the silent prince of Berlin’s late-night underground pop scene – has shared a third single ‘Dotknij Mnie’, taken from his upcoming debut album Something To Lose, due 23rd October via Arbutus Records,
Something To Lose is the culmination of Better Person’s desire to nurture intimacy through tender balladry. An intriguing combination of forgotten euro-pop tropes with an elegant sophisti-pop palette provides the backdrop upon which his supple and detailed vocal delivery thrives.
Translating into English as “Touch me”, ‘Dotknij Mnie’ is one of two tracks on the album sung in Polish- Adam’s mother tongue.
“It’s one of my favourite songs on the album and I put a lot of work into the instrumental part of it.” He explains. “This song to me is a big monument shining in a stormy rain, a gloomy altar to a depression I was overcoming at the time. It was time to move on and I used this song to do so. Both chords and words came to me in a stream of consciousness manner. I kept adding more and more layers and ended up with this monster. Together with Ben Goldwasser’s mixing and production skills we managed to make something we’re both really proud of.”
He continues; “The visual was shot by my pal Goeff Meugens in Montreal. We didn’t have much time or resources because of the lockdown circumstances and ended up making it at home. I wanted it to be as simple and bold as possible to fit the powerful mood of the song. The edit and design was later done by the endlessly talented Max Freudenberg and Max Winter, who are also authors of the album artwork.”
Big crushing elements cascade over this synth bitten dreamy projection whilst the lustrious lyrics flow effortlessly throughout this heavenly instrumentation.
After his 2016 EP It’s Only You captured the sound of late night intoxication and devastated croons to an empty dance floor, the singer toured relentlessly, traveling all over Europe, North America and Asia, moving and living in Montreal, Los Angeles and returning, time and time again, to Berlin. Byczkowski traveled to California after a chance meeting with MGMT’s Ben Goldwasser at a Berlin after hours club. An introduction by a mutual friend turned into a night-long conversation about shared influences. A fortuitous increase to Byczkowski’s overdraft by an online banking app culminated in a relocation to Los Angeles, to complete his debut album with help of the producer. Goldwasser’s obsession with synth programming and acumen for generation-defining pop hooks underlines the strength of Better Person’s deeply personal songwriting. The result is an expansion of Better Person’s inner world, without sacrificing any of its enigma.
While ‘Dotknij Mnie’, sung entirely in Polish, is a nod to the dark and gothic mood Better Person is known for, the title track ‘Something to Lose’ departs towards a decidedly sunnier atmosphere. Byczkowski sings gently over his signature combination of FM synths and drum machines, this time lightly decorated with acoustic guitar strums, congas and layered vocal harmonies to lighten the arrangement, transporting the sound towards yacht-rock territory, undoubtedly influenced by his Los Angeles environ, a city famous for imparting its golden hues onto the music made there.
“‘Something To Lose’ is the first happy song I’ve ever written,” says Byczkowski. “Initially I wanted to capture the ecstatic feeling of fresh love, the excitement and thrill that comes with it. But as time went by, this simple song gained more and more meaning for me. Falling in love so deeply and strongly woke me up from a lethargic, cynical state, it radically changed my view on the world and my entire life. It is extremely hard to believe in humanity these days. The euphoric feeling that happens between two human beings is a moment of sweet distraction that truly everyone deserves. Something to live for, somewhere to hide. The wind in your hair, the evening summer breeze, the tender touch of another person. Love is the strongest weapon against hate. It is the first step to a positive change and I live for it.”
Though Something to Lose is a celebration of love, the refreshing honesty and self-effacement that Better Person fans are familiar with is still at the heart of its lyrics. Byczkowski may be a dreamer but he has no delusions about the real world. The album is a proclamation of a newfound devotion, but also the fear of loss that comes with it. It is not simply about love, but the bitter-sweetness of life, the fear and darkness that underscores even the most euphoric moment.
The album’s journey ends with “Ostatni Raz”, a slow dance between nylon-string guitars and a soaring saxophone floating over the calming sounds of crashing waves and slick fretless bass. The soothing elements of the final track are a summary of the album itself: an overtly breezy sonic landscape as heartfelt, sincere and evocative as it is polished and refined. When the last notes drift away in reverb you can almost smell the ocean air.
1. Na Zawsze
2. Hearts On Fire
3. True Love
4. Something To Lose
5. Glendale Evening
6. Dotknij Mnie
7. Close To You
8. Bring Me To Tears
9. Ostani Raz