Better Person Explores Overlooked Musical Traditions with Enthusiasm on 'Something to Lose'
Published Oct 21, 2020Since relocating from his native Poland, solo operation Better Person, a.k.a. Adam Byczkowski, has found a vent for passionate, pull-on-your-heartstrings torch songs on the Berlin underground circuit, cultivating a reputation for silky sophisti-pop and evocative 80s Europop, as championed on 2016 six-track It's Only You. Recent support slots on tour with TOPS have also served to promote the singer-songwriter's name amongst certain indie-pop circles. Something to Lose's genesis is subsequently borne out of successive time spent between Montreal, Los Angeles and Berlins — an experience that found Byczkowski striking up a creative partnership with MGMT's Ben Goldwasser.
Better Person's first full-length LP represents a more expansive state of affairs, to some extent, affording more breathing room to the emotionally craving lyrical space inhabited on preceding outings. The influence of acts such as Deacon Blue and Sade is alluded to, while tracks such as "True Love" hint towards the Radio Dept.'s synth-heavy moments. "Close To You" similarly revolves around an electro-beat strut, alongside Byczkowski channelling a pining, Mark Hollis-esque vocal croon. This results in tonal peaks and troughs, morphing between the unrequited and peppy, examples including the Style Council-level of simmer applied on "Bring Me to Tears," words steeped in poignancy: "Oh, crash my heart to pieces / I wanna try something I can feel."
Something to Lose is evidence of Better Person committing further to terrain covered on his earlier EP, mining often overlooked musical traditions with obvious enthusiasm and yearning credibility, an effect that is elevated when paired with Goldwasser's expertise. (Arbutus)