ADAM BYCZKOWSKI, AKA BETTER PERSON, IS A MYSTERIOUS, MELANCHOLIC ARTIST, ELUSIVE AND WARM AT THE SAME TIME, AUSTERE YET PERVADED BY A CHEESY ROMANTICISM THAT MAKES HIM UNIQUE. BORN IN POLAND, HE CHOSE, LIKE MANY OTHER ARTISTS, TO BE BASED IN BERLIN.
Before going solo with his new EP, It’s Only You, Adam Byczkowski has occasionally played guitar and keyboards for the brilliant Sean Nicholas Savage, with whom he also collaborated on the glorious cover of Chris Isaak’s Can’t Do A Thing (To Stop Me), has toured with Canadian band TOPS and with Timber Timbre. It’s Only You, a music gem with countless nuances, released by label Mansion and Millions and rigorously recorded at home, places him in the realm of the great artists, strictly underground, please!
Better Person unequivocally shows a DIY attitude that gives his artistic universe a healthy, mysterious vibe. His dreamy voice and disconcertingly personal lyrics transport us into the room of a teenager affected by his first romantic torments, as if the secret of innocence had been suddenly unveiled. Without doubt the kind of love described in It’s Only You is not just a matter of candor and tenderness, but encompasses an old-style simplicity and sincerity.
The sound landscapes created by Adam Byczkowski are romantic and tormented, a perfect combination of highly-strung emotions and fierce solitude. His songs echo a distant elegance, as if, all of a sudden, our hyper-connected daily existence had found its true essence. Every single track in It’s Only You testifies an emotion experienced by Byczkowski in a precise moment of his life, like a personal journal that has gone public. This immersion into deep waters where honesty and emotions reign supreme give the album a sense of “grandeur” worth of a Tolstoy novel.
It’s Only You is dominated by a single instrument, an old Korg keyboard that insinuates under the skin, exquisitely monotone and hypnotic. The EP embraces a mysteriously decadent sound, sometimes delightfully “cheap”, poignant and sexy, like the final chapter of a love affair. Adam Byczkowski is not afraid to take chances, to bare all, never mind what others think. His presence on stage, minimalist and intriguing, is an in-your-face homage to uniqueness and diversity.
What counts here is the uneasiness, the confusion the audience feels, when confronted with something so indecipherable, upsetting and compelling. Adam Byczkowski pays great attention to his image, to the ‘packaging’ that goes alongside his performance, but this doesn’t make him a conformist, quite the opposite. His is, rather, a counter-maneuver that induces to disclose a diversity that is too often toned down, if not totally removed.
The minstrel hailing from the North is not afraid to express his emotions which, on the contrary, become his strongest point and the driving force of his music. His live performances reflect such emotional strength, turning it into shared ritual. Sometimes disheartened, deliberately austere and undeniably sexy, Adam Byczkowski moves on stage with a feline elegance, slowly, mesmerizing the audience with his elusive, poignant melodies. You cannot buy class.