ADRIAN SOLO

«Take a look at this boy, he took me here and left me there» - This Boy

One of Switzerland's most successful songwriters, that's what he is today, Adrian. Hardly anybody has been in the Swiss charts more frequently. Hardly anybody's written more hits. And nobody's remained so unfathomable. For this quiet and shy singer has always steered clear of the limelight, preferring to let his songs speak for him.

«Even as a teenager, I couldn't care less what clothes the performers were wearing on stage or what hairstyles they had. I never bothered about which pigeonhole people put my band in or whether something was described as 'soft' or 'hard'. The only thing that ever interested me was whether someone could deliver a good melody and whether I believed what it was they were singing about.»

With this first solo album, then, the Lovebugs frontman reaches out to all those who listen to him. «So perfect, this moment» - the first words after the magnificent intro positively define the frame of reference for Adrian Sieber's debut album. In these words lie the peace and fulfilment felt by the multi-instrumentalist following the completion of two recording sessions in a remote studio in the Romandie.

«It's always been my dream to record an album on my own, an album where, as well as singing, I played all the instruments myself: drums, bass, guitar, synthesizer, piano and beats. Do you know the children's story of Serafin and his Wondrous Machine? Using hundreds of old instruments from the rubbish heap, Serafin builds a giant music machine that only he can operate. It was a story that always fascinated me as a child.»

The twelve songs, true gems, emerged and matured over the years - at home, at his desk in the middle of the night, working the old Casio keys, guitar poised, perhaps in a dream. In songs like The Healing, a bewitching piano ballad, in the shrill synthesizer tones of Play, in the drumbeat to Dr. Good (cooled down to a virtually comatose temperature), in the fragile timbre of Prototype, in the dry melodic line of The Rain Parade... On all these tracks, it becomes crystal-clear what a talented songwriter is capable of, once he is left to his own devices. Yet Adrian's solo material still remains a collection of pop songs that tell many a tale with just a few chords. Nevertheless, the music vibrates in the recesses and ambiguities that his life has absorbed - the dark undertones of new wave, the blissful harmoniousness of the 1980s, the euphoria of Madchester.

«I believe that the sound you first consciously perceive will accompany you for the rest of your life. In my case, it was a cassette of the 1982 hit parade with Kim Wilde and OMD. Well, at least (smiles). Not much later and I was spending my entire pocket money on LPs. Some of them are still my favourites today: Les Chansons Bleues by Stephan Eicher, for example, or The Head on the Door by The Cure.»

Either way, it's possible to talk for ever about records that grew over a long period of time. Ultimately, though, it's the sound that makes the experience. Put your headphones on, skip to Dr. Good and discover how, after two minutes, a gentle guitar riff and a solemn piano melody ntertwine. There are few moments in life when sublimeness and kitsch balance out so evenly. This is one of those moments.

«The composing and producing process is always a search - sometimes, even, a tightrope walk. Above all, though, the process is a snapshot, a kind of diary. There's no such thing as a 'perfect song' or a 'perfect album'. In fact, that would be terribly boring.»

Pop thrives on being an act, an exaggeration, the soundtrack to the event and the fanfare of resurrection. Pop is epic and tragedy and always also the opposite. Primarily, it is huge drama. On the other hand, at least in its heyday, it can observe people with a penetrating gaze. Adrian Solo is the essence of a man whose quill made the Lovebugs big. And it shimmers through from the innermost recesses of his heart.

Adrian Solo is the album that Adrian Sieber always wanted to make. It is personal without getting introverted. It wrangles and it doubts. It recollects and, on occasion, it even rejoices. But the tone is never self-judgemental.

«Forget the mess inside your head, let's kiss and not play dead» - The Healing

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