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Life after the Lovebugs

04.02.2021 – Marko Lehtinen

There has been no media fuss, nor is it official yet, but the Lovebugs – one of the most successful Swiss pop acts of the last 25 years – are quietly disbanding. Or, shall we say, they are putting the project on ice. Indefinitely.

And what has the frontman been doing to while away the time during this potentially permanent interruption? He has recorded a solo album. Adrian Sieber made his eponymous debut 12 years ago, and now the singer has doubled up during the Covid lull with “You, Me & Everything Else”.

Sieber has already shown that he can write great melodies – Lovebugs hits like “Bitter Moon” and “Music Makes My World Go Round” are Swiss pop gold. The lead singer of Basel’s favourite band is now back at his melancholic yet optimistic best, with a memorable collection of songs that create a sound that is both euphoric and vulnerable on the one hand and raw and multi-layered on the other.

Talking of sound, analogue synthesisers and drum machines are conspicuous throughout – as opposed to guitars from Sieber’s band years. Opener “The Soft Revolution” features an airy, anachronistic synth rhythm, pimped computer beats and naturally a catchy melody – an aesthetic that runs through the entire album. The style is unmistakably 1980s – “The school disco music of my youth in Fricktal,” says Sieber, tongue firmly in cheek.

For years, Sieber was able to live out his dream as a professional musician. He is now a 47-year-old father and primary school teacher, hence the album addresses themes such as growing older, relationships going sour, chemistry between people, and life in the real world. Some of the lyrics are wistful, but – typical Sieber – hope and happiness still shine through in every song.

This is a good album. Now all that is left for Sieber to do is perform his new tracks on stage when the pandemic is over one day. And, who knows, maybe the Lovebugs will also get back together.

ADRIAN SIEBER: “You, Me & Everything Else”, Phonag, 2020

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