Last year’s diary was originally founded as an acoustic duo, then transformed into a band and finally destinated as a one-man-project. Still, lyd perform and record as a band, but the emphasis has clearly been shifted.
Bonn-based german singer/songwriter alex erich has always been writing songs, since he started playing music. Yet, most of the stuff that alex had produced over the years never fitted the punkrock-crossover-context of the bands he played in and thus remained untouched. So when the chance came along to finally perform his songs, he just had to get them out of his folders and piece by piece a thing emerged that you could call – last year’s diary.
Having to fill a stage on his own, without the option of hiding behind walls of distorted guitars was a new experience for alex after all these years in bands – but it would be modest to say that he is coping well. His perfomances are nothing like the introverted kind you’ll often find. It’s speak your mind, let it out and rock the place (especially after alex decided not to perform on a barstool any longer)!
It’s alex diverse background that adds the flavour in the end. Punkrock and funk were part of his musical growing-up, just as years in a bluesband shaped his style of guitarplaying. Finally the past couple of years in an emo-combo were important. It’s actually no wonder that a part of his repertoire is made up of a variety of cover-songs, ranging from the “counting crows” to “when rhetoric dies” by the great hc-group “boysetsfire”!
There was no surprise, more a kind of curiosity of what to expect, when germany’s ‘scenepolice” and britain’s “Engineer” wanted to release last year’s diary’s first 3-track 7” in the fall of 2001. Through all the emo-hype the tough guys (and gals) discovered their sensitive side; but singer/songwriters really still don’t cross the path of the hc-scene on a regular basis… The record is the outcome of a spontaneous demo-session at a friends place where guitars were recorded in the parents’ Sauna. So, there’s definitely a connection across the diy-philosophy.
Initially inspired by the light of campfires during his teens, nowadays a mature form of poetry and protest, last year’s diary must be counted among the brand of young artists that prefer reduced and quiet arrangements as opposed to hifi-productions, acoustic guitars instead of electronics and focus solely on the core of popmusic, namely: Songs. “bright eyes”, “ani di franco”, ‘the weakerthans” or ‘travis” serve as approved points of reference here. Lyrically last year’s diary is about poetry and protest, if you will. Big feelings told in small stories. But also last year’s diary is not another one of those right-wing morone acts that see music as unpolitical and make it hollow entertainment…
So hold your beloved, order your favourite drink, sit back and relax.