BERNICE, THE PROJECT OF TORONTO-BASED VOCALIST / SONGWRITER, ROBIN DANN, SIGNS WITH ARTS & CRAFTS
NORTH AMERICAN LIVE DATES WITH DIANA AND
MARTHA WAINWRIGHT BEGIN NOV 11
PHOTO CREDIT : Claire Harvie
Today, Bernice released “St Lucia” – the band's first single for Arts & Crafts – via Zane Lowe's Beats 1 program and The Fader. The project of Toronto-based vocalist/songwriter Robin Dann, Bernice pairs the soulful vocal melodies of artists like Sade and Meshell Ndegeocello with the playful sonic explorations of Deerhoof and Dirty Projectors.
"St Lucia", the bouncy, maximalist R&B track produced by Grammy Award winner Shawn Everett, is inspired by Robin’s great Auntie Irene and is about maternal ancestry and the traits we know or don’t know we embody from those who came before us.
Named after my great Auntie Irene (middle name Lucia), the song works as a reminder to myself of all the women in my family who’ve lived before me. "I wonder what of me is you?"
“As much as I'm me, I'm also them, and so everything I do is part them too; body language, bone structure, spacey brain... sense of self, identity. We can let ourselves off the hook a bit. Even though we can't escape our worries, we can still be good to ourselves, because we need it.”
Born to a musical family, the daughter of a symphony harpist and the former Toronto Symphony Orchestra's principal violist, and a graduate of Goldsmiths' MA in Music, Dann's background, formal training, and experimental sensibilities developed into Bernice’s sparse arrangements and pop-minded songwriting, often following curious and unexpected paths.
Bernice’s members and collaborators including longtime Owen Pallett collaborator Thom Gill (keyboard/sampler) as well as Colin Fisher (guitar), Daniel Fortin (bass), Philippe Melanson (drums), and Felicity Williams (supporting vocals). All are professional musicians from Toronto's music community and members of Owen Pallett, DIANA, John Southworth, Bahamas, Martha Wainwright, The Barr Brothers, and many others.
Bernice's upcoming album was co-produced by Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, Lucius) and Matt Smith (Owen Pallett) and co-mixed/mastered by experimental musician Sandro Perri (Polmo Polpo).
* w/ Martha Wainwright
^ w/ DIANA