NORTH AMERICAN WINTER TOUR DATES BEGIN JAN 18
PUFF LP: IN THE AIR WITHOUT A SHAPE OUT NOW VIA ARTS & CRAFTS
"analytical, self-dissecting... a monument to ephemerality" - New York Times
“one of Toronto’s great off-kilter pop hopes” - The FADER
“[Bernice] create a mesmerizing sound... so much so that it is easy to hit repeat on the track and you only realize a handful of hours later that's all you've been listening to.” - Noisey
“among the most interesting and underrated bands making music right now...beautiful, and not to be overlooked” - Exclaim!
“one of the most interesting bands out of Toronto right now”- Pigeons & Planes
This January, Bernice will be taking their celebrated new LP on the road for a run tour dates throughout the US and Canada. Out now via Arts & Crafts, Puff LP : in the air without a shape, has already landed on Best Of 2018 lists from Exclaim!, NOW Toronto, and Dominionated, and was nominated for the Polaris Music Prize.
Vocalist/songwriter Robin Dann says of the tour : “We’ll be driving our 2004 sky blue Toyota Sienna named Chezzie. It makes an enormous difference to a show when some friends are in the audience – seriously – so please come out and see us, and if you feel comfortable, let your friends know about our shows. Touring is fun, and not fun, and easy, and hard, and playing music makes it worthwhile – but really we’re in it for the Whole Foods salad bar.” Full tour dates can be found below.
Today, the group is also sharing the new video for “He’s The Moon”, filmed and edited by Toronto-based artist and filmmaker John Price mostly on 35mm kodak film. “John gathered and combined footage of several things, including his son getting a haircut with no front teeth and a squirrel interrupting some snacking birds,” says Dann. “The video doesn’t tell a story, but rather speaks visually the mood that the song sings - a kind of nostalgic peace, and a self awareness that can only come from time and experience, no matter how we might try to rush it along.”
Bernice is also sharing the new holiday tune, “Leonardo (And What He Wants For Christmas)”. For this year’s track, the group worked together with Sing Me A Story, an American organization who ask children in hospital or other care that serves children in need to write stories about anything they want. They then ask songwriters to set those stories to music, and use the songs to raise money for those programs, as well as giving each child their own personal song.
They chose a song by Shaiquan, age 9, in care at the children's hospital of Wisconsin. His story is called “Leonardo (And What He Wants For Christmas)”.
Puff LP: In the air without a shape is the minimalist follow-up to 2017’s maximalist, Grammy Award-winner Shawn Everett-produced Puff EP. That five song collection garnered critical attention from from its first single “Glue”, which Stereogum lauded as both “gorgeous” and “surprising” and Pitchfork praised, noting that though Bernice’s enigmatic sound is difficult to categorize with traditional genre labels, “reinvention continues to be one of few constants in Bernice’s music, and they’re all the more interesting for it.” Puff LP cut, “He’s The Moon”, grabbed the attention of the New York Times who proclaimed it to be “a monument to ephemerality.”
BERNICE TOUR DATES:
Jan 18 - Chicago, IL @ Tomorrow Never Knows Festival (Schuba's)
Jan 20 - Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club
Jan 21 - Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
Jan 22 - Fargo, ND @ The Aquarium
Jan 23 - Winnipeg, MB @ Big Fun Festival (The Ballroom)
Jan 24 - Saskatoon, SK @ Winterruption! Festival (Black Cat)
Jan 25 - Calgary, AB @ Big Winter Classic (King Eddy)
Jan 26 - Rossland, BC @ Blizzard Fest (Eagles Lodge)
Jan 27 - Vancouver, BC @ Red Gate
Jan 29 - Victoria, BC @ Copper Owl
Jan 30 - Portland, OR @ Doug Fir
Jan 31 - Seattle, WA @ Vera Project
Feb 2 - Eugene, OR @ Old Nick's
Feb 4 - San Francisco, CA @ Brick & Mortar
Feb 5 - Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theatre
Puff LP: In the air without a shape is Bernice tackling pop minimalism; the stripped-down album touches on jazz as much as the enigmatic mix of pop, electronic, and R&B with their unique air of playfulness. Sitting between Enya, Julia Holter, Chairlift, and Deerhoof where clear vocal melodies fly kites over spare arrangements, Bernice’s new album attempts to mimic the playful intimacy of the band’s live show.
“Our goal was to capture how we really sound,” says Robin Dann of the new album, which also features new takes on EP standouts “David” and “St Lucia”. “Some people in a room, playing music together.”
Recording the album to tape at Breakglass Studios in Montreal (with the exception of “He’s The Moon” and “Passenger Plane”), the band fell in love with the open spaciousness of the studio and how much it allowed them to connect whilst performing. “The vocal booths have sightlines to the band room through windows. We did live takes of each song to tape. We could look at each other, try different things, mostly we got each song in a few takes,” said Dann of the recording process.
MORE PRAISE FOR BERNICE
“deeply textured, largely experimental songs filled with wondrous and mysterious sounds” - NPR's All Songs Considered
“intricate, dream-like music from deeply emotional lyrics and woozy electronic beats.” - Pitchfork
“Experimental jazz-pop that breathes” - The FADER
“gorgeous, surprising” - Stereogum
“occupies your subconscious, leaving vestiges of melodies and lyrics behind that lie dormant for stretches of time, resurfacing intermittently and maddeningly” - Tiny Mix Tapes
MORE ABOUT BERNICE
Bernice, the project of Toronto-based vocalist/songwriter Robin Dann, blends "melodies reminiscent of artists like Sade with the playful sounds of artists like Deerhoof and Dirty Projectors” (Pigeons & Planes). Dann, the daughter of two symphony orchestra performers, is a trained vocalist with a Masters in Music from Goldsmiths, University of London, and her band - Thom Gill (keyboards/samples), Felicity Williams (vocals), Phil Melanson (percussion), and Dan Fortin (bass) - features active members of Bahamas, Owen Pallett, Leif Vollebekk, and DIANA.
Formed in 2010, the band’s first release, What Was That, landed in 2011 and saw critical praise from Exclaim Magazine and Globe & Mail. Bernice performed shows with Colin Stetson and supported Tegan & Sara on tour. In 2016, the band returned from a residency at the Banff Centre, and supported the release of two singles, “St Lucia” and “Don't Wanna Be European”, with a series of performances at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Bernice started 2017 by supporting Martha Wainwright on tour across the UK before returning home where Dann wrote a bespoke composition for choreographer Ame Henderson’s production of Toronto Dance Theatre’s NOISY. The band was then invited to Miami to support Angel Olsen for Red Bull Sound Select’s 3 Days In Miami festival.
Puff, a 5-song EP, was released in June ‘17 to resounding critical acclaim from Pitchfork, NPR, Zane Lowe, and The Fader. Stereogum and Exclaim named the release as one of the 'Best EPs of 2017. Puff was produced by Grammy Award-winner Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, Lucius) and Matt Smith (Owen Pallett). The release was supported on tours with Charlotte Day Wilson and The Weather Station.
Bernice followed the maximalist EP with minimalist sophomore album Puff: In The Air Without A Shape released in May '18 on Arts & Crafts. Continuing their enigmatic exploration of pop, jazz, and R&B, the new album attempted to mimic the playful intimacy of the band’s live show. The album was called “a monument to ephemerality” by the New York Times and received a long-list nomination for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize.