BERNICE SHARE NEW SINGLE, LAUNCH ASMR PODCAST
PUFF LP : IN THE AIR WITHOUT A SHAPE DUE OUT MAY 25 VIA ARTS & CRAFTS
“deeply textured, largely experimental songs filled with wondrous and mysterious sounds”
- Bob Boilen, NPR's All Songs Considered
“Robin Dann and her cast of musicians (who play for Owen Pallett and DIANA, among others) weave electronic dramas that balance tension and release, passion and intellectualism with an ease that betrays their collective experience and quality.” - Exclaim! #1 EP of 2017
“blends melodies reminiscent of artists like Sade with the playful sounds of artists like Deerhoof and Dirty Projectors ... one of the most interesting bands out of Toronto right now”
- Pigeons & Planes
“an enticing balance between playful abandon and chilly remove... its blend of physical, emotional, and cerebral is well worth your time” - Stereogum (Best EPs of 2017)
“intricate, dream-like music from deeply emotional lyrics and woozy electronic beats.” -Pitchfork
“[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
PHOTO CREDIT : Claire Harvie // DOWNLOAD HIGH-RES
Following the release of 2017’s maximalist Puff EP produced by Grammy Award winner Shawn Everett, Toronto-based experimental pop group Bernice last month returned with the announcement of their minimalist follow up, Puff LP: In The Air Without A Shape, along with the relaxed and airy lead 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.”
Today, Bernice share new track “He’s The Moon” ahead of the album’s May 25 release. “We recorded this song at the Banff Centre, so we were very spoiled with gear and grand pianos and microphones and wonderful people with lots of ideas. But we wanted a song with lots of space, to give room to the mood,” Songwriter/vocalist Robin Dann explains. “I wrote this song about an afternoon I spent with some great friends on the Magdalen Islands, off the coast of PEI. We just wandered around. We played shoe fling. As I wrote the song it evolved to encompass some other meanings as well, bigger thoughts, but mostly I was remembering seagulls flying past my head, and grass bent under the wind, and ocean all around.”
Additionally, Robin Dann today announces Soft Chew – a new podcast created by Dann and Gabrielle Leith that launches June 1 and explores the online phenomenon of ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response). Each episode will take you on a sensory journey through the world of some of the community's most revered, eccentric and prolific content creators. Subscribe HERE.
On the outset for many, ASMR videos pose a bizarre and perplexing magnifying into the seemingly mundane. Whether it be a person slowly folding towels for their webcam or someone whispering softly while crinkling paper, these videos now account for roughly 8% of all Youtube content. Soft Chew will explore how this online community has turned the banal into something beautiful and given listeners and creators alike a sense of belonging, comfort, and even orgasmic pleasure.
“ASMR connects a few dots for me, as a musician,” Robin Dann elaborates. “It accomplishes something so wonderful through sound that I continue to search for with Bernice - how to use sound to help? Not just to feel good or inspired, but to literally be healed by the power of sound. When I watch ‘Latte ASMR’ doing ‘6 different tapping sounds’, my head tingles and I can feel good things happening to my whole system. This, for me, is the wonder of ASMR - these artists are tapping into a really powerful neurological process that just happens to us involuntarily when we watch it! When Bernice plays shows, we aren't performing ASMR - we're playing songs. But I do believe that there is a lot of good stuff that happens in the brain and body when a live show works really well.
Puff LP: In The Air Without A Shape, out May 25 via Arts & Crafts, 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, 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.
PUFF LP TRACKLIST
2. Passenger Plane
4. One Garden
5. He's The Moon
6. St Lucia
Jun 6 - Toronto, ON - The Drake Underground (Tickets)
MORE ABOUT BERNICE
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 have been performing actively since late 2010 and have released one full-length album (what was that, 2011), an EP (when I know how to climb, 2013), and a “cassingle” in 2015, all released independently. Bernice’s 2017 breakout Puff EP on Arts & Crafts was praised by Pitchfork (“intricate, dream-like music from deeply emotional lyrics and woozy electronic beats”), NPR ("deeply textured, largely experimental songs filled with wondrous and mysterious sounds"), Stereogum (Best EPs of 2017), Exclaim (#1 EP of 2017), Pigeons and Planes (“one of the most interesting bands out of Toronto right now”), The FADER, Noisey, Zane Lowe, and more.