BERNICE PERFORMS WITH TORONTO DANCE THEATRE, SHARES NEW SONG

BERNICE PERFORMS PERSEFONY SONGS WITH TORONTO DANCE THEATRE
MARCH 5-9.
MORE INFORMATION HERE

PERSEFONY SONGS SCORE CAN BE FOUND ON CASSETTE AT THEATRE LOBBY

LISTEN AND SHARE “AMBIENTMOZZA” FROM PERSEFONY SONGS HERE

PUFF LP: IN THE AIR WITHOUT A SHAPE OUT NOW VIA ARTS & CRAFTS

STREAM/BUY PUFF: IN THE AIR WITHOUT A SHAPE

"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

BRN_web1_ClaireHarvie.jpg

PHOTO CREDIT : Claire Harvie // DOWNLOAD HIGH-RES

This past year has been an important one for Bernice, the diverse collective of Toronto based musicians. Their debut LP on Arts & Crafts, Puff LP : In the air without a shape was nominated for the Polaris Music Prize and the band just returned from a national tour supporting the record.

Outside of Bernice, the band members are active in an array of other multi-faceted projects including their duties as active members of Bahamas, Owen Pallett, Leif Vollebekk, and DIANA. Lead vocalist Robin Dann lent a hand to electronic producer Ryan Hemsworth and ambient jazz composer Joseph Shabason, while keyboardist Thom Gill contributed to new releases from Chaka Khan and a forthcoming album from The Mountain Goats. Gill and Dann, together with collective members Felicity Williams (vocals), Phil Melanson (percussion), and Dan Fortin (bass), have also backed other performers as a whole including Martha Wainwright and Devon Sproule.

Speaking to A.Side, Gill says “I like that there’s no main thing that I get lost in. I’d be happy if it was Bernice, but I don’t think it would ever be that. We all really thrive off of doing something different every day, it’s so fun.”

This week, the collective has paired with The Toronto Dance Theatre for Persefony Songs, a performance that riffs on images from Christopher House's acclaimed choreography Persephone’s Lunch (2001). Scored by Gill, the stage is set with a cast of twelve dancers and the six musicians of Bernice, which has already been called one the 10 Best Stage Shows To See In March 2019 by NOW Magazine.

“We usually make our own cracked version of pop music, but when Christopher (House) floated the words ‘fake mediaeval band’ early on in the brainstorming period we immediately identified with it and booked a few days up at my family farm,” says Dann. “Each of us brought personal selections, sacred and secular, from the canons of early musics. Through experimentation, improvisation, beat-making, sunset walks and a simple recording setup, we produced over an hour’s worth of demos. It was natural and fun.”

If you’re curious about the score to Persefony Songs, “ambientmozza” is available to stream today and the original score of demos can be found on a cassette for purchase in the lobby. The show runs March 5-9, more information is available at https://tdt.org/persefonysongs.

LISTEN AND SHARE “AMBIENTMOZZA” HERE

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(Persefony Songs Cassette Artwork)


Recently, Bernice also stopped by The Strombo Show for a session that included a performance of the new track “Lone Swan” and a cover of Shawn Colvin’s “Steady On”. The songs premiered this past weekend and can be heard here.

LISTEN AND SHARE “LONE SWAN” VIA STROMBO SHOW HERE

Listed as one of the Best Of 2018 from Exclaim!, NOW Toronto, and Dominionated, 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.”

STREAM/BUY PUFF: IN THE AIR WITHOUT A SHAPE

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.

WATCH AND SHARE “HE’S THE MOON” HERE

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.

STREAM/BUY PUFF: IN THE AIR WITHOUT A SHAPE


UPCOMING PERFORMANCES

Jun 7 - Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace


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


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BERNICE ANNOUNCE WINTER TOUR DATES, SHARE NEW VIDEO & HOLIDAY SONG

WATCH AND SHARE “HE’S THE MOON” HERE

LISTEN AND SHARE “LEONARDO (AND WHAT HE WANTS FOR CHRISTMAS)” HERE

NORTH AMERICAN WINTER TOUR DATES BEGIN JAN 18

PUFF LP: IN THE AIR WITHOUT A SHAPE OUT NOW VIA ARTS & CRAFTS

STREAM/BUY PUFF: IN THE AIR WITHOUT A SHAPE

"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

2019bernice-option2.png


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.”

WATCH AND SHARE “HE’S THE MOON” HERE

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)”.

LISTEN AND SHARE “LEONARDO (AND WHAT HE WANTS FOR CHRISTMAS)” HERE

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.”

STREAM/BUY PUFF: IN THE AIR WITHOUT A SHAPE

 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.

STREAM/BUY PUFF: IN THE AIR WITHOUT A SHAPE

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.

BRN_web1_ClaireHarvie.jpg


PHOTO CREDIT : Claire Harvie // DOWNLOAD HIGH-RES

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BERNICE SHARE NEW VIDEO, ANNOUNCE WINTER TOUR DATES

WATCH AND SHARE “PASSENGER PLANE” HERE

ACCLAIMED NEW ALBUM, PUFF LP: IN THE AIR WITHOUT A SHAPE, OUT NOW VIA ARTS & CRAFTS

TOUR DATES BEGIN NOVEMBER 30

STREAM / BUY PUFF LP: IN THE AIR WITHOUT A SHAPE

"analytical, self-dissecting... a monument to ephemerality" - New York Times

“[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!

“...a delightful access point to the cloudy emotional zones Bernice have always occupied, from a warm place of Snuggie-bound safety.” - NOW Magazine

"...spellbindingly good. It’s like watching an abstract painting form in front of you." - CBC Music

Passenger Plane - Still 1.jpg


(“Passenger Plane” Video Still )

In May of this year, rising Toronto experimental pop group Bernice released their Polaris Music Prize-longlisted album Puff LP: In the air without a shape – the minimalist follow-up to 2017’s maximalist, Grammy Award winner Shawn Everett produced, Puff EP. The EP 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.” The latest offering, “He’s The Moon”, grabbing the attention of the New York Times who proclaimed it to be “a monument to ephemerality.”

Today, Bernice return with the serene, dreamlike video for album track “Passenger Plane” along with the announcement of new North American tour dates. Directed by Ayisha Gariba, the new visual, featuring Alpacas, citrus, bubbles, and lush Canadian greenery, perfectly bottles the phantasmal and carefree atmosphere of the song.

WATCH AND SHARE “PASSENGER PLANE” HERE

"We didn't really have much planned before we started shooting, and although that is usually the recipe for a chaotic shoot, this was the exact opposite. I think everyone wanted the shoot to have a relaxing vibe and it did,” Ayisha Gariba says. “In terms of the vision, all that I really wanted to achieve was a video that was a little weird and so pretty that people would kind of forget how weird it was. I wanted to make sure that no one (including me) was ever taking anything too seriously during the process of making it, and I hope that no one takes it too seriously while watching it either. I just want people to get lost in this magical place with alpacas and bubbles for a few minutes," they continue.

"What could be better than a day with Shelley and her Alpacas?” rhetorically asks Bernice principal singer/songwriter Robin Dann. “She and her love for her long necked and deeply dopey herd were very, very sweet to behold and a perfect setting for a song about the city at night, old heartache resurfacing, and feeling like a speck in the universe. Ayisha brought bubbles and that helped too."

“Sometimes I still feel sad about stuff that happened a long time ago. It’s hard to let go of things, and actually, the pain of experience is something that makes me feel more myself so I am protective of it,” Dann previously explained of the meaning and inspiration behind the song. “Memory can feel like an alien at times, dropping down to overtake me. Biking along Dundas St past a night-time sidewalk celebration. Night time clouds, and the closeness in the city to strangers living full lives in strange parallels with our own,” adding that “the pitched-up vocal was a happy accident!”

BERNICE TOUR DATES:
Sep 29: Toronto, ON - Aga Khan Museum (Nuit Blanche Toronto)
Nov 30: Syracuse, NY - Spark Arts Space
Dec 1: Boston, MA - Lilypad
Dec 3: New Haven, CT - Cafe Nine
Dec 5: Philadelphia, PA - Ortlieb's
Dec 6: Brooklyn, NY - Alphaville
Dec 7: Baltimore, MD - Joe Squared
Dec 8: Washington DC - Vinyl Lounge
Dec 10: Columbus, OH - Rumba Cafe
Dec 11: Bloomington, IN - Bishop
Dec 12: Cincinnati, OH - MOTR
Dec 13: Kalamazoo, MI - Shakespeare’s Pub
Dec 14: Guelph, ON - E Bar
Dec 15: Hamilton, ON - Mills Hardware

+ More Dates To Be Announced Soon

STREAM / BUY PUFF LP: IN THE AIR WITHOUT A SHAPE


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

BRN_web1_ClaireHarvie.jpg


PHOTO CREDIT : Claire Harvie // DOWNLOAD HIGH-RES

BERNICE ONLINE
WEBSITE
FACEBOOK
TWITTER
INSTAGRAM