Toronto-based experimental outfit Bernice crafts worlds of unlived yet familiar memories with sound. The band, led by songwriter and lead vocalist Robin Dann, is made up of musical improvisers, delivering songs that are as unique as they are imaginative. Bernice’s highly anticipated Puff EP is singular in its exploration of the boundaries of vocally driven music. With only five tracks, including singles “St. Lucia” and “Don’t Wanna Be European”, Puff is a deeply immersive and entirely captivating listen.
Puff is a transcendent listening experience, like witnessing your inner child’s imagination projected on a screen.. “St. Lucia” starts off the album with a playfully raucous beat expanding into grooves that wander through an unknown landscape, guided by Dann’s rich and confident voice. Verses of stark ascending harmonies build with each refrain of …“Living it up cause we need it, talking about all the things we realize”.
The second and arguably the most accessible track “Don’t Wanna Be European” opens with an immediate and bouncing dance beat over which Dann sings…“Hanging from a branch, I can feel the water, I can feel my feet– please don’t send those dogs after me”, later asking …”Why? Take me out of this dream, I don’t wanna be anywhere else.” The words resonate, like a recurring dream, hanging from a branch at the mercy of “dogs” or later “guns”. The ending resolves, and Dann’s words describe a series of precarious scenes. Dann sings …“I wanna be the kids making out under the moon and they got only love in mind” above a steadying beat and pitch-shifting organs.
Puff is a place where unimaginable melodies can exist alongside fantasies and dreams. It invites you to reflect and retreat into a world you may have only visited as a child or in your most familiar dreams.