Today, Bernice released “St Lucia”, the band’s first single for Arts & Crafts. The project of Toronto-based vocalist/songwriter Robin Dann. Bernice’s sounds sounds have been compared to Sade, Meshell Ndegeocello, Deerhoof, and Dirty Projectors. The track was produced by Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes), and is 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 lived before me. ‘I wonder what of me is you?’” Robin Dann says of the track. “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 principle violist, and a graduate of Goldsmiths’ MA in Music, Dann’s background, formal training and experimental sensibilities developed into sparse arrangements and pop-minded songwriting, often following curious and unexpected paths.
Bernice’s members and collaborators include longtime Owen Pallet collaborator Thom Gill (keyboard/sampler), 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 Grammy Award winner Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, Lucius) and Matt Smith (Owen Pallett) and co-mixed/mastered by experimental musician Sandro Perri (Polmo Polpo).
Bernice Live dates:
Nov 11 – Guelph, ON – eBar^
Nov 18 – NYC – Le Poisson Rouge*
Nov 20 – NYC – Trans Pecos (annex space)
Nov 23 – Toronto, ON – Mod Club*
Dec 5 – Toronto, ON – Burdock
* w/ Martha Wainwright
^ w/ DIANA