5 Songs, 21 Minutes


About Bernice

Toronto's Bernice craft weightless, genre-defying pop music that touches on indie pop, jazz, and R&B and sings the praises of family and the environment. Led by singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Robin Dann and rounded out by some of the city's most in-demand musicians, the group came into its own in the late 2010s with the ornately produced EP Puff and the minimalist pop of Puff: In the Air Without a Shape.

The daughter of a symphony harpist and a former principal violist for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Dann studied voice at the University of Toronto and earned a Master's degree in music. When she started writing her own songs, she took her grandmother's name as the project's moniker. Joined by Thom Gill, Colin Fisher, Dan Fortin, Phil Melanson, and Felicia Williams — who also play with Bahamas, DIANA, and Owen Pallett, among others — Bernice issued its debut album What Was That in 2011.

The members' other commitments meant the band didn't record much other than holiday singles for a few years; however, that changed when Bernice signed to Arts & Crafts in 2016. That year, they released their debut single for the label, "St. Lucia." Adding elements of R&B and dance to their music and named for Dann's great aunt, the single featured production by Grammy-winner Shawn Everett, whom the band met at an artist's residency at the Banff Centre. The producer also worked on 2017's Puff, an EP whose title came from the writing of Italian author Elena Ferrante. Following Puff's release, Dann brushed up on her Ableton skills to write demos for Bernice's second album. Recorded at Montreal's Breakglass studio, Puff: In the Air Without a Shape took a more stripped-down approach to the band's playful sound and arrived in May 2018.