JPR Live Session: Bernhoft & The Fashion Bruises

Dec 26, 2018

The human touch makes a noticeable difference. Listeners invariably respond to that tactile bond between the musician and the music. To put it simply in the parlance of our times, you know when it’s authentic. Jarle Bernhoft, who in recent months has stylized his name as Bern/hoft, emphasizes this personal connection on his fourth full-length offering and first as Bern/hoft & The Fashion Bruises — the aptly titled Humanoid.

Recorded as a full band, the record unlocks a soulful spirit buoyed by simmering R&B grooves and powerful pop hooks. In assembling this bold, bright, and brilliant body of work, the artist surveyed the landscape and made a conscious decision to go against the grain.

So much current music is computerized and machinelike,” he affirms. “I felt like I should go the other way and create human music again. It’s imperative to keep in touch with organic life, so I dove into those soundscapes. I rediscovered that touch. By ample use of guitars, drums, and bass, I’m trying to smash people out of Facebook and back into real life.

Since making his solo debut on 2008’s Ceramik City Chronicles, he’s quietly amassed a catalog celebrated by fans and critics alike, spanning full-length offerings Solidarity Breaks [2011] and Islander [2014] as well as EPs Stop/Shutup/Shout It Out [2016] and The Morning Comes [2017]. Highlighted by “Come Around” and “No Us, No Them”, Islander received a 2015 GRAMMY® nomination in the category of “Best R&B Album.” Along the way, he performed on Ellen and Conan in addition to earning acclaim from NPR, USA Today, and many more.

Joined by The Fashion Bruises, the process for Humanoid commenced in old school fashion. Rather than rush into the studio, they spent time woodshedding in the rehearsal room. The shared chemistry flourished. “We did this all as a band,” he continues. “We didn’t use computers. We really played through everything. The Fashion Bruises are such an integral part of the sound. The days of playing solo aren’t over, but I’m definitely taking a break. The goal was to keep this like a live performance.