Bernhoft & The Fashion Bruises
Moorea Masa & The Mood
628 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA, 94117
Doors 8:30 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
Bernhoft & The Fashion Bruises
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 itās realā¦
GRAMMYĀ® Award-nominated Norwegian singer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and producer Jarle Bernhoft emphasizes this personal connection on his fourth full-length offering and first as Bernoft & The Fashion Bruisesāthe 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.
āSo much current music is computerized and machinelike,ā he affirms. āI felt like I should go the other way and create human music again. Itās 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, Iām trying to smash people out of Facebook and back into real life.ā
If anybody can do it, itās him. Since making his solo debut on 2008ās Ceramik City Chronicles, heās quietly amassed a catalog celebrated by fans and critics alike, spanning full-length offerings Solidarity Breaks  and Islander  as well as EPs Stop/Shutup/Shout It Out  and The Morning Comes . Highlighted by āCome Aroundā and āNo Us, No Themā [feat. Jill Scott], Islander received a 2015 GRAMMYĀ® nomination in the category of āBest R&B Album.ā 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.
āWe did this all as a band,ā he continues. āWe didnāt use computers. We really played through everything. The Fashion Bruises are such an integral part of the sound. The days of playing solo arenāt over, but Iām definitely taking a break. The goal was to keep this like a live performance.ā
They recorded at Oslo Klang in Norway for only two weeks with Bernhoft behind the board in the producerās chair as his infant son crawled around the space.
āThereās nothing better than having a baby crawl around your feet when youāre playing guitar,ā he smiles.
The group introduced the album with the first single āBuried Goldā [feat. Raelee Nikole]. Over a funky beat driven by lively guitars, he locks into a hypnotic duet with Raelee. Their voices entwine in an undeniable back-and-forth, speaking to a central theme.
āThe song represents what the album is about,ā says Bernhoft. āItās a dialogue between an optimist and a pessimist who are both engaged in fisticuffs daily within me. Iām shifting between disillusionment and re-illusionment, which is the state of things. I remember when the Brexit vote had just come in. Not too long after was the American presidency vote. Itās was if the world was unraveling. I felt torn between wanting to pick up the gloves and fight or just saying, āFuck the world.ā Both of my viewpoints come across. Raelee really shines on it too.ā
Elsewhere, handclaps, acoustic energy, and warm reverb bottle a sun-soaked sensibility on the West Coast-inspired āCalifornia,ā while āDonāt Give Upā offers up a powerful send-off highlighting the expanse of his voice.
In many respects, the title track remains the perfect representation of Humanoid. A hummable guitar riff gives way to a lively chorus thatās downright impossible to shake.
āIt says something about the man-and-machine relationship,ā he admits. āIām not sure whether to be optimistic about it or not. Youāll see people at dinner or in a cafĆ© staring at their screens and not acknowledging each other. Iām thinking of how we interact, talk to each other, and whether or not weāre enhancing our lives or amputating them with these interfaces we use. Iām trying to find people, but I canāt see them behind their screens.ā
In the end, Bernhoft has got the power to make people put down their phones, get up, dance, and maybe even think.
āYou can dance to this one, but you might have some deeper thoughts,ā he leaves off. āAll said and done, Iād love to just reintroduce a connection.ā