What does it mean to create organically and authentically in a world of autotune and prefixed sound? The question may be a monstrous task for most artists looking to appease fans while at the same time create records that feel human. In Humanoid Bernhoft does just that, revolting from the contrived sound found in the music world Bernhoft creates rich temptress songs that are intoxicating and rich. We stole a few mintues of Bernhoft’s time to chat all things music, Humanoid and what life is like on the road with his band.
Humanoid was created like many of Bernhoft’s creations, through repetition and time. “Normally the process involves enormous amounts of walking, lots of ideas pop up then. Those that stick get worked on in my shed, and then they’re going back and forth between the rehearsal room with the band and said shed a bazillion times before we sneak in new tunes in our gigs. Repeat process over and over and suddenly there are a bunch of songs, hopefully tied together by coherent thoughts in the lyrics.”
So while the process may be similar, the end product is a slight departure from what we have heard before and certainly a departure from what is popularised in radio. Drawing from the band Benrhoft reflects on this new sound saying, “the Fashion Bruises; they are an integral part of this album. I have normally recorded with just a producer before, so this band thing is new. Or rather, back to where it started. I sensed the airwaves being flooded with EDM, and although I can love the good songs in the genre to bits, both the magnitude and the propensity for overly processed vocals that remove the music from humanity is a smidge off-putting. I wanted to go the other way, record live and be as organic as humanly possible.”
Humanoid is just that. An album that strips away the pomp and circumstance of other radio centered tunes, each song is uniquely authentic breathing life into the listener. This focused organic sound was what Bernhoft and the band aimed for, “we aimed for warmth all the way, cold auditively elements tended to just peel off. It’s not that I’ve been an advocate for programming and autotuned vocals before, but we had a very thorough focus on only playing the essentials and then playing and singing the hell out of them.”
This newness of sound will no doubt transfer to the live gigs. Bernhoft and the Fashion Bruises are taking on a pretty massive tour the next few months, with a handful of UK dates. What can be expected as they take the stage? Bernhoft hinted that the shows will be filled with “Enormous amounts of energy….Expect also newer material rather than old.” Mixing new with a few old, the night will no doubt be an intimate balance of reality and hyperreality, an exploration of sights and sound that will wow anyone in attendance.
Humanoid is a marvellous introspective reflection on sound in this digital age, a sort of transfixing hypnotically rich album that is unabashedly new while at the same time nostalgic. In Humanoid Bernhoft reinvents reality through simplicity, a sentiment that he promises will be brought to life in a their live gigs.
Interviewer: Kylie McCormick
Bernhoft and the Fashion Bruises play o2 Institute, Birmingham 13th November 2018.