Bernice are Driven by Dedication on New Album 'Cruisin''

Hear "Underneath My Toe" before the album's April arrival

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Feb 21, 2023

Bernice have detailed a new album. The Toronto experimental pop project will share Cruisin' on April 23 on Telephone Explosion.

Following 2021's Eau de Bonjourno — which you may have recently spotted among Exclaim! Staffers' Favourite Vinyl Finds of 2022 — Cruisin' has its course guided by dedication, a concept born from a spring 2021 writing retreat at a family farm in Bond Head, ON, during which band members "luxuriated in slow time, tinkering with lyrics and melodies, sharing meals, knitting."

The songs to emerge — written as love letters or check-ins for friends, community members, pets and "other more elusive acquaintances" — led to a working title of Songs for People, and while it wasn't chosen, these inspirational figures still appear in tracklist entries like "Second Judy," "Little Guy," and "Barbara, It's Your Tree."

The first of Cruisin's tracks to pull into view is "Underneath My Toe," a jazz-funk flecked jam that opens with bandleader Robin Dann singing, "Hi / I miss you all the time." 

Joining Dann on Cruisin' are Phillippe Melanson (Sam Gendel, Andy Shauf) and Thom Gill (Beverly Glenn-Copeland, Joseph Shabason), with further contributions coming remotely from Dan Fortin and Felicity Williams. The album was produced by Matthew Pencer.

"We were really missing our friend Devon Sproule. We were missing a lot of friends back when we wrote this album," Dann shares. "Thom and I sat down and asked ourselves what we wanted to say to her, what does any friend want to say to their pal who's far away? Toe became the balm for the missing feeling, and when we shared it with her, she (as usual) distilled the feeling perfectly, saying 'It feels like two important things smooshed together: how complicated it feels to be a person, and to live with other people, in a house or a city…and then how simple love can feel, like love from an animal friend, or how it feels to be connected to the Earth.'"

Pre-order Cruisin'.


1. Entrance Music
2. Second Judy
3. Underneath My Toe
4. Little Miss Timme (feat. Panteen)
5. Barbara, It's Your Tree
6. Begin Again
7. Always a Lover
8. To Live on Carrots
9. I Am Brave
10. Dog Needs Love
11. Yoohoo
12. Are You Breathing
13. No Effort to Exist
14. Little Guy 
15. 7

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