On January 20th, the Norwegian artist Bernhoft released The Morning Comes EP. The new EP follows the Stop/Shut Up/ Shout It Out EP released earlier this year as well as Bernhoft’s 2014 Grammy-nominated album Islander.
The Morning Comes was produced by fellow Norwegian musicians Eivind Helgerød and Nicolay Tangen-Svennæs, and explores the intersection between the electronic and organic.
Of the new songs, Bernhoft reflects, “All the lyrics on the EP are characterized by profound doubts and ambivalences, about my own position, privileges, attitudes and choices. My worldview, at least the western world, and perception of humanity as such, is shaken.”
Learn more about Bernhoft in the following All Access interview:
What were some of the highlights of 2016 for you and your music? What do you looking forward to in 2017 the most? Did you make any new years resolutions?
Well, a lot of bad things have been said about 2016, let me just call it a smidge subversive. I’ll do what most of us have to, namely keep on keeping on. I’ve had some of my best musical moments of my whole life last year, I’ve recorded my best music so far and played great gigs with stellar bands, and I feel like I’m growing faster than ever as a singer, musician and songwriter. So more of that this year, and who needs new years resolutions then?
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory? Could you see yourself doing anything else?
No, the conscious choice to do music for a living came quite late in my teens, but since then it’s been a one-way track. I’m way too lazy and attracted to the traveling life to do anything else. I think my earliest musical kick came from ‘Funeral for a friend’, the intro to Elton John’s ‘Goodbye yellow brick road’ album, when I was around four. I used to listen to that one over and over, skipping back when Elton started singing. His voice has since grown on me a lot.
How long have you been making music? Why did you decide to go by just your last name and not both your first and last name?
You would find the four-year old me making songs in a more or less charming faux anglaise language under a coffee table. I kinda have two first names and two last names, and it kills me to write long autographs…
Later this week, you will be releasing your EP, “The Morning Comes.” How do you think these songs are different than anything else you’ve put out? How do you think you’ve grown as an artist over the years? Has your sound changed a lot?
I think the sound has changed, but I believe in let these things just happen organically rather than forcing it. I am more into synthesizers now than ever, so it’s only natural that it shows in the sound of ‘The morning comes EP’ Lyrically, I’m dealing with a lot of experiences I had while living in New York City. I mean, for a pale soul singer, having front row seats to institutionalized racism being uncovered to such an extent as it has the past three years, it’s pretty powerful stuff.
Where did the inspiration for the songs on “The Morning Comes” come from?
Mainly news. The real, fact-checked stuff. (Well,some of the fake news too, for satire)
You have come to be known for your intricate and complex live performances so I would love to know more about them. Do you find that that is where you happiest- on stage performing in front of an audience?
What I have done for some years now is to try and push the sonic boundaries for what can be done by a solo performer not using prefabricated tracks. I’ve used a recording device to multiply myself onstage, and with some customized instruments and unorthodox usage of them, it’s led to some huge soundscapes. The real trick is to keep the moves going simultaneously. Lately, I’ve enjoyed fronting bands tho, in the end music is all about playing with others.
Who are some of your favorite musicians? What musicians would you love to work with in the future?
I’ve just found this British cat called Jodie Abacus! I flipped when I heard his stuff. Also, those left unmoved by Anderson.Paak’s NPR Tiny Desk gig are thoroughly made of granite and must be discarded, that stuff is lit. I also have a weak spot for my fellow Norwegianesse Susanne Sundfør, while Supersilent provides strange piece of mind every time they shatter ear drums with their noisefests.
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people take away from your songs?
It’s fundamentally music to dance to, with some stuff to think about in there too. I aim to provide small pockets of goodness for stressed out lives.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
Check it out, it’s rad. Alternatively check me out, I’m rad