Bern/hoft – Solidarity Breaks (2011)

Jarle Bernhoft, known by his stage name Bern/hoft, is a Norwegian vocalist and multi-instrumentalist. Solidarity Breaks is his second studio album, although it is the first album to be recorded under his moniker, Bern/hoft. For the most part, this album falls under the category of soul or funk. The varying and atypical instrumentation for this style of music keeps this album interesting.

My favorite track is “Space In My Heart”. This track starts with a very faint piano (maybe an organ) playing a fast and ghostly atonal arpeggio, giving a backing of eeriness to the track. It sounds like something straight out of a musique concrète recording. Mellow electric guitar plucks out a contrastingly harmonic series of chords. There are some nice space-like synth textures during the chorus, giving the “Space” in the title two meanings. I love the textures that are in this song. This track features the first guitar solo on the album, lagging slightly behind the beat. The chords and ambient sounds add a sense of wonder to the whole track. Towards the end, there are some heavily vocoded robot-esque vocals.

Bern/hoft also covered a Tears for Fears classic, “Shout”, using different chords, higher vocals, and an overall more poppy feel to the 1980’s original.

Another notable track is “Prophet. Surprisingly enough, parts of this song remind me of Gorillaz. Very few artists have reminded me of them. To me, Gorillaz has a really unique sound and has maintained it throughout their career. The quirky chords, interesting bass, and emphasis on keyboards remind me of one of Gorillaz’s latest singles, “Doncamatic“.

Solidarity Breaks is a nice, modern soul/funk album that is full of interesting compositions and musical styles. Nice vocals, good instrumentation, and well-built textures. Check it out.

Favorite Track: Space In My Heart

Jarle Bernhoft - Solidarity Breaks

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