With ‘Humanoid’, Bernhoft Reaches For Humanity in a Tech-Driven World (album stream) (premiere)

Norway's Bernhoft and the Fashion Bruises propel pop forward with a soulful spirit on their new album Humanoid.

As the world ascends further into the digital realm, so must we expect that some aspects of art shall follow. While many contemporary musicians, for instance, stick to classic conventions, a slew of others dare to embrace new technology in audio processing to take their work into more cybernetic realms. When Bernhoft and his band, the Fashion Bruises, went about developing the basis for their new album Humanoid, they did so in a way that would purposefully shrug off the likes of automated production. Although it’s a pop record, the Norwegian band centered the album’s themes around reconnecting with humanity and capturing the electricity of a live performance.

Humanoid is an album about trying to find the essence of humanity in a tech-driven world,” Bernhoft tells PopMatters. “I’ve been struggling to find my place in pop music for a while (all my life really), but I found that it was definitely not where even the vocals sound like they are generated by computer algorithms. The string of songs on Humanoid all go another way; they were recorded live in the studio, with minimal use of editing. They aim to sound modern, just human while at it.”

“We did this all as a band,” he goes on to say. “We didn’t use computers. We really played through everything. The Fashion Bruises are such an integral part of the sound. The days of playing solo aren’t over, but I’m definitely taking a break. The goal was to keep this like a live performance.”

Their hard work has most definitely paid off. Driven by instantly ensnaring hooks, passion instrumentation, and a powerful lead, Humanoid calls back to the eras of pop preceding the modern age while working a swagger that is all its own. That point is made evident straightaway with the lush, energizing thrills of the album’s titular opening track and is only driven further forward from there. Bernhoft & the Fashion Bruises bring slick, richly-produced pop music to the forefront, and it’s all the more impressive that they’ve managed to do it so organically.

Bernhoft & the Fashion Bruises’ Humanoid was developed over the course of two weeks at Oslo Klang in Norway. It will be released on 24 August via Big Picnic.


September 6 – U Street Music Hall – Washington, DC

September 7 – Foundry @ The Fillmore – Philadelphia, PA

September 8 – Sinclair Music Hall – Cambridge, MA

September 10 – Bowery Ballroom – New York, NY

September 11 – Space Ballroom – Hamden, CT

September 13 – Ballroom @ Taft Theatre – Cincinnati, OH

September 14 – Pike Room @ Crofoot – Detroit, MI

September 15 – Schuba’s – Chicago, IL

September 16 – Turf Club – St. Paul, MN

December 5 – White Oak Music Hall – Houston, TX

December 7 – Club DaDa – Dallas, TX

December 8 – Antone’s – Austin, TX

December 9 – Lowbrow Palace – El Paso, TX

December 11 – Crescent Ballroom – Phoenix, AZ

December 12 – The Casbah – San Diego, CA

December 13 – Teragram Ballroom – Los Angeles, CA

December 14 – Moe’s Alley – Santa Cruz, CA

December 15 – The Independent – San Francisco, CA

December 17 – Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR

December 18 – Tractor Tavern – Seattle, WA