a talk with bernache

we sat down with emma, also known as the solo artist bernache, and part of the band men I trust, to discuss her latest single and clip. shot over the summer at trinidad studio, the editorial was made possible thanks to our collaborator ariane poulin and this gorgeous location full of light and plants.

tell us about your inspiration for "your name." what's it like to work on a solo project alongside your band?

“your name” was a kind of experiment I had with ableton. it first wasn’t even supposed to be a release song. I couldn’t stop listening to the drums with the conga beats. at some point I was like, ok, let’s wrap it. for this track, I wanted to leave space to the instrumental part over the singing as a listened to it without words at first. “your name” talks about a relationship that takes so much space that it slows everything else around. I didn’t want to say too much. that’s the kind of thing I can enjoy doing solo. to be solo is pretty different - men I trust is a team that starts with the boys. their knowledge and reflexes are different from mine. they have a clean and fresh sound that I love. they push me somewhere else and I learn a lot from them. it also feels great to go back to my own style. I think without their feedback from the start, I wouldn’t have done it.

how did you choose the set for the "your name" music video?

it stars a ferry that people use everyday to go shore to shore in my hometown, quebec city. I think that boats are really romantic (james cameron knows). I like the feel and the colors on that boat. nothing was over planed - it's dragos, another member of men I trust, that filmed and directed the clip. we were a team of two. I started to dance to avoid getting cold and we just kept it that way.  

what kind of music do you listen to? do you have a favorite musician that you look up to?

I listen to many different kinds of music. those days, I have a hard time falling in love with an specific artist, or having a fetish album. I go song by song. often, I just listen on repeat to my favorite 30 seconds of a song and that’s ok. this week, I’ve listened to some early james blake, the song “I believe in you”, from black dub, (it’s such a beautiful love song, it heals everything). I discovered luwten, from the netherlands who has a super sweet style, good ideas and catchy melodies. 

tell us about your personal sense of style. what's your typical outfit?

I was a soft kinda grunge-goth my whole teenage time so I guess I believe in key pieces. I can buy two or three pairs of the same item if I like it and wear it almost as a uniform. I also have been shoe-obsessed since I was a kid. most of my clothes look pretty unisex; it’s a good thing that it's more and more common to find solid cuts and pieces for girls.

what's your go-to place to hang out? (in montreal or anywhere)

I would say apartments! we spend time finding an authentic place when every apartment is authentic! there is something in most old apartments in montreal, I can’t tell what it is, but it’s soothing. when the walls aren't perfect, and the bathroom is too small. I like a place that has style and personality by accident.

what's the best trip you've ever taken?

recently I have been in romania, in the countryside, and I fell in love with the little place we were in the mountains.   

do you have any words of inspiration or guidance for people who want to break into the music industry?

well I'm a small “indie” artist! I don’t know if I have the right answer but I would say “do your thing” as cliché as it may sound. you are on the first line to create. don’t try to make a hit, or to sound like someone else to be secure, or to fit in a “style”. I don’t think it’s a good way to succeed. it seems obvious but I guess it’s different when you're in it. the job is to create so it's hard but we need not to compare. the magic happens when you don’t know too much what is happening. I also try to avoid rejecting weird or uncool things I like - it's our individuality. also, I would say "never stop"! we need to push our music as far as we can with all the knowledge we have to make people hear it because there is no fairy tale in succeeding in music. also, it's not because people don’t respond at first that it's not good, because there's a lot of non-musical factors involved.  

listen to "your name" by bernache here and the latest from men I trust here.

text by nina morena
pictures by ariane poulin