EP Review: Berne – Conversation


berneReleased 13th November 2015

Words: Siôn Ford

From what brief reading I’ve managed to do Online in preparation for this piece, it doesn’t appear as though Berne has been on the scene for particularly long – there was a single released in 2012, but this  EP, Conversation, looks to be her first record. Already a popular success in her homeland of Malta, this release will see her sound push further ashore and there will no doubt be a crop of new followers when the record is released to the public on the 13th of November.


After having listened to this four track EP it comes as no surprise that Berne has already drawn comparisons to the likes of Regina Spektor, with her songs evoking the same soundscapes that envelope her vocal and piano arrangements. Truth be told though, there is a noticeable difference between the two in that Spektor’s music sounds a bit more sentimental, whereas the songs on Conversation sound like there’s more of a flair for the dramatic.


Opening the EP is the ominous The Scene, a track that opens with a sad sound before it moves into a darker crescendo – it’s a song that is quite clearly charged with emotion and meaning, and sets an interesting tone for the record. Following it up is a much more Spektoresque sounding song, Espresso-Oh, with a plucky instrumental track and lyrics which try to sound as quirky as the indie romance film this could one day feature in.


The third track on this record is arguably the most dramatic of the four, sounding like something that should feature in a contemporary musical, Lights follows on in a similar vein as its predecessors inasmuch as there’s a noticeable piano track – it should be highlighted that Berne is a very capable player – but there’s a nice shift halfway through where the track moves from its theatrical sound to that of something with a bit more substance.


Finally, the last track on the record is the single taken from this EP, In The Woods, which sees the same operatic sound manifesting itself again. The one criticism for this song is that it sounds like it’s a bit too caught up in the murkiness of the additional effects for it to actually have the impression that it’s as dark and shadowy as it would like to be.


To be honest, this record won’t be to everyone’s liking and the singer-songwriter who now operates out of London will be a musical figure who cuts opinion in a very definitive fashion: either you will like her music, or you won’t be overly fussed. That said there’s obviously a talent here and there’s no doubting that Berne will find some degree of success with this release.

Watch the video for The Woods here:

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