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MP3 Bern - It's not you, it's me

Fusing blues,garage, and post punk, Bern delivers an emotional sonic landscape framed by timeless rock. If you like women rockers like PJ Harvey, Siouxsie Soux, Blondie or the Pretenders, you''ll like this.

12 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Modern Rock, BLUES: Blues Vocals

Northern New Jersey indie-artist Bernadette Malavarca began her songwriting and performing career over ten years ago at just 14 years old. She spent most of her musical life performing acoustically in coffeehouses and clubs throughout New Jersey and New York. She''s sung in the intimate settings of such venues as Side Walk Café and CB''s Gallery in NYC, where she played her first label showcase at just 16.

In 1999, she formed a melodic punk trio called Lullabi and toured the tri-state area regularly. Before disbanding in 2001, the trio recorded Peru, a haunting, punk-new wave, limited edition EP, recorded by Gabe Anel of Interplanetary Productions.

At 21, in search of a fresh direction, Bern left Lullabi and the group disbanded. Although the punk-new wave vibes of the trio were dear to her heart, Bern was seeking a broader musical representation, one that better reflected her musical diversity. She wanted to create something a step more refined than "punk", less entrapping than "acoustic- singer songwriter", more universal than "new wave", feeling no single one of those avenues alone were quite fitting. She''d always kept in mind the advice Amy Ray of the Indigo girls gave her at SXSW when she was just coming into this abyss of the music industry, "Try to make something that is just you. Tune out everything else that''s going on."

In 2002, Bern got the opportunity to do just that. Along with friends and colleagues Mark Stevens and Joe Purdie, Bern began tracking at Highland Studio what would become her first LP, "it''s not you, it''s me". The record was released in late summer 2004.

"It''s not you, it''s me" accomplishes something very important as a debut record. It introduces a distinct style and vibe that is Bern. All of the colors came together, as far apart as they are alone, punk, rhythm and blues, pop, and created a new color. The genre may be nameless, but what comes across is cohesive, unified, fresh, and promising. When asked once by a reporter for the Jersey paper The Record what her ultimate goal was as a music artist, she replied, "Longevity. I want to make music that doesn''t grow old. Something that''s timeless, like jeans and a t-shirt." Her debut is a step in that direction.

The album has its humble flaws. It does not have the sparkle of pro-tools, and high-end production of many major label products. Bern does not try to create the pretense of that kind of artist. It mirrors more the production style of such bands as the White Stripes, a bit raw and analog sounding, yet the essence of music is not sacrificed. It still comes across, with promise, that there is more to come of this vibe, and the sound will grow with the artist.

Fusing all her colors, her blues, her brights and darks, Bern is currently pounding the pavement on tri-state stages, DIY style, with a killer group of musicians, Catherine McGowan (bass), Adam Streicher (guitar) and Mark Stevens (drums). The group is also recording a second Bern album at Highland Studio, expected to be released some time next year.

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