Healing From A Broken Heart With Ber

Healing from a broken heart is not a linear process; quite the opposite. Recovering from a broken heart, ghosted, or replaced, the cathartic rally is entirely individual to one’s circumstances. Minneapolis singer/songwriter Ber traverses through her healing process on her new EP ‘Halfway.’

As the project’s title suggests, Ber finds herself in the middle of wanting to get better and move on and battling her heart romanticising what once was. Previous EP ‘And I’m Still Thinking About It’ and new release ‘Halfway’ display Ber’s accounts of mementos and personal experiences gained over her overseas relocation.

Ber has spent most of her adult life in the UK, first as a student in Leeds and then in London. According to Ber, this critical couple of years is the period of her life when she found herself. As it goes, to interrupt her introspective journey, she had to collect the pieces of her heart instead.

On ‘Halfway,’ Ber gets straight to the point with the opening line, ‘is it a slutphase, or is it a bandaid,’ questioning her behavioral patterns and looking for answers. This project looks into the second wave of acceptance and moving on, where one is filled with angst and overwhelming sadness but is ready to let it go, making it the last hoorah before using tape to put the pieces back together.

In our conversation, Ber tells tales, spills the tea, and eloquently paints the picture of what series of events inspired the diary-like insight into her healing process.

Who Is Ber?

That is a great question! Haha, I think I’m still figuring that out. I’m a pretty big Grey\s Anatomy fan, I recently started rock climbing, I’m originally from northern Minnesota, I’m bilingual!  I just released my second EP called ‘Halfway,’ all about how weird it feels to heal from a tough breakup. 

In your Instagram bio, you describe yourself as ‘very minnesota-y’, could you elaborate what would clarify one to be ‘Minnesota-y’?

Haha, truthfully, someone commented that on a video of mine and it was too good not to take and run with. I was born here, I’m very proud to call it home. I love cold places and bundling up, I grew up with snowy birthdays in April, I think being from here has really altered my perspective and comes through in the music/ has really had a presence in the lyrical content on my project. 

You were also living in the UK, what made you move there?

I went to Leeds College of Music for my Undergrad! I’d never stepped foot in England when I decided to make the leap. I really enjoyed my time in Leeds, and I moved to London for a few months before coming back to Minnesota. 

What was the reasoning behind your move back to Minnesota?

My degree ended in 2020, and my last semester moved online when the Covid-19 pandemic sent everyone into isolation. My Student Visa expired upon graduating and with the UK on lockdown, visas got complicated and I ended up having to leave the UK in December of 2020. I was sad to leave the UK and the life I had built there, I think college is really formative and I really feel like I became a person there, so making the move home was really hard. 

What inspired you to create and write for your debut EP ‘And I’m Still Thinking About That’?

The move I mentioned above, that shook my world up quite a bit. When I moved home, I was broke and didn’t know anyone back in Minnesota, so I moved into my uncles basement and got a few part-time jobs and spent every second I could writing songs with my friends over Zoom, just to stay in the game. But in that move home, I also got ghosted by my boyfriend and wound up so heartbroken, without any closure, in a new place that was supposed to feel familiar. I felt really lost. Both of these EP’s come from that place in one way or another, I wrote ‘And I’m Still Thinking About That’ during my first attempt at coming to terms with the break up and that life was different, that I was allowed to try and date again, that I was allowed to be sad and mourn that love that I lost. I didn’t know I was writing that EP, I sort of stumbled into that collection of songs, but I felt really attached to the story they told and the piece of me it explained to myself, and I’m happy that it came together to be my little introduction to the world of music.

What is the backstory of ’Your Internet Sucks’?

Haha, when we wrote that, I had been avoiding all sorts of petty and angry emotions for almost 2 years, and I really felt like I needed to just write them all down so I could get it out and burn them essentially, like writing a journal entry and throwing the journal into a bonfire. Those feelings were just a weight on my chest. I wrote it with two of my best friends, after telling them this story (really nonchalantly I might add) about the time my now ex came to visit me in Leeds, and meet my housemates/get to know them. It had been over a month since i’d seen him (lockdown!), and he drove up for the night, but when he arrived he told me he was really tired and went to go lay down in my room for a quick nap, and I thought “okay, of course! I’ll start dinner!”. 3 hours flew by as I made dinner and hung out with my housemates, and he still hadn’t come down to say hi, so when dinner was ready I brought him a portion thinking I’d find him asleep, but when I opened the door he was laying on my bed playing Fortnite on his iPad with a PS4 controller that he had brought from home. 

My friends FREAKED out when I told them this, and while I laughed it off at the time, telling them this brought back so many memories of things I’d been holding onto and my friend Landon looked me in the face and said, “Ber, we’re writing this. I don’t care what happens with it. You have to get this off your chest” and he was SO right. He also insisted there was a lyric about Fortnite. It was too good an opportunity to pass up. Hearing that people relate to this song…. Baffles me. But it also doesn’t, I think we all know that guy, and so it’s fun that this song exists. 

How was it filming the ‘Your Internet Sucks’ music video during a snow emergency? 

It was the best. Honestly so memorable, and freezing! The snow was gorgeous, production got pushed back a few hours because the roads were so bad, but in the end it made it all so much better. One of my favorite videos we’ve made. 

What other songs would you include in your ‘Revenge’ playlist?

Hmmm… All Because I Liked A Boy by Sabrina Carpenter, Femininomenon by Chappell Roan, Mad Woman by Annika Bennett. To name a few!

What is the prevailing theme of your new EP ‘Halfway’?

HEALING and how weird it is. But not the first part of healing, the second part, where you’re actually READY to move on but your heart sort of is still in the way. Each song sort of covers a different stage of what my experience was like and how it felt to discover that void that falls somewhere “halfway” through the healing process, and it never really resolves. The opening line of the EP, “Is it a Slutphase, or is it a bandaid?” sort of says it all, and by the end of it you really realise that it was indeed just a bandaid, and that thats okay. We need bandaids! Whether or not they do anything, they represent that we’re at least trying to heal up, get better, patch a hole so that someday we are good. That effort is there. This whole EP is one big ounce of effort in explaining some tough emotions to myself! 

Are you excited to be performing at The Road To The Great Escape in Glasgow and Dublin?

SO excited. I’ve always wanted to play in Dublin, and to visit as I’ve never been, and when they asked me to join the road to great escape, I was so excited. I’ve heard so many cool things about the festival, and its an honour to be showcased! 

What would you advise other aspiring artists? What are some lessons you learnt on the way?

Well, art is very subjective, but a big lesson for me has been to stop taking everything so seriously all the time. You really do sometimes have to trust the process and ground yourself, I think its so easy to get caught up in numbers and compare yourself to artists that are 2 albums deep and been around much longer than you, and you just can’t skip any steps. Nurturing yourself and your art will yield results that feel like they come from you, and you’re not actually racing the clock as much as it may seem. 

Are there any other plans for this year you are about to share?  What goals did you set for yourself?

I am so excited to be embarking on my first headline tour, I think it is going to be the craziest experience. The goals I’ve set for myself are to be present, because this year is going to be filled with new and scary and unbelievable experiences that the me from even last year would have never imagined I’d get the opportunity to experience, so I hope to be present and let them sink in. I’m also so excited to start working on the next body of work and exploring some new and less heavy emotions! Haha. 

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Words: Karolina Kramplova