“Griffen’s writing is at its best, he draws on these honest and intimate moments and tells it how it is. It’s a trait he has always had, and Doors Wide Open cements that Griffen is one of the most intense and talented lyricists in New Zealand.”

— Finn McLennan-Elliott –

“You said once, that music saved your life. And I'm wondering whether music also messed you up before it saved your life?" - "It did mess me up, for sure. I was quite a confident young man, and in my early teens and mid-teens, and I don't know what happens, but somehow around 17 I just went nuts.”

— Kim Hill – Radio New Zealand

“I’m not sure who said it, but self-belief and sheer dogged tenacity are just as important as any kind of creative ability. Creativity is littered with talented people who gave up, but Bernie won’t!”

— Trevor Reekie –

bernie griffen eyes wide open listener review 2018

— The Listener —

“No one could accuse Bernie Griffen of having a pretty voice, but it’s certainly a convincing one; tremulous and true, with Warner’s harmonies just softening the edge as he sings of temptations, trials and the occasional truck driver.”

“Though Griffen is the primary songwriter, he’s co-written a couple of tunes here with Warner, who also at times takes over the lead vocal, and the contrast is good; like hitting tarseal after a long stretch of gravel. She’s fine singing lead on Griffen’s ‘Laura Jane’, a parlour country song; even better with Griffen joining her in harmony on ‘Maria’…”

— Nick Bollinger – The Sampler, Radio NZ —

Many a great folk album has been born of adversity and the wider you open these doors the more this one grows to fill the room.

— Pedro Santos – —

— Sunday Magazine, Sunday Star-Times —

“Sometimes the honesty of a lyric lies in its personal delivery more than polished melodic perfection.These are imperfect people who acknowledge their shortcomings and strengths in heart-bearing songs.”

— Graham Reid – —

“Listen to this one a few times – its riches emerge more fully when given space to breathe.”

— Jacquie Walters – —

— Marty Duda – The 13th Floor —

“The sentiment of Bernie Griffen’s new single ‘My Brain Exploded’ song is Cohen-esque: it’s taking on old age with a wry humour, lamenting his lack of focus, his ailing body, his habit of getting lost. It’s charming.”

“The cold night did little to detract from the event, instead adding depth to the sombre gothic-inspired lyrical content. Another great night of music, turn out the lights.”

— Johnny B – —