Written & Interviewed by: Bernadette
If you’re looking for a new indie artist to bop your head to, look no further. Singer/songwriter/guitarist Christopher Mansfield, who records under the pseudonym Fences, has released his second single “No One” off his upcoming album ‘Bright Soil’ due out this summer with Enci Records.
The newly released track offers sounds reminiscent of early 2000’s indie rock while also providing a sense of new electronic progression yet in actuality live instruments in session.
The new album is planned to highlight Mansfield’s life not only during a time of monumental changes which include the birth of his first child, but is perhaps his most cohesive album to date.
Fences collaborated with lifelong friend Felix Pastorius (son of Jaco Pastorius) on bass and Jeremiah Green (Modest Mouse) on drums. Wesley Schultz (The Lumineers) and Ryan Lewis (Macklemore & Lewis) also add vocals and production respectively. Mansfield’s wife, Maxine, also appears. Fences called the collaborations for his upcoming album his “dream band.”
Fences says of becoming a father, “As much as you feel like you’ve geared up for it, no matter how much you’ve prepared you really have no idea what it’s actually like.. I think I was blissfully ignorant of the magnitude before. But there was this beautiful thing about my wife being around and knowing that my daughter could hear the music. All the beautiful things that you would think I would think.”
He adds about the upcoming album, “I wanted to get people whose sound I loved so that if I wanted to, I could just leave and I could trust that they’d do their best. Jeremiah has a great natural flow to his playing and Felix is even more technically proficient than his father in some regards. I think he’s the best bass player in the world right now.” Fences went to Thomas Hunter of The Heavy for guitar. “I wasn’t being greedy but wanted to get the best players—it was like picking a soccer team in school. It was a joy.”
Fences has not only assembled some of the best talent for Bright Soul but has collaborated with many other well-known musicians in the past including Billy Strings on “Globe,” Will Oldham on “Niagra,” Tegan & Sara, Macklemore on “Arrows,” Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla, Jacquire King (Of Monsters and Men), Nile Marr (son of Johnny Marr) and Cedric Bixler-Zavala (The Mars Volta, At The Drive-In).
***Check out Frank151’s interview with Fences below***
“No One” offers a feel-good lighthearted sound while simultaneously a piqued mystery which creates an interesting dichotomy. Reminiscent of one of the best bands from the early-2000’s era, Postal Service. What came first, the lyrics or the melodies?
FENCES: They always come at the same time for me. Always, without exception. Dichotomy and juxtaposition seem to be something I’m plagued with. I just don’t understand looking how you sound and sounding how you look and words always matching melody and melody always matching words. I genuinely do not understand this as a golden rule. If used to secure a position or prove a point, maybe. A rule? No. It’s something that’s incredibly fun to play with. At the very least, many people would say if they were being honest, nothing matches.
The song feels very ambiguous in terms of what its story/lyrics represent. What was the inspiration for “No One?”
FENCES: I mean if you listen to the versus it’s really just describing nothing remarkable. Pulled out some papers to roll a cigarette and rolled it and lit it and kept walking. It all reminds me of Allston. MA.
Who produced the song? And how did the collaboration come about?
FENCES: Myself, Felix Pastorius, Thomas Hunter, Jeremiah Greene and Jason Soda. All of them are friends of mine. Jason I had met through Pat who owns my record label.
What 3 words best describe “No One?”
FENCES: Anxious – Western – Bebop
Your album Bright Soil is set to be released this August 2023. What are you most excited about for this album? What can listeners expect?
FENCES: Probably the title track. It’s just a beautiful song. I also love the album intro titled “Hell”. Hmm, well, it sounds like a FENCES album, assertively so.