*The Following Press Release Was Issued By Earshot Media*
“…further testament to Christopher Mansfield’s deeply emotional and expressive songwriting. Writers such as Mansfield remind us that pop can still be spiritual, sublime, its expressive qualities capable of elevating the spirits and challenging our preconceptions about art of any kind.”- PopMatters (Jedd Beaudoin)
“Haunting in its simplicity…teeming with emotionally charged inflections reminiscent of Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard.”- Earmilk (Valeria Kolomiets)
Album Bundles: https://shop.grndvw.com
‘Failure Sculptures’ | Listen Now: https://orcd.co/failuresculptures
Stream “Paper Route”: https://orcd.co/paperroute
Seattle-based Fences, the alter-ego of musician/songwriter Christopher Mansfield, has just released his new album, ‘Failure Sculptures’ via GRNDVW.
Perhaps most well-known through his collaborations with Tegan and Sara(the latter of whom produced his 2010 self-titled debut album) and Macklemore (who he’s teamed up with on various tracks), Fences upcoming release is Mansfield’s first new LP since 2015’s ‘Lesser Oceans’ which featured production by Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla, Jacquire King (Of Monsters and Men) and Ryan Lewis.
Mansfield is releasing a series of “vignettes” around the album’s release. The first “Failed Sculptures” is now streaming here: https://youtu.be/MIXo1Ut5HgM.
Fences just wrapped a short run of solo acoustic shows on the west coast. Watch for additional dates to be announced soon.
“Horse Not Running”
I’ve exited black tinted windowed vans in back alleys of tv studios to be met by young women and men in tie dye t-shirts with Fences screen printed horizontally in white. Some giving me notes and drawings. Drawings of me in pen, all the shapes on my face matching when held up. New Mexico, cheek. Often a song title on top in some sort of banner. My girl the horse, my mountain is cold. Sometimes they cry, sometimes I would cry too.
I’ve played in bars to a single man mopping, sometimes lifting his head to make eye contact with me then returning to the bar to wipe a glass as if hollowing it out. I have had a bell curve or more accurately put, pendulum of a “career”. Highs like Everest and lows like sleeping bags in Portland parks.
How did I get here? Why do people care? This connection to other human beings has been my life’s greatest mystery and joy. Regardless of my confusion and self-loathing nature I knew I had and I know have to keep going.
The tears that fell in London have driven me to once again place the capo on the third fret and try to make sense of all of this mess. For you, for me, for no one sometimes.
My mother a chord, my daughter a melody, my right hand driven by god or Django Reinhardt. I have all my albums on vinyl or at least someone I know has them for safe keeping. My life poured onto a thin black wax the size of a dinner plate. Failure Sculptures is my favorite plate.
It holds the sweat of a Tennessee night and the fireflies that stopped glowing the moment I put them in a pint glass. It has the car rides with the street lights breaking and splintering like veins against the summer storm windshield. It has a stool and a microphone and the most drunken warm warble we could muster with modern technology.
I remember specifically the sound of birds from open windows, lawnmowers, a cat put away in the other room. Richie’s house, Patrick’s studio after closing, raiding the fridge and smoking by a flickering light covered in spiderwebs. The beautiful humans who came to sing and perform in the chaotic play that is embarrassingly me.
After we finished the album I drove from Nashville to big sur in a broken car, a blue Volvo with stickers on the back that made the driver behind us clear of our political stance. The car was not mine, the stance was not mine. But it pushed us through miles of desert and I saw the sun rising and falling 4 times from the passenger window.
Big Sur, the deer, the bob cat and the cabin. The car angled by the sliding glass door. The beautiful driver often sitting on the trunk and rolling cigarettes. I would walk in the woods and wait to hear the final mixes. Sometimes you forget. Sometimes you have to wait.
I eventually headed up to Portland to meet Cheyenne, an artist and a large part of this story. We had a bond in our dreams and even nightmares. Hawk filming, slow motion sage smoke and found footage. He the director and me an admirer. “A mission” is the opening track of Failure Sculptures and the first video that was made. Our minds brothers and our eyes projectors.
Everyone from this project has gone on with their lives. New relationships, new cities, countries, and even rehab. We always do and we must. I however continue to hold its leash, wondering when the coyote is safe to run. When will it be accepted and when do the people who cried in London with torn corner posters want to hear it? This has always been about them.
Now I lay here in a wooden walled room waiting for you to hear it. It’s always a strange wait. I feel like a nervous father at the foot of a hospital bed wondering how to even hold her when the light splits her eyes in lemon yellow. When she breaths cold hospital air, replacing what once was water. When she stops swimming and I start drowning in how much I love her. Albums are just births, artists are just nervous parents.
It has everything in it. It could read like a will.
Seattle, March 2019
Praise for FENCES:
“…a cohesive set of sweetly depressing folk-pop anthems and whimsical musings on stellar sophomore LP Lesser Oceans.”- Idolator
“Fences…music is a fascinating amalgamation of emo and alt-country. His songs have drawn comparisons to everyone from The Cure to Hank Williams, and tracks such as “Girls with Accents” and “My Girl the Horse” certainly show Mansfield to be a slacker songwriter of some note.”- Dallas Observer
“Reminiscent of Death Cab For Cutie, he creates lyric-heavy, melancholy music with gorgeous melodies.”- Baeble Music
“The Seattle band — led by songwriter Christopher Mansfield — has drawn positive national attention…Melancholy and regret run through Fences’ self-titled debut, which draws on Mansfield’s songbook from 2004 to the present.”- NPR