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iTunes Review

Chris Mansfield is a seriously tattooed, Berklee-educated musician with a rather surprising sound, considering his pedigree and countenance: think of Matt Pond PA or Elliott Smith and you’ve got Fences nailed (pardon the pun). This debut, co-produced by Sara Quin of Tegan & Sara (Quin also contributes vocals), is comprised of delicate, lovelorn folk-pop tunes that glimmer with acoustic guitars, and sigh with resignation and faint traces of hope. Electric guitars — scattered in short bursts — add a little edge, and weave rich textures around a few heart-achingly somber tunes, like the fragile “From Roses” and “Fires."  “Boys Around Here” and “Girls With Accents” have perfect, memorable pop constructs, though the expletive-laden chorus of “Girls” will likely prevent it from getting the endless play it deserves. “The Same Tattoos” could be branded early Cure-flavored folk, and “My Girl the Horse” sounds like a stripped-down Sea Wolf, a sweetly swaying tune with enough chorus-verse-chorus action that it settles into your cerebral mass with ease. Fences is a sparkling high point in the 2010 folk-pop milieu.

Customer Reviews

what a beautiful record

i recently saw this band in vancouver, what a show. heard that sara quin of tegan and sara produced the record and had to see it myself. i was totally blown away, great lyrics and music. get this now before everyone else is telling you about it

le sigh...

As if he is a renaissance poet singing in my headphones... I'm in love with this album and it has been well worth the wait. I am buying the vinyl immediately, Fences on a record player, I might cry.

lovely and poignant

He had me at "the way you talk with your hands." This album is solid from start to finish. Mansfield's voice has a presence that is both poetic and dignified. Can't wait to see the live show this month.


Formed: 2009 in Seattle, WA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Fences is the nom de plume of Chris Mansfield, a Berklee graduate with a penchant for casual pop songs and downcast lyrics. Taking his stage name from an August Wilson play, Mansfield moved to the Pacific Northwest after college and began making a name for himself in Seattle. His bittersweet music eventually caught the ear of Sara Quin, one half of the Canadian duo Tegan and Sara, and Mansfield soon found himself at Quin’s studio in Vancouver, where he spent ten days recording his full-length debut,...
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