Fences is the musical venture of Christopher Mansfield, and if there is anything you should know this act, it’s that looks are deceiving. This applies to the metal-esque cover of his EP Ultimate Puke (not to mention the title) as well as his face tattoos and empty holed stretched earlobes. He takes pride in people not being able to label him or his music. Coincidentally, he’s one of our top emerging artists.
Top Emerging Artists – Fences
If we had to apply a label to Mansfield’s music, though, it might fall somewhere between singer/songwriter and indie rock. His music is raw and honest, spilling his life story into carefully composed guitar chords and down-tempo ballads. Fences successfully combines the honesty of folk music and the catchiness of pop. His songs often include other instruments such as vox guitar and moog synth, properly fitting the zeitgeist of popular music. While Fences is the creation of Mansfield, live performance members also include Ben Greenspan, Lindsey Starr, Lauren Zettler and Aaron Steele.
Mansfield is a graduate of Berklee School of Music, and in 2009, he was discovered by Sara Quin of Tegan and Sara. She then went on to produce and help debut his self-titled album Fences in 2010. Fences’ biggest break yet can be attributed to his remix of Macklemore’s “Otherside.” The success of this remix lies in the acoustic feel of the song, rather than the upbeat sampling of Red Hot Chili Peppers in the original. The remix also features Fence’s own hook, giving the song a softer, more heart wrenching feel. This remix has a less busy beat, allowing for the rawness of the lyrics to sneak under your skin. And while the song takes on a new tempo, it still sends a clear message about addiction, which both Fences and Macklemore have experience with. You be the judge; the music video has over 30 million views on YouTube.
Fences’ newest album Lesser Oceans is expected to drop in May/June of this year. You will be able to catch him this year at SXSW in March. Perhaps this musical project is best summed up in Mansfield’s own words: “I’ve tried to take everything in the world that I love and turn it into this thing that’s Fences.”
Check out Fences’ page on Rukkus for cheap tickets.
Article by Jess Keller