Operating under the moniker of Fences, singer/songwriter Christopher Mansfield recently dropped the video for his latest single “Werewolf Palm”. It was directed by Hanna Gray Hall (Spanish Love Songs, Starbenders). Today he has released the new album Bright Soil on Enci Records. Check out the video and stream the album in the article below.
Stream the new album Bright Soil here.
Mansfield says, “My friend and brilliant actor Chris Bauer said “This looks like a world I couldn’t survive in unless I ate the pancakes.” I think that’s what is stunning about the video. It is a very uncomfortable world. Although I was there and remember them as merely “locations”… they truly weren’t. It would take years of convincing to tell me what we shot was only pretend. Hannah is an absolute genius and the fact the entire thing was her alone behind a camera is almost shocking. It’s my favorite video I’ve made and I wish I could film it again and again everyday. “
When asked about the new album, Bright Soil, Mansfield says, “I just wanted it to sound cohesive. With my previous full-length albums, I’d recorded them in different states with different producers, different drummers, different everything. For this, we had a room for a specific amount of time. That’s it. It was like, “Lock the door and don’t kill each other.””
He adds, “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.” For guitar he turned to Thomas Hunter of The Heavy. “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.”
Mansfield also became a father during the cycle for the album. “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,” he says. “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.”
Bright Soil spotlights not only a time of monumental changes in Mansfield’s life, but is perhaps his most cohesive album to date.
For the LP as a whole Mansfield assembled what he refers to as his “dream band” with lifelong friend Felix Pastorius (son of Jaco Pastorius) on bass and Jeremiah Green (Modest Mouse) on drums, drums. Wesley Schultz and Ryan Lewis (Macklemore & Lewis) also add vocals and production respectively. Mansfield’s wife, Maxine, also appears.
Stream the Directors Cut of “Werewolf Palm” here.
Film by Hannah Gray Hall
Written by FENCES and Hannah Gray Hall
Sound Design by Jonah Levine
Starring FENCES and Jonah Levine
Featuring Gatlin and Dara Eckes
Fences will be performing at Jaanaroo, a benefit series for Mental Health Alliance during AmericanaFest in Nashville, TN on September 21st, and has announced an in-store acoustic performance and reading at Nashville’s The Groove Records at 12pm on September 22nd, celebrating the launch of his new book of poetry The Horses in Montana, due out in October.