Album Review: Fences – ‘Bright Soil’

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Review by Jace Media Music

Fences, the musical project helmed by singer-songwriter Christopher Mansfield, has returned with a new offering in the form of the LP ‘Bright Soil.’ Known for his emotive and introspective songwriting, Fences has garnered a dedicated following over the years, and this album is poised to further solidify his place in the indie music scene. ‘Bright Soil’ is a collection of songs that beautifully encapsulate Mansfield’s signature style while incorporating notable contributions from talented artists, including Felix Pastorius, Jeremiah Green of Modest Mouse fame, Wesley Schultz, and Ryan Lewis of Macklemore & Lewis.

The album opens with a sense of anticipation, immediately drawing the listener in with its melodic and inviting intro. The title track, “Bright Soil,” sets the stage for what’s to come, displaying Fences’ knack for crafting songs that are both deeply personal and universally relatable. Mansfield’s vocals are poignant and delivered with a sincerity that allows listeners to connect with the emotional landscape he explores throughout the record.

One of the standout aspects of ‘Bright Soil’ is the inclusion of Felix Pastorius, whose bass contributions add a rich and resonant layer to the music. Tracks like “In The Garden” and “Underwater” showcase Pastorius’s musical prowess, elevating the songs to a new level of sonic depth.

Jeremiah Green’s drumming, known to fans of Modest Mouse, adds a dynamic rhythm to several tracks, including “The Foundation” and “Leaving.” His collaboration with Fences brings an extra layer of complexity and groove to the album.

Wesley Schultz and Ryan Lewis also make noteworthy appearances on the record, their unique talents complementing Fences’ songwriting. “Backwards Windows” stands out as a particularly engaging track, featuring Schultz’s distinctive voice and Lewis’s production skills, creating a memorable sonic landscape.

‘Bright Soil’ is a testament to Fences’ evolution as an artist. It retains the emotional depth and vulnerability that fans have come to expect while exploring new sonic territories and experimenting with diverse musical elements. Mansfield’s songwriting shines throughout the album, touching on themes of introspection, love, and the human experience.

In conclusion, ‘Bright Soil’ is a compelling addition to Fences’ discography. It’s an album that invites listeners to immerse themselves in its lush melodies and evocative lyrics. With the contributions of talented collaborators, it demonstrate Fences’ ability to evolve his sound while staying true to his artistic vision. ‘Bright Soil’ is a musical journey well worth taking for both longtime fans and newcomers to Fences’ music. It’s a testament to the power of introspective songwriting and artistic collaboration.

Fences will be performing at Americana Fest in Nashville 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 short stories ‘The Horses in Montana’ out in October.

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