Fences Heralds ‘Bright Soil’ With Title Track Featuring Wesley Schultz

[Cover photo credit to Adam Degross]

Christopher Mansfield, also known as Fences, has announced a new album due September 15th, 2023, Bright Soil. He has also shared its title track “Bright Soil” with an accompanying video. Joining Mansfield on the tune is The Lumineers’ Wesley Schultz, an artist he’s known for ten years.

Mansfield says:

His performance is startlingly beautiful. I got goosebumps when I heard it. I love how he really came out swinging. He sang it like he wrote it. I think that’s why that song works so well.

Mansfield also turned to a friend and past collaborator, Ryan Lewis, to mix the track. The pair previously worked on a song called “Other Side” from 2008 with Macklemore.

Mansfield adds about the track, which was written a short time before the death of his friend Regis Dean Jansen:

‘Bright Soil’ is like an analogy for wishing someone well when they’ve died. Going toward the light but also having this fearlessness. I didn’t know who I was talking about. I didn’t know anyone who had died recently but that song came out of me and it was strange how it fit the situation.

Shortly after that my daughter was born and I realized it could also mean coming toward the light when you’re born. I see the album as following that cycle. That song is also my favorite thing that I’ve ever written.

For the album 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. (Mansfield’s wife, Maxine, also appears.)

The actual recording involved a wide range of vintage gear, including mellotron, but Mansfield is “less concerned about model numbers and brand names than the warmth and timbral colors” that each device offers.

He adds:

Jason Soda, who co-produced with me, would have these crazy looking boxes and amps and little pianos and mics from the ‘50s and ‘60s. Jason is so excited by the gear that he knows what to use for handclaps. It’s always something crazy but it always fits. Without being dramatic, I don’t think anything we used on this album was something I’d seen before in person.

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