Fences is the alias of singer-songwriter Christopher Mansfield, who has been making a name for himself with some immaculate pop/rock. This time around, the well-tattooed Mansfield has teamed up with Will Oldham, aka Bonnie “Prince” Billy, one of the modern indie legends for a double-sided single “Niagara”/”Sympathy For The Devil.”
Of the collaboration, Mansfield says, “Working with someone who unknowingly informed you on the process of what it is you do can be jarring. Self-doubt inflates, ego inflates. Whatever is possible to feel will be felt. Two entirely different humans in their own personal timelines trying to essentially find the same song. One is further along the track, yet the track is a circle and two people eventually meet. Consider it not being “lapped” but rather evidence of how a circle works. They will pass and you will pass and then someone else will circle back to you, forever..”
Oldham adds, “Most people take for granted that music is inherently about connection and communication. Music is so good and so available that most folks think it just IS. I live for the connection, for the idea that making music will bring me to the table with the likes of Christopher (Fences): someone new to me who is a living, breathing, fluent, damaged, energized, and inspiring worker-in-song, finding it in himself to not only give me the time of day but to actually invite me to sit and work with him.”
Since neither of the artists is a stranger to collaboration with other artists that might be musically and conceptually as far from each other as possible, the music they create here is practically flawless, with both “Niagara,” as the original here and the cover of the Rolling Stones classic “Sympathy For The Devil” shine in full light, showing the best sides of both Fences and Bonnie “Prince” Billy.