Seattle-based singer-songwriter Fences (real name Christopher Mansfield) premiered his new song, “Arrows,” on local station KEXP today. The track features longtime pals Macklemore and was produced by Ryan Lewis.
This is the first new musical offering from the pair since their multi-Grammy-winning platinum-certified 2012 album, The Heist.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have a long history with Fences, who is featured on the duo’s 2011 fan favorite “Otherside Remix” and also has a writing credit on The Heist opener “Ten Thousand Hours.”
“Arrows” is the first single from Fences’ album Lesser Oceans, which comes out on Elektra Records Oct. 14 and is available for pre-sale beginning today at all digital retailers. All those who order the album will receive instant downloads of “Arrows” and the album track, “Songs About Angels.”
“Fences is a good friend,” said Macklemore. “He’s f—ed up in the same way that I’m f—ed up. Because of that, our lives relate beyond the music. I’ve always admired his talent for illustrating with words and evoking imagery. We’ve made a bunch of stuff together over the years and this here song about Arrows is my favorite one we’ve done.”
On the collaboration for “Arrows,” Mansfield explains: “I have known Macklemore for quite some time. A friendship grown in the coffee shops and broken sidewalks of Seattle. We became sounding boards for each other’s music and when it made sense we would combine our efforts. I consider him to be a fearless poet and a selfless human. ‘Arrows’ is the peak of our mountain.”
Lesser Oceans, the follow-up to 2010’s Fences — features, in addition to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis — Benjamin Greenspan and Lindsey Starr as well as production from such studio luminaries as Jacquire King (Of Monsters and Men, Kings of Leon, Modest Mouse) and Chris Walla (Death Cab for Cutie, The Decemberists, The Lonely Forest).
“Mansfield’s songs are powerful, beautifully melodic magnets,” stated Elektra Records President Jeff Castelaz, “attracting the downtrodden, the disaffected, the depressed. He makes music for people who are looking for their next best friend to be 10 stories that spin in a circle of 12-inch black vinyl. He makes music for people who simply love being fans of music.”
Fences first got underway in Boston, with Mansfield attending Berklee College of Music while also perfecting his songcraft. He relocated to the Pacific Northwest and in 2008, self-released his first Fences recordings as the now rare Ultimate Puke EP. Fences’ self-titled debut — co-produced by Sara Quin of Tegan & Sara – was named by SPIN among its “10 Best Albums You Might Have Missed This Year.”
Fences has also earned high praise as a live act, both solo and with his band, touring alongside such like-minded artists as Tegan & Sara, Against Me! and Hellogoodbye, while also performing at Lollapalooza and the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival.
On August 9, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis will play the main stage at San Francisco’s Outside Lands Festival, and will be joined by Fences for a performance of “Arrows.” They head to Europe on August 13 for a string of festival dates including stops at the Reading and Leeds festivals in the UK.