Fences, 'Fences' (Onto/ADA)

6
Fences
Critical Mass
Label: Onto/ADA

by Barry Walters

By his debut's end, former Berklee Music schoolboy Chris Mansfield has been overwhelmed by his indie-folk influences in a downcast, tremulously voiced, you-won't-believe-it's-not-Bright Eyes kind of way. But introductory tracks "Boys Around Here" and "Girls With Accents" flaunt the assured hooks and astute observations of instant minor classics, and the best of the rest documents vulnerable screw-ups (apparently Mansfield included) with complementary precision. Kindred anxious soul Sara Quin of Tegan & Sara coproduces: Their nightmare lullaby duet "My Girl the Horse" captures codependent love in 26 words.

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