A former jazz student, Chris Mansfield abandoned his upright bass in Boston for an acoustic guitar and the indie scene in Seattle. His self-released debut EP, a home-recorded labor of love, is sparse, scattered with small moments of softly brushed drums and simple key melodies. Mansfield’s hushed, quiet vocals call to mind the reflective tones of fellow Northwest singer-songwriter Joshua Morrison.
Performing since 2007, Mansfield has become highly visible on the local Seattle scene, but he continues to adjust his playing style and vocal delivery. The unhurried version of “The Same Tattoos” during his live set on KEXP is perhaps a better copy of the same up-tempo song on the EP. As he continues to play more shows and prepares for a tour in 2009, perhaps Fences’ eventual LP will find Mansfield rehearsed and ready for the spotlight he is undoubtedly headed for.