Christopher Mansfield looks tough. His stare is intimidating, his polychromatic body art combined with a dangling cigarette in his mouth are the given warnings that suggest you should stay away. But this guy’s unexpectedly something else. He’s into the romance.Mansfield is Fences and a songwriter who has a creative way with words, especially on this self-titled debut. His songs are like short stories bound together; the melodies are the illustrations and the lyrics are the words.

Sara Quin from Tegan and Sara produced the album, which Mansfield describes as falling under specific genres: pop, shoegaze, grime. On his MySpace, he’s lists high-water jeans, Romeo boots, Cat Power, Sleepless in Seattle and Italian Mastiffs as some of his influences. Not quite sure on the exact meanings behind each one of the influences, but this guy’s not your everyday artist.

Grade: B

Fences is currently available.