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  • Flex Staff

Fourth Born to Release Single "About Happiness" 8/29


Credit: Adrian Holtorf

Alternative artist Fourth Born has returned with his latest single, “About Happiness,” set for release on August 29th. The track, a peaceful and melodic exploration of “...the cost of everything we’d ever lost,” is featured on his forthcoming album Heartbreak Retreat. Driven by acoustic guitar, banjo, and mandolin, Fourth Born’s strong vocals and confessional lyrics about ruminating on a missed connection blend for the perfect folk song. Comparisons can be made to the work of Noah Kahan, Sufjan Stevens, Pinegrove, Jack Johnson, and Jeff Buckley.


Fourth Born, the solo project of mixing engineer and producer James Stephens, holds roots in Wasaga Beach, Ontario. Stephens has been songwriting since the tender age of 14, but after a successful career performing prior to the pandemic, he made the move to British Columbia to enter the foresting industry. Time spent in the wilderness has served as great inspiration. Stephens describes this as paramount to his musical process; “To silence the outside noise, in order to truly enveil the inside noise.” He lives in a secluded cedar wood cabin in Nelson, BC, the perfect place for recording without additional sound treatment. This gives an authentic, folk sound not often heard in the music of today.


“About Happiness” was written after a brief encounter with a woman Stephens met at the bar. After deciding their connection wasn’t meant to be, she stayed on his mind, prompting the track. It was recorded not in a traditional studio, but rather the main part of his cabin. “It has high ceilings and a cedar wood finish, so the audio fidelity is tight enough,” he shares. “I'd placed a stereo mic in the loft where I sleep to capture the natural small room reverb.”


Everything about Fourth Born is genuine - from his sound, to his lyricism, Stephens’ lays his feelings bare for the listener to absorb, producing the perfect soundtrack to a long drive or a reflective night.


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