Singer-songwriter from Portland, Oregon Anna Tivel announced her new album last week, titled The Question, with the release of the first single, “Fenceline.”
With “Fenceline,” Tivel wanted to evoke a “cinematic story about crossing between two lands.” She worked at capturing a small sliver of the incredibly complex immigration issue gripping today’s society.
“This song is about the divisions we create to keep each other out, from fences to walls, to the gates of heaven,” she said. “I guess I got to thinking about what makes us different and what makes us the same, what breeds hatred and fear and what breeds understanding.”
An interview with a border guard shortly after the 2016 election had caught her attention, and brought up the story of St. Peter and his gate in her mind.
“[The border guard] talked about the people he met, the people he helped through, and those he had to send back, what their lives were like, what they were hoping for, and what they were scared of,” Tivel said. “I kept thinking about St. Peter and his gate, how some people believe that you arrive at the entrance to heaven and have to prove that you belong there, that even in death we’re drawn to the idea of some kind of great wall.”
The Question will be released via Fluff and Gravy Records on April 19, 2019. People can find her on tour now on the West Coast throughout November.