Fourth Born’s ‘About Happiness’ – An authentic modern folk gem

It's a tranquil and melodious alt-pop-folk composition, which delves into "the cost of everything we'd ever lost"
15 September 2023

Hailing from from the scenic Wasaga Beach, Ontario, Fourth Born, is the brainchild of mixing engineer and producer James Stephens,

Fourth Born‘s latest single, About Happiness, is a tranquil and melodious alt-pop-folk composition, which delves into “the cost of everything we’d ever lost”. It works as a captivating sneak peek into his upcoming album, Heartbreak Retreat.

Guided by acoustic guitar, banjo, and mandolin, Fourth Born‘s powerful vocals and candid lyrics about pondering a missed connection come together to create the quintessential folk song.

James Stephens‘ chance encounter with a woman at a bar led to the inspiration for About Happiness. Although their connection proved to be fleeting, she lingered in his thoughts, serving as the catalyst for this heartfelt track.

What makes this song even more exceptional is that it was not recorded in a conventional studio but rather in the main part of his cabin. Stephens explains, “It has high ceilings and a cedarwood finish, so the audio fidelity is tight enough.” To capture the natural ambience of the room, he placed a stereo mic in the loft where he sleeps, resulting in a recording that beautifully incorporates the cabin’s organic small-room reverb.

Drawing comparisons to the likes of Noah Kahan, Sufjan Stevens, Pinegrove, Jack Johnson, and Jeff Buckley, Fourth Born’s music stands as a testament to his unique blend of talent and authenticity.

Fourth Born‘ journey in songwriting began at a tender age of 14. While he enjoyed a successful career in music prior to the pandemic, a significant life change led him to the forests of British Columbia. It was here, amidst the serenity of the wilderness, that his creative wellspring found new depths.

He describes this period as essential to his creative process, stating, “To silence the outside noise, in order to truly unveil the inside noise.”

He currently resides in a secluded cedarwood cabin nestled in Nelson, BC—a haven that provides the ideal environment for recording without the need for additional sound treatment. This natural setting offers an authentic folk sound rarely encountered in today’s music landscape.

Fourth Born wears his heart on his sleeve, inviting listeners to share in his emotions and reflections. His music serves as the perfect soundtrack for long drives, moments of reflection, and those intimate, introspective nights when you need a companion in sound.