At first listen, “RD 1” and “Love Knot” by Blithe Field could not seem more distant. The former is a bucolic roll through green fields with simple tumbling piano delicately pressed against slow pulling strings. The later rages with a metropolis’ high pitches and potential energy. By the end of the double track, however, it’s clear that both tracks are tied together, locked in a dance that makes each stronger. Together they form a whole. It’s a dense canvas created by attraction and opposites.
Combining two tracks from polar opposites that balance perfectly with one another in the center, is exactly what we would expect from Spencer Radcliffe. The Ohioan has been releasing instrumentals under the moniker Blithe Field for a decade now, but it wasn’t until 2013 that he began delivering music with lyrics under his own name. Last year, Radcliffe stepped out of his usual solo element and enlisted a seven-piece band for an album titled Enjoy the Great Outdoors, released under the name Spencer Radcliffe & Everyone Else. With that experience now under his belt, Radcliffe has returned to Blithe.
Stepping outside one’s box can help achieve the view a broader landscape. “RD 1” / “Love Knot” paints an entire picture. Blithe covers the canvas with sounds from either side of a vast spectrum, and fills it with everything from warm keys to glitched electricity.
The journey across the 12-minute dual-track is like crossing from one side of an island to the other. This journey allows us to experience both sunset and sunrise. The distance Radcliffe travelled may be greater than could be hiked or driven in one day, as the sounds of the plane between the two tracks might indicate. Nonetheless, it seems like the artist has seen both sides of a singular whole.
“RD 1”, with its puffy white clouds, comforting repetitions, and lapping piano riffs, soothes. “Love Knot”, with its neon signs and bursting emotions, excites, and blushes. Together they form what seems to be a day in the life of Blithe Field; like a rising sun, beautiful and full of potential, like a sunset, mysterious and warm. It’s good to recognize that we are part of the whole.
HURRY – LISTEN – BLITHE FIELD