I spent five years in Athens, OH in scholarly pursuit of the ever-sustaining buzz. Supressing my nostalgia for one of the greatest college towns in the country just got a little more difficult after indulging in the field recording-electronica of Blithe Field. As much as I enjoyed the Court Street bar crawls, the hikes up Bong Hill and street parties every weekend in May – oh, the deliquency – Blithe Field is drawn to the tranquility of southeast Ohio and boy, do I miss that too.
Spencer Radcliffe, operating under the moniker Blithe Field, is too young to delve into the seedier side of Athens life, which seems beneficial to the local boys' creative process. On “Crushing” Radcliffe is in the home of the quaint natives, as the children howl like wolves and bang around the house accenting his percussion with their own naive drumming. The family values are pushed a step further as a father encourages the little ones to “sing it.” It's a side of Athens that exists practically unbeknownst to the undergrad infestation that litters the red bricks nine months out of the year. But those who stick around to become “townies” will soon know the captured sounds of “Crushing” quite well.
Blithe Field's Two Hearted is out June 28th on Lefse sister label Waaga.