Fayetteville-based duo and UA alumni Jack Blocker and Reed Hoelsher released their band’s debut album, “Rightfield, One,” on Jan. 29, delivering an indie-rock assortment of soulful vocals and electronic embellishments.
With almost 91,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, Rightfield has transcended its early days in Pomfret Hall. The band’s single “Gone!” is featured on “soda,” one of Spotify’s official playlists with over 161,600 followers.
The record’s intro and lead single, “Wait,” opens with harmoniously layered vocals from Rightfield’s lead singer, Blocker, followed by soft, mellow keyboard. Just over a minute long, the track sets the tone for the rest of the album with lyrics like: “Falling from a daydream / Wasn’t I awake?”
“Way Too Long” escalates in just the right way. Reminiscent of COIN’s “Let It All Out (10:05),” the track incorporates folksy acoustic guitar and captivating, booming drums. Its energy is best encapsulated with the lyrics: “Light comes through the window in the morning / I haven't slept a moment, I’ve been waiting on / You to turn around and say don’t worry.”
For those in the mood to dance, “Gone!” is your girl. The track incorporates vibrant melodies, dance-worthy drums and ultra-smooth vocals. Perfect for any vibrant coffee shop playlist, “Gone!” lands as one of my favorites for the month.
“Sebastian” already holds a special place in my heart. Perfectly simple, this track’s energy reminds me of the 2016 romantic musical “La La Land.” Accompanied by delicate guitar, the track’s gentle vocals describe the feeling of being in between emotions: “I know I need to stay / And you’ll be in Paris today / It’s clear that that’s no other way / It’d be cool if you came here again.”
“Parents” diverges greatly from the rest of the record. What at first felt like an out-of-place track, easily transitioned into one of the album’s most essential aspects. Full of heavy-hitting drums, driving electric guitar and muffled vocals, the track offers a gritty sampling of 2000s-style rock.
“Love Song” is an absolute dream. Performed with soulful vocals and minimal guitar, the lyrics speak for themselves: “And ever cross my mind that I could spend my whole life with you / I’d plan my day around those few minutes.” Between its romantic message and lullaby-like melody, this track called me single in the nicest way possible.
One of my favorites from the album, “Himalayas” builds from something reminiscent of Jeremey Zucker’s 2019 single, “Oh, Mexico,” to multi-layered crescendos featuring wavering electric guitar. Contrary to the song’s title, the track reminds me of driving through the city at night — arguably one of the best ways to experience music.
“Rightfield, One” seamlessly intertwines elements of indie-rock and mellow acoustic with notes of gritty grunge. Alongside other Arkansas bands like Brother Moses and Joan, Rightfield is already earning their spot as hometown heroes.