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Spencer Radcliffe Offers Underwater Existentialism on ‘Mermaid’

Spencer Radcliffe‘s projects always start with a hush. Whether he’s making ambient music as Blithe Field, emo-inflected indie rock as Best Witches, or unearthing cloistered singer/songwriter gems under his own name, he’s always one to ease you in. Looking In, his first proper release bearing his birth name is no exception, using a churning ocean of abandoned guitar lines and seasick strings to slowly simmer opening track “Mermaid” into existence.

It’s a breathy sort of burble, an analog equivalent to his upwardly striving work as Blithe Field, but here he uses it as pure oxygen slowly pumped into a balloon — and then his voice is a match. It’s a lackadaisical thing, the sort of eyes-rolling delivery you might imagine from Will Oldham or Built to Spill‘s Doug Martsch, but he uses it to soundtrack vague existentialisms (“I was born for nothing at all”) — like some stoner mystic who through chemical addition or divine intervention knows just a little bit more about life than you ever will.

Looking In is out in full on Run For Cover Records on October 2.

Spencer Radcliffe tour dates:

October 10 – Chicago, IL @ Pinky Swear $
October 11 – Lansing, MI @ Mac’s Bar $
October 12 – Toronto, ON @ Smiling Buddah $
October 13 – Montreal, ON @ le Divan Orange $
October 14 – New Haven, CT @ Bar $
October 15 – Flemington, NJ @ 90 Main &
October 16 – Philadelphia, PA @ Philamoca *
October 18 – Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar *
October 20 – Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, @ Bard College &
October 21 – Boston, MA @ Out of the Blue Gallery &
October 22 – New York, NY @ The Silent Barn &
October 26 – Chambersburg, PA @ Nathan Miller Chocolate ^
October 29 – Atlanta, GA @ The Cleaners
October 30 – Memphis, TN @ Hi Tone Café @
November 1 – St Louis, MO @ Firebird @
November 2 – Kansas City, MO @ Record Bar @

$ w/ LVL UP
& w/ Pinegrove
* w/ Pity Sex & Wild Honey
^ w/ Elvis Depressedly, Rozwell Kid, Wishlist
@ w/ Alex G