For singer-songwriter, Jack Blocker—one half of the Arkansas-based indie-pop duo, Rightfield—love songs have never really been his thing.
“For the longest time, I felt strangely convicted not to write a sappy love song for anyone other than the girl I would marry,” he told American Songwriter. Alongside his bandmate, Reed Hoelscher, Blocker has spent the past four years building an audience and a body of work for Rightfield. Inspired by everything from The 1975 to Whitesnake to classic pop, the duo specializes in crafting uplifting bops with an intimate twist… and they’ve gotten so good at this that the unmarried Blocker had little reason to sit down and write something like a “sappy love song.” Until now, that is: this past fall, Blocker proposed to his girlfriend.
Feeling as if he had met his soulmate and was on the path to “happily ever after,” Blocker finally felt like it was time to put the pen to paper. Now, on May 6, Rightfield is putting out the result of that beautiful moment: “Love Song on the Piano,” a simple yet moving song that gets right to the heart of what a love song can be.
“Growing up, I listened to tons of Willie Nelson, Guy Clark, Jim Croce and Avett Brothers music that’s full of beautiful ballads and love stories, so I drew a lot of inspiration from their work and others like it,” Blocker explained. “We wrote this record with a live performance in mind, and this song was meant to add an intimate and tender break in our set. From front to back, it tells the story of how I met my fiance (verse 1), some specific things that I love about her (verse 2) and how excited I am to be with her forever (verse 3). It feels a little nostalgic but hopeful, which is what I was going for.”
And thanks to the bare-bones arrangement—featuring just a lone piano and Blocker’s emotional vocal performance—the song really does hit a special spot. It’s gentleness and the effortless flow of its melody lend themselves to a general feeling of nostalgia, almost as if the song is the recording of a memory itself. To that end, Blocker explains that part of what gives the song its magic is the fact that he actually wrote it around the time of the engagement itself.
“Act on ideas and inspiration immediately as they happen,” he offered as advice. “This song is incredibly special to me on a personal level, given that it’s a love letter to my fiance and I wrote it right around the time that we were getting engaged. It’s so difficult to harness an idea from the past in the same way that it hit you in the moment. The longer you let it sit without acting on it, the more likely you are to second guess yourself or lose the inspiration. Not to say that every idea will be brilliant, but this is where I’ve seen the most unique and exciting songwriting take place.”
Coming alongside Rightfield’s debut album—Rightfield, One—“Love Song on the Piano” and its guitar-led version (just entitled “Love Song”) are refreshingly stripped-back and honest. “Nothing about this song is groundbreaking or revolutionary,” Blocker said, “but I think its natural beauty makes it a standout on the record.”