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NATHANIEL RATELIFF


BIO:
The first things you notice are the voice and the space. That voice belongs to Nathaniel Rateliff, a man who’s earned the twang and hard-knock weariness that shines through on his Rounder debut. The space comes courtesy of producer Brian Deck (Califone, Iron & Wine, Modest Mouse), who helped transform 8-track bedroom demos into miniature epics of contrast, beauty, and yearning. In Memory of Loss is a stunning, heartbreaking sonic document from a singer-songwriter who’s made his way from a childhood in Bay, Missouri (pop. 60) to the national stage. Rateliff grew up of modest means, the son of devout Southern churchgoers. The family sang together throughout his childhood. At age 7 Rateliff learned the drums. As a teenager, he stumbled across a cassette of Led Zeppelin’s IV abandoned in a local barn; he wore the tape out listening to it on headphones, drumming along with “When the Levee Breaks” and “Misty Mountain Hop.” Rateliff’s youth in rural Missouri was quiet and rambling. He built skateboard ramps, explored caves, slept outdoors in the heat. “I loved growing up there,” he says. “It’s beautiful. There’s something really nice about there not being much to do; it really helped me be a creative person.” After his father passed away, when Rateliff was only 13, he picked up the guitar. His mother taught him three chords, a friend showed him a few more, and there was no need to bother with lessons; he started penning his own songs on an acoustic. He’d later go electric, gaining an appreciation for the freedom of effect pedals: “I was really into making feedback for hours at a time.” Both impulses are present on In Memory of Loss, with its shards of raw guitar rising beneath hushed, insistent melodies. At eighteen Rateliff relocated to Denver. He scored a job with a trucking company, working on the dock and the yard. The money was good, but Rateliff kept falling asleep at the wheel. “I had a little stint of narcolepsy,” he says. “My limbs were going numb, the color was all weird in ‘em. My thyroid wasn’t working. Weird stuff that shouldn’t be happening when you’re in your 20s, but it was.” After a battery of tests Rateliff decided to take time off from the job. It was a period of rest and recovery, but also one of artistic growth and fresh challenges. Rateliff used the break to learn the piano, much as he had other instruments—by teaching himself. The first song he tackled was Leonard Cohen’s melancholy classic, “Hallelujah.” (That same mixture of the sacred and profane is recognizable on “We Never Win,” with its throwbacks to gospel vocal harmonies, Rateliff harkening to “an old time revival.”) Meanwhile, Rateliff developed a dedicated following within the Denver music community and beyond. Spin praised his “massive, alluring” voice. Billboard dubbed the unsigned singer-songwriter a ‘must hear.’ This wave of acclaim lead to a live set on the popular indie site Daytrotter and a solo tour opening for the Fray. The New York Times praised Rateliff’s “stark, eloquent [Johnny] Cash echoes,” and he earned enthusiastic mentions from Time Out New York and the tastemaker music blog, Brooklyn Vegan. New York magazine pegged Rateliff as an “artist everyone should be listening to” during the pivotal CMJ Music Festival. Rateliff began writing a different sort of song than he was used to: quieter, more introspective and patient. A friend turned him on to the bedroom recording potentials of the time-honored 8-track, and a new working method was born. “I just kind of went back to my roots,” he says. “It was a different sound, but it was still coming from the same place.” While recording In Memory of Loss, Rateliff lived in Chicago, working with producer Brian Deck to craft the nuances: mournful harmonica on “You Should’ve Seen the Other Guy,” the ominous organ of “Longing and Losing,” propulsive bass drum on “Early Spring Till.” Rateliff’s Rounder debut is rooted in a bygone era. It’s both fresh and classic, imbued with a melancholy nostalgia, the rough candor of rock’n’roll’s past and the warmth and earnestness of folk storytellers. Rateliff has a personal connection to the sounds of the 60s and 70s. “It was more about songs, and not about an industry,” he says. “It was about a movement, not about making money. I think we’re moving back into that again. There’s still an importance in actually writing songs again. People are interested in hearing things that make sense.” These thirteen tracks, with their soulful minimalism, certainly make sense. Hints of the music he grew up on – Van Morrison, Muddy Waters, the Beatles—shine through. (Album closer “Happy Just To Be,” with its pounding piano chords, is a close cousin to the Lennon-penned “Across the Universe.”) Yet Rateliff is also at home in what may be called, for lack of a better term, the neo-folk revival. His voice is so confident that you can occasionally imagine the music dropping out entirely, a song propelled solely by Rateliff’s a capella strengths—equal parts church spiritual and TV on the Radio riffing on the Pixies’ “Mr. Grieves.” “The one thing that made me want to write and play music was trying to get the same feeling that it gave me when I listened to it,” Rateliff says. “Like having an anxiety attack—where you almost start to weep, at the same time feel a strange pressure in your chest.” This persistent troubadour has struggled and persevered to this point; now, the wider world is ready for Nathaniel Rateliff. “In Memory of Loss,” he says, “is for everyone who’s willing to listen.”

Latest Tweets

NRateliff Twitter 12/3 @ 8:12 AM
NRateliff - .@tmorello’s new album “The Atlas Underground Flood” is out now. Listen to his song with @NRateliff “Hard Times” fe… https://t.co/PxWYAyAloC
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NRateliff Twitter 12/3 @ 8:10 AM
NRateliff - .@TomMorello’s new album “The Atlas Underground Flood” is out now. Listen to his song with @NRateliff “Hard Times”… https://t.co/mLXTYj59iB
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NRateliff Twitter 12/2 @ 10:45 AM
NRateliff - Listen to "Face Down In The Moment" on @Spotify's #FreshFolk playlist → https://t.co/xJfd2SLzRj https://t.co/07PRxMlst9
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Latest Articles


Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats to Perform for SiriusXM and Pandora's Small Sta Photo Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats to Perform for SiriusXM and Pandora's Small Stage Series
by Michael Major - October 20, 2021

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats’ performance will follow the release of their third studio album, The Future, which is set for release on November 5. Their track 'Survivor' quickly moved to #1 on music charts. Watch the music video for the single now!...
VIDEO: Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats Release 'Love Don't' Music Video Photo VIDEO: Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats Release 'Love Don't' Music Video
by Michael Major - October 07, 2021

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats debuts the video for their track “Love Don’t.” Shot by Rett Rogers with additional videography from Brendan Young and Will Gardener, the collage of footage was captured on tour throughout Europe and North America from 2018-2021....
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by Sarah Jae Leiber - August 02, 2021

Long, oozy, and groovy; it’s that track 8 deep cut slow jam you needed today. The track, which lays back in a deep pocket with a spare, locked-in rhythm from bass and drums....
Bendigo Fletcher Announce Additional US Tour Dates Photo Bendigo Fletcher Announce Additional US Tour Dates
by TV News Desk - July 28, 2021

The 22-city trek kicks off on October 21, 2021 with two nights at Los Angeles, CA’s famed Troubadour, and wraps on February 02, 2022 at Toronto, Canada’s Danforth Music Hall....
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by Sarah Jae Leiber - May 27, 2021

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by Sarah Jae Leiber - May 24, 2021

The Night Sweats took a break after the touring cycle behind their acclaimed second album Tearing at the Seams. During that time, Rateliff released a solo album, And It’s Still Alright, in February 2020 and planned a full year of touring until it was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic....
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by Sarah Jae Leiber - May 24, 2021

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by Sarah Jae Leiber - May 19, 2021

The EP finds the band reimagining and reconstructing some of their favorite tracks, including previously released covers of Cypress Hill’s “I Wanna Get High,” INXS’ “Devil Inside” and Big Mama Thornton’s “Ball and Chain.”...
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MEMPHO MUSIC FESTIVAL 2021 Lineup Announced Photo MEMPHO MUSIC FESTIVAL 2021 Lineup Announced
by A.A. Cristi - April 28, 2021

Mempho Music Festival has announced its 2021 music lineup taking place October 1-3, 2021 at its new home, Memphis Botanic Garden. ...
The Record Company Cover INXS 'Devil Inside' Photo The Record Company Cover INXS 'Devil Inside'
by Sarah Jae Leiber - April 20, 2021

The band raves “INXS kicks ass and their album KICK is one of the greatest ever made! We are stoked to share our spin on a song we love so much.” ...
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by Sarah Jae Leiber - April 14, 2021

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Nathaniel Rateliff's Tiny Desk (Home) Concert Premieres Today Photo Nathaniel Rateliff's Tiny Desk (Home) Concert Premieres Today
by Sarah Jae Leiber - April 12, 2021

Recorded at Mercury Cafe in Denver, the intimate performance includes renditions of Rateliff’s “And It’s Still Alright,” “All Or Nothing” and “Mavis,” which appeared on his 2020 solo album, And It’s Still Alright. In addition, Rateliff performed his latest single, “Redemption,” written for and featu...
The Record Company Reimagines Their Favorite Songs on Their Upcoming 'Side Project' E Photo The Record Company Reimagines Their Favorite Songs on Their Upcoming 'Side Project' EP
by Sarah Jae Leiber - April 09, 2021

“The pandemic forced us to try an entirely different approach to our process, with everyone working from home,” the band explains. “With ‘Ball and Chain,’ we used some really non-traditional home methods and ended up finding some new sounds we may not have found otherwise.” ...
eTown Expands Lineup For Virtual 30th b'Earthday Celebration Photo eTown Expands Lineup For Virtual 30th b'Earthday Celebration
by Sarah Jae Leiber - April 08, 2021

Today, eTown announced the addition of Black Pumas, Nathaniel Rateliff, and Sarah Jarosz, to an already stacked lineup of performers for its 30th b’Earthday Celebration on April 22nd—Earth Day 2021....
'John Prine and Friends' Live At Newport Folk 2017 Will Be Released on Vinyl Photo 'John Prine and Friends' Live At Newport Folk 2017 Will Be Released on Vinyl
by Sarah Jae Leiber - March 22, 2021

Proceeds from the sale support the Newport Festivals Foundation’s ongoing initiatives to aid musicians in need and music programs across the country. ...
Bendigo Fletcher Signs to Elektra Records Photo Bendigo Fletcher Signs to Elektra Records
by Sarah Jae Leiber - March 17, 2021

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by Sarah Jae Leiber - February 18, 2021

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Nathaniel Rateliff Debuts on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE Photo Nathaniel Rateliff Debuts on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
by Sarah Jae Leiber - February 15, 2021

The “SNL” performance culminates a monumental year for Rateliff who in 2020 released his solo album, And It’s Still Alright (Stax Records), to widespread acclaim; the record peaked at #3 on iTunes’ Top Albums chart....
Nathaniel Rateliff Premieres Video for 'Redemption' Photo Nathaniel Rateliff Premieres Video for 'Redemption'
by Sarah Jae Leiber - February 11, 2021

Palmer, which is now streaming globally on Apple TV+, stars Justin Timberlake, Alisha Wainwright and Juno Temple. The film, directed by Fisher Stevens, is a hopeful and inspirational story about an unlikely pair who come together and find the family they were both missing. ...
Georgia Comes Alive Virtual Music Festival Raises $170,000 Photo Georgia Comes Alive Virtual Music Festival Raises $170,000
by Sarah Jae Leiber - January 04, 2021

On Saturday, December 26th, Live For Live Music in partnership with HeadCount presented Georgia Comes Alive....
Independent Venue Week Celebrates the Passage Of the Save Our Stages Act Photo Independent Venue Week Celebrates the Passage Of the Save Our Stages Act
by Sarah Jae Leiber - December 22, 2020

Independent Venue Week congratulates the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) on its monumental effort leading to the passage of the Save Our Stages Act. ...
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by Sarah Jae Leiber - December 21, 2020

This Saturday, December 26 at 3pm EST, Live For Live Music in partnership with HeadCount, presents Georgia Comes Alive, a one-day virtual music festival to promote voter participation in the upcoming Georgia runoff elections....
Nathaniel Rateliff Premieres New Song 'Redemption' Photo Nathaniel Rateliff Premieres New Song 'Redemption'
by Sarah Jae Leiber - December 17, 2020

Today, Nathaniel Rateliff premieres “Redemption,” a new song the acclaimed singer-songwriter wrote for the forthcoming Apple Original film, Palmer....