By Brittany Rotondo
Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats’ new album, Tearing at the Seams due out March 9th, is one that’s rooted more organically and plucked straight from the band’s chemistry on and off the stage. “I felt like we’ve all spent so much time on the road that we should all go off somewhere together. We’ve all had to make sacrifices to be in The Night Sweats and I want them all to know that it’s worth something.” Says Rateliff.
The Americana R&B and rowdy sound came barreling out of Mile High Denver back in 2013 and has been truckin’ along since, making stops at The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Austin City Limits, Red Rocks and even going certified gold in the United States. The band hit critical acclaim with their self-titled debut album, even though Rateliff himself has recorded, released and has constructed music of his own since learning to play the drums at age eight.
The 12-track album has the typical Stax Records sound in its backbone, saxy and symmetrical but still keeps an airy relevance. Nathaniel & Company settled down at a ranch in Rodeo, New Mexico to record what would become Tearing at the Seams and took some time to unplug and dip in the pool of inspiration, literally and figuratively.
“I’d wake up in the morning and do laps in the pool… talking to the greater emptiness out there and being like what do you have for me today?” The ideas collected like rainwater resulting in the sophomore effort, Tearing at the Seams. The song of the same name was the last song recorded on the last day in the studio and speaks a little proud and political.
It was a rework on relevance and today’s affairs. “We have a platform and responsibility to be good stewards and to be good to each other…”
Rateliff and his group of fiery musicians (Joseph Pope III, Patrick Meese, Luke Mossman, Mark Shusterman, Andy Wild, Scott Frock, and Jeff Dazey) play on the album’s single “You Worry Me” with a cut and dry desert abandon. “Ain’t no water here to calm or even put me out. I’ll find a better way…”
Producer Richard Swift (The Shins, Foxygen) helped keep the band’s togetherness intact and it shines through with their song “Babe I Know”, deep in its bluesy folk indentations. There’s a Motown kind of moxy with this band. A timeless turquoise kind of commotion.
Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats are gearing up to head overseas shortly but after Europe, the band makes a stop at Philadelphia’s Skyline Stage at The Mann in June. Pre-Order the album online, stream or tear a seam.