"I Need Never Get Old"
"Look It Here"
"I've Been Failing"
Producers: Bob Boilen, Morgan Walker
Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin
Videographers: Morgan Walker, Nick Michael, Julia Reihs
Production Assistant: Kate Drozynski
Photo by Julia Reihs/NPR
Denver-based group Nathaniel Ratecliff & the Night Sweats played an amazing set on NPR Music's Tiny Desk Concert this week. Check out the full set above, via YouTube.
It's hard to pin down the exact sound of Nathaniel Ratecliff & the Night Sweats. Now signed to the legendary Stax Record Label in Memphis, the "local folk-pop hero" gallantly carries classic soul into the 21st century.
Frontman Nathaniel Rateliff's poppy songwriting sensabilities and raw, country-rock vocals carry traces of Irish-singer Van Morrison, while the arrangement within the overall group bears a strong resemblance to The Band, who went from Bob Dylan's backing group to becoming legends in their own right.
One of the biggest obstacles most artists face in Tiny Desk Concerts, is the intimate nature of the set. While some artists may find the chamber setting too constraining, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats totally play to the room and the resulting energy from their performance is astounding. Throughout the entire concert, the room is relaxed and the performance is powerfully nuanced, total chamber music vibes.
The musicality of these guys is totally homegrown, and that organic quality goes beyond their playing. When we see them prep for the last song, "Mellow Out," they joke around as they try to agree on what song to play and in what key to play it. We're a little surprised they didn't play their big hit "S.O.B." but the hook, "Son of a bitch / Give me a drink," might not have played well at the NPR office in the middle of the day.
The four tunes, which are found on their self-titled album, each stand out on their own as solid compositions, expressing a wide range of dynamic and stylistic contrast. Most importantly, the tunes are fun, something you could throw on any time and not experience listener's regret.
For more Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats music, news, and tour dates, check out their Zumic artist page.