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Albums Of The Week: Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats | The Future

The third time's the charm (again) for the Colorado octet, who serve up another enjoyable collection of blue-eyed soul/R&B flecked with Dylanesque folk and more.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “For The Future, Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats escaped to his new Broken Creek Studio outside of Denver to write an album’s worth of songs, shedding light on their unique observations and songwriting reflecting on our current times. While recognizable, the new work has evolved and pushes the band to a new level.

“I look at the album overall as a big question,” notes Rateliff. “When I was writing the record, we were in the middle of a pandemic and our future looked pretty bleak. I just continue to try to write from a place of hope. Then my own neurosis, and maybe being a Libra gets in the way, and I can’t make up my mind. There is this constant back-and-forth battle in me personally and I am sure that comes out in my writing.”

The Future’s lead single Survivor sums up Rateliff’s perspective as he sings, “I’m afraid that the weight of the world is catching up to you / I’m afraid to admit that it’s catching up to me too / Does the weight continue to grow until it finally buries you?”

Photo by Danny Clinch.

The Future was produced by Bradley Cook (Bon Iver, Kevin Morby, The War On Drugs) and R.M.B. — the production trio of Rateliff, Patrick Meese of The Night Sweats and James Barone (Beach House), the team behind Rateliff’s acclaimed 2020 solo album And It’s Still Alright. Additional production was added by musician, engineer and producer Elijah Thompson (Father John Misty, Richard Swift) while Jenny Lewis, Jess Wolfe (Lucius) and Amelia Meath (Sylvan Esso) contributed backing vocals.

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats are Rateliff (vocals, guitar), Joseph Pope III (bass), Meese (drums, percussion, keys), Luke Mossman (guitar), Mark Shusterman (organ, keys), Andreas Wild (saxophone), Daniel Hardaway (trumpet) and Jeff Dazey (saxophone).

The band’s self-titled debut album was a breakout success. Now certified gold in the U.S., it has sold over a million records worldwide. Their sophomore album Tearing at the Seams debuted in March 2018 to widespread critical acclaim and included three singles which hit No. 1. Last year, Rateliff released his first solo album in seven years via Stax Records. And It’s Still Alright debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Americana/Folk chart, landed at No. 2 on their Current Rock chart and resided at No. 1 on the Americana Albums Chart for eight consecutive weeks. Earlier this year, Rateliff released a new live album, Red Rocks 2020, which was recorded in the empty amphitheatre during Rateliff’s mid-September run of socially distanced shows.”