Nathaniel David Rateliff

Melancholy is a wonderful place to visit, especially during a lockdown. Nathaniel David Rateliff is an American singer and songwriter based in Denver, whose influences are described as “folk, Americana, and vintage rhythm & blues”. The opening bars to And It’s Still Alright, a concise and well-constructed mid-tempo ballad, flick on the sad switch and never let go until the quiet finish at just under four minutes. Rateliff has the perfect whiskey-pickled voice for this kind of material – we trust the barfly more than the preacher – but he can also play it quiet and grant the lyrics, and the story they tell, their own space. Rateliff’s career has been long in the making and perhaps it is that hard-fought struggle for recognition that gives him the gravitas the listener finds so seductive. We are comforted by his melancholy because at the end of each passage Rateliff calmly pulls us back from the edge and croons, “And it’s still alright.”


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