Nathaniel Rateliff at Rough Trade East
Nathaniel Rateliff is a pop songwriter from the US with a remarkable voice and two records released to date. The latest Falling Faster Than You Can Run is a critically-acclaimed genuine compilation of sad pseudo-folk songs. As a folk, country and blues songwriter, Rateliff confirms and maintains all the general clichés – especially in the lyrics, where he talks about love, solitude and failure, perfectly in line with the old classics.
At Rough Trade East the audience is not massive, but they’re all clearly fascinated by Rateliff’s velvety voice. Thanks to a bass/cello player, a guitarist, a drummer and a keyboardist, Rateliff gives warmth and colour to his music. The performance is planned to work to a climax – beginning with the whispering of the early songs and ending with more loud tracks – and the whole gig is reminiscent of artists like Bon Iver, Bill Callahan and Bonnie “Prince” Billy, though it has to be said that Rateliff is more pop and radio-friendly than the latter two. Rateliff mainly presented songs from the latest Falling Faster Than You Can Run, including the excellent Still Trying, Laborman, Nothing to Show For, Forgetting Is Believing and one song from an EP that’s coming soon.
The performance showed a songwriter who could improve some skills – some of his songs are too similar, and sometimes he really is too poppy for comfort – but who owns a solid scenic presence, besides a deep and warm voice.
Photos: Lorenzo Cibrario
For further information and future events visit Nathaniel Rateliff’s website here.
Watch the video for Still Trying here: