Who can blame Nathaniel Rateliff for not wanting to mess with success? After chipping away as a singer/songwriter, he decided to make himself into a 21st century answer to Van Morrison for the 2015 album where he unveiled his soul revue, the Night Sweats. He scored a hit - ". climbed up the rock charts and stayed there - and the group toured hard, eventually finding the time to write and record material for a second album. Released two and years after their debut, Tearing at the Seams feels very much like a record worked out on the road.
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Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats have returned with the long awaited, much anticipated second album, 'Tearing at the Seams'. After three years of heavy touring, Rateliff and company are now a road tested unit, you can hear it in their sound. They unleash on the album's first track, "Shoe Boot," which pops like an old R&B 45. You'll be sucked in immediately by the funky grooves on this one, which gives the Night Sweats horns and smoldering organ plenty of room to shine, and they do! You'll be sucked in all over again on "Intro," which would be the first track on side 2 of the vinyl and the midway point on the CD or streaming service. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats record on the label Stax, who issued some amazing soul classics in the 60's and 70's.
The Night Sweats are at their best when the music reflects Rateliff’s own distinctive take on a musical style that has saved him, in more ways than one, from a less fortunate life. It's filled with high-octane grooves and gritty vamps, punctuated by the occasional moment of acoustic reflection.
Sung in a single take on the album that bears its name, and delivered on the Late Night set with an intensity that lies in the withered yet defiant space between Otis Redding and Van Morrison, Tearing at the Seams addresses the end of Rateliff’s marriage. When they recorded the studio version, Rateliff’s vocals reduced band bassist Joseph Pope III to tears. He had some open wounds coming in. You can hear it in his voice,' Richard Swift, the album’s producer, told Rolling Stone.
For their debut album, Rateliff wrote most of the songs in isolation, at home in Denver, and recorded basic tracks with musician-producer Richard Swift at his studio in Cottage Grove, Ore. The album’s coup de grace horn parts were added after the fact.
The band finished recording with producer Richard Swift who has helmed records by The Shins and Foxygen in addition to The Night Sweats’ debut, collectively creating a group of songs that capture the band’s emotion and intensity