Nathaniel Rateliff has achieved indie rockstar success with his new outfit The Night Sweats, touring Europe and the U.S. as well as gaining mainstream commercial attention. Rateliff’s music has always pierced sharply through listener’s ears because of his raging vocal power and incredible soul. But now the same man that attracted so many fans to his gentle yet shameless folk songs, has followed up his new gospel-rock band’s self titled album with an EP, aptly titled A Little Something More From Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats.
Even though the first twenty seconds of the opening song Parlor features Nathaniel’s singing and guitar playing, fans will notice the song style does not match the true contemplative, mellow original Nathaniel style. The song contains bold elements of rock and is a little bit too fast and upbeat for my preference. Every time the full band enters on any Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats song there is an uncontrollable, electrifying surge that occurs and while this louder, noisier style may not satisfy fans of Nathaniel’s original tenderness, it is a style that is undeniably entertaining and brilliantly uplifting.
The swift introductory bass line on the following track I Did It sets the jumpy, party tone which is fuelled by a rocking drumbeat, blaring keyboards and an aggressive horn section. Nathaniel’s unique whimper and raw howl stayed present when he formed The Night Sweats and these flawless vocal attributes are spiced up with an enriched, heavy backing sound.
It takes a second glance at the track list to realise that there are two different versions of the same song on this release. Track three Out On The Weekend (Version 2) carries the signature fast-paced Night Sweats energy that rings deep into your eardrums and down your body, tempting and begging limb movement. You can’t not want to tear up a dance floor after listening to enough Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats because they create a musical world that welcomes any and every party.
Nathaniel proves his versatile musicianship by ending the EP with Late Night Party (Out On The Weekend Version 1). The seed for what became a riveting; electrifying Night Sweats number began as a toned down, chunk and drive snare shuffling, beachy tempoed song. Melodies that are vivaciously belted in Version 2 are gorgeously hummed at the end of the record, but the truth of the matter is that no matter which version you listen to, at the end of the day Nathaniel Rateliff’s folk, jazz, rock, blues and soul elements produce an especially unique style that is admittedly inimitable.
Scott J. Herman