MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY: NATHANIEL RATELIFF & the NIGHT SWEATS - TEARING AT THE SEAMS
Starting with the saucy strut Shoe Boot sets the right tone for another great soul reboot from Rateliff. Thick organ and greasy horns lead into a drum break that, if it was 40 years old, would be seized by samplers upon rediscovery. What I like most is, despite all the correct and proper instrumentation, is a loose and uncluttered sound, lots of room to enjoy Rateliff's country-flavoured vocals.
What sets Rateliff apart from the equally-fine Daptone label soul groups is that old folk-roots side that he had starting out. Cuts like Babe I Know feel like the country soul of Arthur Alexander, slow and thoughtful, with strong lyrics. And he plays around with both forms, much the same way Otis Redding wanted to go with Dock of the Bay. Usually we spend time studying folk-style lyrics for deep truths, but Rateliff is reminding us the real truths can be found in the soulful places too.