Nathaniel Rateliff is set to release, And Its Still Alright, his first solo album in nearly seven years, on February 14th, 2020 via Stax Records.
When Rateliff began writing for the new album, the songs initially centered on the pain of his unraveling relationship, but the theme of the album took a different direction when Richard Swift, his longtime friend and producer of Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats’ two acclaimed albums, passed away in July 2018. Across the 10 tracks on And It’s Still Alright, you can feel Rateliff faltering but never losing hope—hope that it’s all part of a bigger plan. While the songs are quieter and more reflective than the exuberant soul The Night Sweats have become famous for, they are no less urgent and indelible, as he pushes the boundaries and finds new depths in his songwriting—a singular voice embarking on a personal exploration of love, loss and perseverance.
Rateliff wrote the album’s lead single and title track, “And It’s Still Alright,” specifically about Swift—a song of haunting grace and acceptance.
“I think I always want to see hope in the darkness, and I like to try to share that,” Rateliff explains. “I always try to write from a perspective of trying to approach everything very honestly, even if it leaves me vulnerable. But overall, it’s almost like I’m a different character when I’m writing for myself.” He continues, “I think this album is a reminder that we all go through hardship, but regardless of the hardship everything ends up where it’s supposed to. I still continue to live, and I still continue to find joy. I think that’s the theme of the record.”
To record And It’s Still Alright, Rateliff returned to Swift’s studio, National Freedom, in Cottage Grove, Oregon. He was joined by co-producers Patrick Meese (longtime collaborator and The Night Sweats drummer) and James Barone (Beach House drummer), who both also engineered and mixed the record. The album features additional contributions from Tom Hagerman (DeVotchKa violinist), Luke Mossman (The Night Sweats guitarist), Elijah Thomson (Everest bassist), Daniel Creamer (The Texas Gentlemen keyboardist) and Eric Swanson (steel guitarist).