Formed as ‘Nathaniel Rateliff and The Wheel’ in 2005, Nathaniel Rateliff has shared the stage with some notable names: The Fray, Bon Iver, and Mumford & Sons to name just a few. These names give you an inclination as to the style of music you are about to hear, and you won’t be disappointed by the Bon Iver-esque guitar that starts this piece.
What was surprising was the vocals. Less ethereal, more raw and yet still pleasant. They carry the same emotional weight that any track by Bon Iver would. The repetitive nature of the guitar and chord progression reinforces the theme of ‘Still Trying,’ before the song builds to the desperate cry of “this wound’s going to cancel me out”.
For me, the most enjoyable part of this song is the juxtaposition between the gruff, raw emotion of the vocals and the soft, droning nature of the guitar. The way it creates a sense of peace and urgency that overlap and intertwine in a mesmerising fashion is what makes this song so haunting and beautiful.
Verdict: If this gives any indication of what the rest of the album holds in store for us, I can’t wait to hear it.