As they neared the end of their European tour, which was filled with packed-out theatres, preachings of love in dark times and some truly magnificent dancing, Nathaniel Rateliff And The Night Sweats have released A Little Something More From, an EP of B-sides to follow their 2015 self-titled album. The EP bears the same bluegrass charm as its predecessor, and is filled with hum-along tunes and personal lyrics that are every bit as good as those that were a part of the initial release.
The EP opens with the simple, rustic Parlor before moving swiftly onto my personal favourite song, I Did It. It’s the sort of song you want to dance to a dark, sweaty, smoky club – its deep-sounding guitar and seductive lyrics give it an illicit, seductive feel. The rest of the EP follows on these two branches of joy, with the polished version of Out On The Weekend being heavy with a happy, vivid nostalgia. Their live recording of album track Wasting Time gives the song newfound feeling, and demonstrates the harmony of the band as a unit. It is raw, heartfelt and exultant, the layering of chorus and vocal riffs towards its climax giving the song a build and majesty it lacks in its studio version.
The second half of the eight-track EP opens with the strong, dynamic guitar riff of What I Need, which then, along with the crossroad blues-esque Just To Talk To You, proves to be a more mournful, laidback centrepiece to the collection of otherwise fast-tempo songs. The pace begins to pick up again in How To Make Friends, which combines the strong rhythm of the earlier songs with the doleful mood of the two immediately preceding it. The lyric “everybody knows you / nobody’s gonna want you”, repeated throughout the track, is distinctly emotional in itself, and Rateliff’s distinct, crooning voice lends it an aching, personal sadness. There’s a moment or two of silence before the EP’s final track, an early demo version of Out On The Weekend which, like its more polished version, captures the cocktail-like feeling of joyful, desolate longing that pervades the entire EP.
A Little Something More From excels because, like the album, it is evident in every track of the amount of love and simple joy that went into making it. It’s clear how much fun Rateliff and his band are having recording, and that cannot help but rub off on the listener. It’s the sort of thing to be listened to on late, hot nights, with old friends and older booze, and like the rest of the Night Sweats’ work it is bare, personal and above all, impossible not to dance to.
Picks:I Did It, How To Make Friends