Tearing at the Seams, the vivacious and inventive record from Denver’s Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, is grounded in old-school r&b and rock and roll, but these songs are far too urgent for the retro or revivalist tag. There are familiar elements of soul and garage rock, but also jazz and folk and even country: the crackling energy on opener “Shoe Boot,” the cathartic sing-along of “Coolin’ Out,” the melancholy folk of the closing title track.
Tearing at the Seams shows The Night Sweats tearing at their own seams, at their own sturdy sound, at their long-held definitions of friend and family and band. In the process they’ve become tighter than ever, both musically and emotionally. “I want—and I need—everybody to feel like they’re a part of this band,” says Rateliff. “I want them to feel like they’re contributing artistically and emotionally to the experience of writing and creating this music. The future of this band is to take everything we’ve ever done in the past and just do it with our own little twist.”
[Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.]