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Nathaniel Rateliff's Ultimate Playlist

US soul & R&B frontman reveals his favourite tunes

Nathaniel Rateliff's Ultimate Playlist

Nathaniel Rateliff has shot to fame over the past couple of years as the head honcho of the all-action seven-piece soulful R&B group that he lends his (excellent) name to: Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats.

Famed for their blistering live shows, they gained particular attention following their performances on Later... with Jools Holland in the UK and The Tonight Show in the US, when host Jimmy Fallon joined them for a riproaring guest vocal.

Ahead of their performances at Latitude (Sat 16 July) and Citadel (Sun 17 July) festivals, we caught up with Nathaniel to discover his Ultimate Playlist, and the reasons behind the selections...

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats are on tour in the UK in November, head to for more details

Favourite ballad

"C.W. Stoneking - On a Desert Isle. Obscure Australian New Orleans delta jungle ballad. Gorgeous guitar work, beautiful melody and a wicked groove. He's got a new record out that more people need to know about."

Favourite movie soundtrack song

"Iggy Pop - Lust For Life. This song in Trainspotting really sets the mood. Bowie gave Iggy another lease of life with this record and made rock and roll history."

Favourite song from your childhood

"? And the Mysterions - 96 Tears. This was my first dance with my wife and I'll always have fond memories of this tune. Rad organ recorded in a garage on an old farfisa."

Favourite song that no one else has heard of

"Ted Hawkins - Sorry You're Sick. The man has so much sadness in his heart. This one was written about his homeless partner dying on the streets and needing something to kill the pain. Heart-wrenching stuff."

Favourite song to hear at a wedding

"Vulfpeck - Back Pocket. Never gets old. The production is amazing. Playing is tighter than a duck's arsehole."

Favourite novelty song

"Roger Miller - Chug a Lug. Or basically his entire album from the Disney version of Robin Hood. Whistle Stop is still one of my favourite songs."

Favourite lyric from a song

"There's this line in a Damien Jurado song, Mountains Still Asleep, that just kills me. You really have to hear it to get the full impact, but it goes: 'Love is a blinding sun, we are all songs to be sung'."

Favourite current song

"Navy Blues - Pearly Gate MusicThis song is perfectly written and it's a sweet love song."

Favourite song from your own music

"Forgetting is Believing, it took me a while to write this one but I'm very proud of the way it turned out. I love the version on the record but I also love the demo and what I love most about the song are the words. It's based on the idea of a relationship being a swimming race. Two lovers standing looking out on the expanse of water: once they dive in swimming side-by-side they slowly grow old. Also, a bit, of a boxing match that you can never win when you know you should be able to overpower your opponent. At least that's what I saw when I first thought of it."