Nathaniel Rateliff, “Closer”

Laura Leebove

By Laura Leebove

Managing Editor
on 11.20.14 in Listen to This

Nathaniel Rateliff‘s new song “Closer,” from the songwriter’s forthcoming EP of the same name (out January 27 on mod y vi records), is fitting for these dreaded first signs of my least-favorite season. On the surface it’s about being stuck in the cold, making the most of it (“I don’t mind the freeze as long as you’re here to hold me,” he sings) and coming out stronger on the other side. But Rateliff also uses the chill as a gentle metaphor for rough patches in a relationship: “In our frozen slumber/ its stillness and its grace/ and the whisper of the spring and the warmth upon your face/ when it all starts to melt you forget of the ice and snow/ and the waters rise and carry you someplace warm/ and forget our colder dreams together/ and in our summer breeze we’ll recover.” The track is bare, with just an acoustic guitar and Rateliff’s crackly, emotional vocals. It doesn’t make me dread full-on winter any less, but might make for a good remedy when it’s at its worst.