Nathaniel Rateliff has released What A Drag, the second track from his upcoming third solo album And It’s Still Alright, out Feb 14th. It’s accompanying video follows the same monochromatic theme of the last, however on this occasion it is directed by photographer extraordinaire and triple-Grammy award winning film director, Danny Clinch. Clinch has worked with a wide range of big name musicians including country music’s giant, Willie Nelson, a personal favourite and influencer of Rateliff. Music lover, Clinch commented, “I was excited to work on this tune the moment I heard its moody cinematic opening. I felt we could make a strange little film that would allow the viewer to make their own interpretation of what the song and video means to them.”
While the video may be left open for interpretation by the viewer, the lyrics themselves call for little clarification in regards to their implication – they are very much directed at his ex wife, Jules Bethea, “There’s not a last dance and no one really wins”. The video itself focuses around Rateliff stood desolate and alone in a room full of abandoned mannequins in various stages of construct, the exception to the emptiness being a rather forlorn looking woman hidden amidst the inanimate bodies. This vision could well lend to the loneliness he refers to in the song relating to the dissolution of his marriage. While Nathaniel’s lyrical content for this song may read as somewhat melancholic, the tune that accompanies his words and the way in which they are sung makes this song sound far more upbeat than it reads, and you might even find your foot tapping and your fingers snapping in unison.
What the Danny Clinch-directed video below:
Add to that the lighthearted smile that appears on Nathaniel’s face just before fade out, reminiscent of someone recollecting an old happy memory, you can see here how he’s lending to the overall theme of this album: while there is loss above all there’s should still hope.
Catch Nathaniel Rateliff’s solo tour, when it comes to the UK this April, where he will be playing the following dates:
UK Tour Dates:
April 26th – Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
April 27th – Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
April 28th – Symphony Hall, Birmingham
April 29th – Royal Albert Hall, London
May 4th – Forum, Bath